For some reason I cannot type a pipe(|) symbol with US keyboard in Ubuntu while I can do it in Windows 7 which also uses US keyboard. Normally I use left-shift with the button next to it to type a pipe symbol, but in Ubuntu it creates < and > with shift (like "shift+," and "shift+." are already doing).

5 Answers 5


I fixed this for my Dell keyboard by running

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

and selecting the most similar keyboard (SK-7100, I think - my actual keyboard is a SK-8165) and guessing sensible options for the other questions (in my case, UK layout, extended-winkeys, no compose).

This was for Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS 64-bit on VMWare 4.04, host: Windows 7 64-bit.

  • this one worked for me. Apr 11, 2013 at 14:32
  • This also worked for me – slightly hard to believe that you still need to do this in Ubuntu in 2014! Thank you. Jul 17, 2014 at 9:41
  • 1
    And you have to it after every kernel update Oct 10, 2014 at 9:39
  • @AndrewFielden Thanks, that's a shame but useful to know! Might be possible to automate it - see stackoverflow.com/questions/8671308/…
    – DNA
    Oct 10, 2014 at 10:01
  • This also solved my problem of not being able to type ~ (tilde) and | (pipe) on a German keyboard in Ubuntu 12.04.
    – Suzana
    Apr 24, 2015 at 10:16

Try this

  1. Hold down the ALT key
  2. Enter 1,2,4 on the numeric keyboard (you might need to activate it via the Num Locktoggle key)
  3. Release the ALT key

Hope this helps


If you can’t type pipe (|) then change keyboard layout

command is : setxkbmap us

It's work for me


try "shift" + "some key next to enter". I have on my us keyboard two pipe keys - one next to left shift and one right above the enter key.


if you are using UK keyboard try Yaast -> System -> Language Primary Language -> English UK check adapt kyboard and timezone to UK .

This worked for me.

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