How to Change the Keyboard Layout in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot?

Recently released the latest version of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot uses a lot of individual programs and technologies build for the Gnome Shell (or the 3.0 version). And as a result, some of the UI or the look-n-feel of the windows in the “system settings”  has undergone few changes thus things might be a bit strange in comparing with the previous versions.

So if you’re new to Ubuntu and kinda confused by the Unity desktop or the new UI of the apps in Gnome Shell and looking for a way to change the keyboard layout, this post is for you.

As I’ve said before, I use the “Dvorak” keyboard layout for touch typing (although like many other I too went with the Qwerty first). It’s certainly not the only keyboard layout and depending on your needs you might be using something else as well.

Just like in MS Windows in Ubuntu too thanks to Gnome desktop built in “Keyboard configuration” utility, we can easily change between almost all the popular keyboard layouts with ease.

Concerning Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot users…

1. First click on the Dash Icon (top icon on the left application launcher) and type the below text and open the app.

keyboard layout


2. This should open up a new window that lets us configure different keyboards layouts with ease. From this window, click on the small “+” sign below that window and simply scroll-down or just type your layout name (I’ve searched for “Dvorak” in this case) and click on the “Add” button.

Just search for whatever the layout that you're "after"...

3. Now, if you want the newly added layout to be the default layout for all the applications then make sure to move it to the top by click on the “up arrow”.


4. OR if you want to activate it for a given application/s whenever you want, then select the layout and click on the “Options” button and then look for a text in bold that says “Key(s) to Change Layout” and add a shortcut key combination.


That’s about it!.

Now if everything happened according to plan then you should see a small keyboard icon added into the notification area of the top panel (by using this you can also change between the layouts with ease as well).


Unless you’re like really new to GNU/Linux I’m pretty sure you already know how to do this… but I just wrote this, you know, you never know :P.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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