Ubuntu – Cannot change keyboard layout after uninstalling Unity


I have been messing around with my fairly new installation of Ubuntu 13.10 Gnome, where I installed two keyboard layouts – English (UK) and Russian. They worked well, I could switch them with the quirky Super+Space combination, but up until the point I tried to run Unity alongside Gnome. Mind you, it worked (kind of) – I got the Unity dock etc, but only on the root account.

But then I changed my mind. I didn't want Unity, after all. I uninstalled it by typing sudo apt-get remove --purge unity and sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-desktop, which, as I have later found out, uninstalled Nautilus and other useful things. I had to do a lot of rebooting and reconfiguring (so much that I can't remember) to make things work again, and when I needed the Russian keyboard, I found out that I couldn't change to it. I can assure you, I have tried everything in the Keyboard Settings, and I followed a few Ask Ubuntu threads – here and here.

All of this didn't help me. I also tried editing the /etc/default/keyboard file, but that didn't help either. Now I'm stuck with the English default keyboard, even if I try to remove it through the Keyboard Settings GUI and change it to Russian, I still type in latin alphabet.

P.S. I later found out that changing keyboard layouts works if I login as root, and that changing the system language to Russian works too, but does not affect my keyboard setup.

Best Answer

After spending a very long day and a half trying to figure out why my keyboard layouts wouldn't switch from English (UK) to Russian on my main user account, I found the solution - I ran this command which I found on another askubuntu answer topic -

setxkbmap -option grp:alt_shift_toggle gb,ru

Where the gb and ru are the languages, and the alt_shift_toggle is the key combination to change the languages. However, because I have applied this sort of a hack, it means that the keyboard settings which I set via the GUI did not update and will remain in a "broken" state (at least that's how it is for me)...

Update: After logging out and logging back in, I found that my changes did not stay, and that I had to carry out that command again to be able to use both of the keyboard layouts...

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