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When I log in Unity or MATE by sitting down behind the display I can change keyboards. However if I connect to my work PC via xrdp and use MATE version is 1.8.1 I cannot.

I need to use keyboard layout different to US. But when I tried to add layout with mate-keyboard-properties tool I got window with completely empty lists of countries and variants.

Hard googling found no solution. Any suggestions are appreciated.

P.S. When I use Unity I have no problems with keyboard layouts.

  • what happens if you type "keyboard" in the search bar, click that icon and go to the "layouts" tab? – Fabby Mar 11 '15 at 23:01
  • When I logged in Unity or MATE in usual way, sit down behind display everything looks to be OK. I can add and change layouts. But when I logged via xrdp everything with layouts goes mad. I suspect it's bug in xrdp. – codemonkey Mar 12 '15 at 6:49
  • Sorry, as I don't use mate nor xdrp. I use Unity and VNC. – Fabby Mar 12 '15 at 10:38
  • The worst thing in VNC that everything you do reflects on the screen. I know it by design but there is no way to disable such behavior. – codemonkey Mar 16 '15 at 12:52
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The behavior you described is kind of expected. Within xrdp session, indeed, you have no much possibilities to change the keyboard layout.

To define your keyboard layout within the xrdp session, you have to use the xrdp tools as well. You have to login into your ubuntu machine (console access no remote session) and perform the following steps

  • Step 1 : You go to the /etc/xrdp directory
  • Step 2 : you issue the command setxkbmap -layout <%your layout%> to define which keyboard map/layout to use
  • Step 3 : create a copy of the km-0409.ini file into the same directory.
  • Step 4 : Check that you have a backup of your file by typing the dir or ls command
  • Step 5 : update the file by issuing the following command sudo xrdp-genkeymap km-0409.ini

Hope this help

Link & References : ubuntu 14.10 - how to install xrdp and have it working

  • Unfortunately the setxkbmap command doesn't seem to work for all layouts, as documented here: component-parts.blogspot.com.es/2012/08/… I have the same problem but with a Spanish keyboard. – Shunyata Kharg May 24 '16 at 16:03
  • Hello There, do not get confused setxkbmap is one thing. the xrdp-gekeymap is something else. If you go to this link (c-nergy.be/blog/?p=3858), you will find a procedure that explains how you can fix some of the keyboard layout issue you have WHILE CONNECTED TO YOUR REMOTE DESKTOP SESSION. At the end of the post, you can find a ready to use traditional Spanish xrdp keyboard layout file (km-040a.ini). If this file does not fits your needs, you will have to identify the missing keys on your keyboard and update the ini file Hope this help – Griffon May 29 '16 at 10:18
  • Thank you, the process described in the c-nergy link seems similar to that described in my link using the 'xev' tool. Mercifully I was saved from going through either by a Spanish raspberry pi user who had the same problem with xrdp there and who recreated the file from scratch (the only file I've found so far that works perfectly) spainlabs.com/foros/… – Shunyata Kharg May 29 '16 at 19:27

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