I've just spent a good while trying to make this happen, but I'm just stuck on the basic hello world example.

I've navigated to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols and edited the us file (since I use a standard us keyboard) and changed the first instance of

key <AC08> { [ k, K ] };


key <AC08> { [ k, K, A ] };

I also deleted the .xkm files in /var/lib/xkb and rebooted. According to


I should now expect to see a capital A upon rightalt+k, but I get nothing.


1 Answer 1


Short answer: You need to set/activate 3rd level shift (Default is: AltGr / Right Alt)

So use my answer here as reference which also explains it.

  1. Declare either 2, 4, 8, i don't know if it will work otherwise

    key <AC08> {   [     k,    K,    a,    A]   };
  2. Add this line at the end, to activate RAlt as 3rd level shift

  3. Reload XKB data

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xkb-data

I recommend creating new inherited instead of modification which will be overwritten on updates. Check How to add a new keyboard layout (Custom keyboard layout definition) or What are the steps needed to create new keyboard layout on ubuntu?

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