How to set keyboard layout system-wide not just in KDE

Hi all,
I am using Colemak keyboard therefore I cannot type on normal layout. Everything is set in KDE perfectly since install, however, my keyboard layout is ignored in TTY consoles (CTRL+ALT+number). So everytime I have to do something out of Xorg and KDE, I am stuck.

How to properly change keyboard layout outside of Xorg so it’s remembered correctly system-wide?

Either open up the Manjaro Settings Manager from the menu or open up… :arrow_down:

System Settings → Manjaro → Keyboard

That’s where you set keyboard for KDE.
When you switch to TTY, everything set there is ignored.

So i ask again,
How to properly change keyboard layout outside of Xorg so it’s remembered correctly system-wide?

No, that’s where you set your keyboard system-wide. Setting your keyboard for Plasma only is under… :arrow_down:

System Settings → Hardware → Input Devices → Keyboard

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It’s set in both places. I’ve been there many times. I searched for keyboard word in whole settings as well. It doesn’t work. TTY still have some mangled US-default layout. In settings I have Colemak everywhere. I will send screenshots tomorrow once in am in the office.

Have you checked installed Language Packs in Manjaro Settings Manager ?

I do not know KDE menu structure but this would open the GUI to check

manjaro-settings-manager -m msm_language_packages & exit
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Thanks! I went there and indeed I had few dictionaries to install. I installed them all and rebooted my computer.

Everything is as it was in KDE (Colemak) working OK. However, when I switch to TTY (CTRL+ALT+F1), that’s how my login look like:

No changes.
My login “pioruns” spells as “rl;sijd” when I type it on Colemak keyboard. I have to plug in normal USB keyboard in order to continue, as this is some default US or UK layout instead of Colemak UK I selected.

Thanks for your reply.
This is my settings in places you mentioned:

Keyboard Settings: English (UK) variant English (UK, Colemak) is selected.

Hardware/Input Devices/Keyboard/Hardware: Generic | Generic 105-key PC

Hardware/Input Devices/Keyboard/Layouts: only gb, English (UK, Colemak) variant is installed and nothing else

TTY layout is still other than Colemak and I can’t type.

Hi @cryptocurious,

According to this page:

To search for a keymap, use the following command, replacing <search_term> with the code for your language, country, or layout:

$ localectl list-keymaps | grep -i <search_term>

If you find it, test that it works with:

loadkeys keymap

You can create/edit /etc/vconsole.conf to change the keyboard layout used in TTYs:

KEYMAP=de # e.g. German layout

The list of key maps can be queried using localectl list-keymaps. See the relevant page of the Arch Wiki for more information.


Hence my explanation for searching for it,

You can, but I recommend testing it first, to make sure everything’s working first, before trying to make it persistent and possibly messing it up.


I also recommend rebuilding the initramfs after changing the keyboard layout, because the initramfs already loads the keyboard layout at boot time.

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@Mirdarthos, @pobrn, this was spot on advice! I put “KEYMAP=colemak” in /etc/vconsole.conf instead of default “uk”. And it works (see below).
I’ve checked available layouts in virtual console. Unfortunately, Colemak-UK is not one of them.

$ localectl list-keymaps | grep uk

Colemak UK variant exists only for X11.
Without X11, I have to resort to “colemak”, which is US colemak variant. That’s what I am going to use in VC. So I have colemak US in console (I can live with that) and Colemak UK in KDE. Not ideal, but I will live with that.
Thank you all for help with this :slight_smile:

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I changed the solution mark as the correct solution was already given in the link provided by @Mirdarthos in post #9.

I believe you could bring the maintainers’ attention to the lack of UK Colemak on the mailing list, and possibly provide the necessary information to have it included.

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