I want to enable one more input language and I wonder is there any way to group similar languages? Suppose I have English, Russian and Ukranian. Russian and Ukranian are similar and it would be convenient to group them. To bind ctrl+shift — switching between cyrillic and latin groups, alt+shift — switching inside group between cyrillic languages. Is it possible?
Keyboard layout in Xorg server session can be easily changed via
Usage is pretty simple. Just pass your locale as an argument for that command and your current input would be changed (works both for console apps and for UI apps):
SYNOPSIS setxkbmap [ args ] [ layout [ variant [ option ... ] ] ]
The call you need is:
setxkbmap us. Or you may need more options which you can grab by running
setxkbmap -query while you are on some locale.
So to have your request done:
Alt+Shift+1 for English, Alt+Shift+2 for Russian, Alt+Shift+0 for Hebrew
you'd need to assign following commands to keyboard shortcuts:
- Alt+Shift+0 :
- Alt+Shift+1 :
- Alt+Shift+2 :
Note on the answer below
The answer was originally written for 14.04, but rewritten January 6, 2017, to also work on (at least) 16.04 and 16.10.
wmctrl is no longer needed.
Script to automatically set a different language for a single application.
What it does
- Running the script in the background, the user can set a different language for a specific application (in this case
gnome-terminal). Just run the script and, with the application in front, set the desired language.
- The language will be remembered, in the script (while running) as well as in a hidden file, to be remembered on the next time the script runs (on restart of the computer).
- If the user sets focus to another application, the script switches back to the default language, whatever that was. Also the default language will be remembered, but user can change it any time (also the changed language is remembered)
- The script uses an extended set of tools (functions) to take into account that user should be able to change the set of used languages, and the languages should be remembered, as suggested in the comment(s). Nevertheless it is very "light", since it only uses the function(s) when it is needed.
#!/usr/bin/env python3 import subprocess import time import os import ast #--- set the "targeted" exceptional application below app = "gnome-terminal" #--- l_file = os.path.join(os.environ["HOME"], app+"_lang") def_lang = os.path.join(os.environ["HOME"], "def_lang") k = ["org.gnome.desktop.input-sources", "current", "sources"] def get(cmd): # helper function try: return subprocess.check_output(cmd).decode("utf-8").strip() except subprocess.CalledProcessError: pass def run(cmd): # helper function subprocess.Popen(cmd) def front(): # see if app has active window front = get(["xdotool", "getactivewindow"]) data = get(["xprop", "-id", front]) if all([front, data]): return app in get(["xprop", "-id", front]) else: pass def getlang(): # get the currently set language (from index, in case the sources are changed) currindex = int(get(["gsettings", "get", k, k]).split()[-1]) return sources[currindex] def get_stored(file): # read the set language return sources.index(ast.literal_eval(open(file).read().strip())) def get_sources(): return ast.literal_eval(get(["gsettings", "get", k, k])) sources = get_sources() appfront1 = None currlang1 = getlang() while True: time.sleep(1) appfront2 = front() if appfront2 != None: currlang2 = getlang() # change of frontmost app (type) if appfront2 != appfront1: if appfront2: try: run(["gsettings", "set", k, k, str(get_stored(l_file))]) except FileNotFoundError: open(l_file, "wt").write(str(currlang2)) elif not appfront2: try: run(["gsettings", "set", k, k, str(get_stored(def_lang))]) except FileNotFoundError: open(def_lang, "wt").write(str(currlang2)) elif currlang2 != currlang1: f = l_file if appfront2 else def_lang open(f, "wt").write(str(currlang2)) appfront1 = appfront2 currlang1 = currlang2
How to use
The script uses
sudo apt-get install xdotool
Copy the script above into an empty file, save it as
Test-run it by the command:
While running the script:
- set the (default) language.
- open the (gnome-) terminal, set the language to be used with the terminal
- Switch between the two and see if the language automatically switches.
You can change both default language as the terminal language at any time. The set language(s) will be remembered.
If all works as expected, add it to Startup Applications: Add to Startup Applications: Dash > Startup Applications > Add. Add the command:
Explanation, the short (conceptual) story:
The script uses two files, to store the set languages for both the default language and the language, used in the exceptional application (
gnome-terminal in this case, but you can set any application).
The script then periodically (once per second) does two tests:
- If the active window belongs to the exceptional application
- What is the currently set input language
The script compares the situation with the test(s) one second ago. Then if:
there was a change in application:
exceptional --> default: read language file for default language & set language. If the file does not exist (jet), create it, store the current language as default.
default --> exceptional: the other way around.
If there was a change in language (but not in window class):
We may assume user set a different language for either the exceptional application or the default input language --> write the currently used input language into the according file (either for default language or the exceptional language).