Ubuntu – Compose key not working on Ubuntu 16.04


I installed Ubuntu 16.04 AMD64 from the scratch recently, and I am facing a problem with the Compose key:

  • I am using the Compose key as <Multi_key> for some characters in a
    self-defined ~/.XCompose file.
  • In the keyboard settings, I have activated the Compose key.
  • In my profile, I use the following settings (as recommended in
    other threads):

~/.profile :

export GTK_IM_MODULE="xim"
export QT_IM_MODULE="xim"
export XMODIFIERS="@im=none"


  • The Compose key does work in the Terminal, in particular in vim, and also in the Dash search field for
  • It does not work, unfortunately, in Firefox, Chrome, LibreOffice,
    and Gedit.

So, the settings do have effect, but not for all applications.

Why? What am I missing?

Best Answer

I was having a very similar issue and for some reason what worked for me was putting all my custom compose key settings at the top of the original file all the way over in /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose and then making a hardlink to it called .XCompose in the home directory instead of writing my own .XCompose in the home directory from scratch. It worked for me, maybe it'll work for you.

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