How to change the keyboard layout on the Debian desktop

The Linux keyboard has many layouts for different languages. There are several layouts even for one language. When using our systems, many of us like to use our native language as our primary input language. The Linux operating system allows us to add any language as the main input language and set it as the default language. This allows us to add multiple keyboard layouts and switch between them at any time.

In this article, we will explain how you can change the keyboard layout on your Debian system to match your desired input language.

We used Debian 10 OS to execute the commands and procedures mentioned in this article.

Add keyboard layout language as input resource

We can change the keyboard layout from the Linux settings utility. The settings utility can be opened in the following way:

Click the down arrow in the upper right corner of the Debian desktop. In the menu that appears, click the System Settings icon as shown in the following screenshot.

Alternatively, you can open the setup utility by searching the application menu.

Desktop settings

When the settings window opens, go to Region and language tab. Then, in the corresponding right pane, click the icon + button under Input sources

Region and language

Then from Add input source in the dialog box, select the language you want to add as the input source, and then click Add to button.

Add input source

The language you selected will now appear in the Input Sources section as the new keyboard layout.

Input sources

Below the list Input sources, you will see up and down arrows. Using these arrows, you can set any language as the default layout. The one at the top of the list will be used as the default main keyboard layout.

Switching between keyboard layouts

After adding a keyboard layout, you will see a keyboard selection icon in the upper right corner of your desktop. If you click the down arrow in front of it, a drop-down menu appears allowing you to select your keyboard layout.

Show keyboard layout

The alternative and fastest way to switch between keyboard layouts is to use a keyboard shortcut that Super key + space bar… This is the default keyboard shortcut for switching between keyboard layouts. However, you can also change this shortcut in the keyboard settings.

Language switcher

In this article, you learned how to change the keyboard layout in Debian OS. You can now select and set your preferred input language for the default keyboard layout.

How to change the keyboard layout on the Debian desktop

Sidebar