I use 3 different languages (English, Czech and Russian) every day. I'd prefer to switch (preferably globally, I don't like per-window) between them with Left+Alt+Shift.

I'd also like to see the active language indication.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any obvious way to set this up in XUbuntu 11.10 - there is even no keyboard indicator applet available in the panel configuration. Any recommendations?

  • 10X man - you are godlike! This is it the easiest and the most efective way! Gave meaning to all the hours I've lost in searching for solution setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:caps_toggle us,bg
    – user143032
    Mar 24, 2013 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


There is a keyboard layout plugin for xfce - xfce4-xkb-plugin. Install it, if it's not installed, then add it to the panel. Right click its icon and add the layouts you want.

To configure only keyboard shortcut use:

setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle us,ru
  • Thanks, but it can't remember my preferences! askubuntu.com/questions/66096/…
    – Ivan
    Oct 14, 2011 at 10:17
  • What does "Add it to the panel" mean? How do you do that? Jun 23, 2014 at 7:52
  • 1
    Well, I figured it out using the other answer, but for reference "the panel" means the horizontal panel at the top of the screen. Maybe it's obvious to most people, but I'm a newbie to Xubuntu. Jun 23, 2014 at 7:56
  • +1 This works also for xubutu 14.04
    – user000001
    Dec 11, 2015 at 13:21
  • For me it's setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle br,ru, just making a note to my future self
    – Felipe
    Apr 12, 2016 at 7:44

Ran into the same issue with xubuntu 13.04. The old way many online docos referred to (via Settings > Keyboard > Layout Options) no longer worked because there was no such button any more. Here is the new conventional (as in, no shell commands or X11 conf editing required) method that worked for me, in detail:

  • Make sure the xfce4-xkb-plugin package has been installed (normally it should).
  • Right-click on the top panel and select Panel > Add New Items...
  • Select the Keyboard Layouts item from the list. A flag icon will appear in the panel.
  • Now right-click on the flag icon in the top panel and select Properties.
  • Now you will get the actual layout switch setup menu where you can choose your layout change key combo as well as customize other useful stuff including the list of layouts.

P.S. I don't mind using the shell or editing the X11 configuration. For that matter, I love using the shell. However, I hate it when the shell needs to be used to set up a GUI. :)

  • This solution also works on Xubuntu 12.04. Mar 5, 2014 at 17:12

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