I want to set my keyboard layout to Dvorak. How do I do that exactly?

  • My first impulse was to add another vote but having had to switch keyboard layouts on a Debian server (from French to US) makes me think this can equally be an SF question.
    – John Gardeniers
    Mar 12, 2010 at 4:54

4 Answers 4


I found this more straightforward and simple:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration
  • This is the only solution that worked for me.
    – Ishpeck
    May 20, 2011 at 20:04
  • Only this solution actually made things persistent across reboots.
    – Lloeki
    Jun 6, 2011 at 13:27

This will guide you through the process of selecting different keyboard layouts:

$ dpkg-reconfigure console-data

Maybe you will need to install console-data.

$ sudo apt-get install console-data

If you want to make changes permanent then you can use:

$ dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

On Ubuntu 13.04

Switch to Dvorak:

setxkbmap dvorak

Switch back:

setxkbmap us
;dkbvnmar f;   # How to type 'setxkbmap us' in Dvorak while looking at a US Keyboard (updated)

Works locally on my Ubuntu machine. Haven't tested on ubuntu-server, but this is a prevalent search result for "dvorak keyboard linux"

  • 3
    You're how to type it in Dvorak if you're looking at a US keyboard is wrong. If you type setxkbmap us on a Qwerty keyboard with Dvorak settings, you will see o.yqtxmal go appear on your terminal. What you want, though, is the reverse: which key on the Qwerty keyboard gets the Dvorak key I want? The correct text is: ;dkbvnmar f;. I've tested it, and it works.
    – zondo
    Apr 26, 2017 at 19:50

Looks like this will work, too:

$ sudo loadkeys dvorak

Hat tip to http://ma.tt/2004/01/dvorak-on-linux-console/

  • 1
    This is the only solution that doesn't permanently alter your machine -- good for making scripts that switch keyboard layouts. Sep 3, 2012 at 12:30

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