Keyboard Shortcut – How to Set Compose Key to Pause in Ubuntu 13.10


In Ubuntu 13.04 I had my compose key set to pause (by going to Sytem Settings, then keyboard_layout, option, and changing the compose key setting). In 13.10 the keyboard settings have been totally rearranged: the compose key is now set by going to Keyboard in System Settings, hitting the Shortcuts tab, then the Typing menu.

However, there is no option to select pause. How can I set the compose key to whatever key I want? Thanks!

Best Answer

I had the same problem and lost a couple of hours trying to resolve it.

I found a solution, based on what can be found here:

This is what you need to do:

In the terminal type:

sudo gedit /etc/default/keyboard

After typing your administrator's password, the text editor will open. Find the line that reads:


Enter the desired key value between the quotation marks. In my case it was compose:lwin – to map the left Windows key as compose. In your case it should be: compose:paus. So the line should look like this


A list of possible options can be found when you type

grep "compose:" /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst

in the terminal. Log out, log in again – should work just fine.

(PS: Why they turned off the possibility to customize this easily in the system settings, still remains an unresolved problem.)