I need to change layout of keyboard while working in console in Linux. I need to setup English layout as default for console. How to do it?

  • What distro are you using? – emzero Mar 24 '12 at 23:31
  • Ubuntu, logged under root – J.Olufsen Mar 24 '12 at 23:37
  • 1
    "loadkeys us" worked! How to make it default layout? – J.Olufsen Mar 24 '12 at 23:42

To change the system-wide keyboard layout, run

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

or edit the XKBLAYOUT line in /etc/default/keyboard.


To change your keyboard layout fast, just install setxkbmap with:

sudo apt-get install x11-xkb-utils

After this you can always change the keyboard layout with:

setxkbmap us

To do this automatically every time, extend your .bashrc with:

echo "setxkbmap us" >> ~/.bashrc

Now, open a new console and the US keyboard layout is activated. Don't worry if the small keyboard layout icon in the Ubuntu panel does not change.

  • This does not really change the default keyboard layout but is a sort of hack to reset the keyboard layout to another one everytime you open a new console (while it is only necessary to reset after reboot). For a permanent solution, it is possible to set it directly, for example in /etc/default/keyboard like suggested by other answers. – baptx Aug 16 '18 at 15:27

another way, but I understand it wont last for next boot:

sudo loadkeys /usr/share/keymaps/i386/qwerty/us.kmap.gz

check /usr/share/keymaps/i386/ for you keyboard layout and keymaps to what suits you better

  • Put it in /etc/profile.d/bashrc – B K Mar 25 '12 at 1:01
  • @BK, may be at /etc/rc.local to not require sudo? – Aquarius Power Dec 26 '17 at 18:48

the very funny could be to switch back.. possible solution is, to make bash script (named w/ symbols of target language. for instance, англ). 2nd trick is, to type "setxkbmap us; setxkbmap ru" then it's possible to use bash history to return main layout to console.

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    Can you please clarify (1) what you’re saying, and  (2) how it answers the question? – Scott Mar 6 '18 at 20:29
  • well, you switched console in russian language. how would you like to switch it back to english 777 actually, i didn't answer main question, i just added some tricks to avoid possible problems. For example, you work w/o gui & switched console to russian, so you cannot type any command. :) – Evgeney Knyazhev Mar 6 '18 at 22:06

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