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Thread: My compose key doesn't work anymore in Ubuntu Studio 20.04 (with XFCE)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Beans
    3

    My compose key doesn't work anymore in Ubuntu Studio 20.04 (with XFCE)

    My compose key suddenly stopped working few days ago, without me doing anything, apparently. I set it to right ctrl, but it doesn't work anymore. If I try another key (e.g. right alt), it doesn't work anymore. Anyway the system recognizes that that key is "special" and will not work for anything else (e.g. if right ctrl is set as compose key, I cannot use it to select multiple items, it's exactly as a dead key).
    Running Ubuntu Studio: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS with XFCE 4.14 as desktop environment.

    What I have tried

    1. To set the compose key I edit the Settings > Keyboard > Layout, it just doesn't work. The rest of the layout settings are:

    Keyboard model: Generic 105-key PC (intl.)
    Change layout option: -
    Keyboard layout: English (US)

    2. The file /etc/default/keyboard contains the following lines:

    # KEYBOARD CONFIGURATION FILE

    # Consult the keyboard(5) manual page.

    XKBMODEL="pc105"
    XKBLAYOUT="us"
    XKBVARIANT=""
    XKBOPTIONS="compose:rctrl"

    BACKSPACE="guess"


    I have tried to edit it directly or via the command sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration: I can edit it but the changes have no effect, the compose key still doesn't work (even after reboot).

    3. I have read in many answers and comments about the files ~/.xsessionrc and ~/.xsession. I did not have these files (but I have the ~/.xsession-errors file), so I tried to create them and write a single line:

    /usr/bin/setxkbmap -option "compose:rctrl"


    4. The output of setxkbmap -query is :

    rules: evdev
    model: pc105
    layout: us
    options: compose:rctrl


    None of these methods worked. If you don't know how to fix my compose key, do you know alternative ways to quickly digit accented letters? I have a english keyboard on my laptop but I often have to write emails in Italian or Spanish, and I need accented letters for those languages

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    3,983
    Distro
    Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Re: My compose key doesn't work anymore in Ubuntu Studio 20.04 (with XFCE)

    Quote Originally Posted by Federico_Esposito View Post
    If you don't know how to fix my compose key, do you know alternative ways to quickly digit accented letters? I have a english keyboard on my laptop but I often have to write emails in Italian or Spanish, and I need accented letters for those languages
    Using a UK keyboard, can you try this key combination:-

    Press Alt Gr and Semi Colon simultaneously and then release.
    Press a

    Do you get á?

    If it works, I'll dig out the complete list for Spanish characters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Beans
    3

    Re: My compose key doesn't work anymore in Ubuntu Studio 20.04 (with XFCE)

    Quote Originally Posted by tea for one View Post
    Using a UK keyboard, can you try this key combination:-

    Press Alt Gr and Semi Colon simultaneously and then release.
    Press a

    Do you get á?

    If it works, I'll dig out the complete list for Spanish characters.

    I assume AltGr = rightAlt (I don't have a AltGr key).
    If I put

    Keyboard layout: English (UK)

    and I simultaneously press

    rightAlt + ; + another random key

    it produces weird characters, but no accented letters.
    The above combination for qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm returns @łe¶ŧ←↓→øþæßðđŋħĸł«»¢“”nµ

    But I have to press all 3 keys simultaneously. If I release after pressing rightAlt + ; it has no effect at all, and the following key returns the usual character.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    3,983
    Distro
    Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Re: My compose key doesn't work anymore in Ubuntu Studio 20.04 (with XFCE)

    Quote Originally Posted by Federico_Esposito View Post
    I assume AltGr = rightAlt (I don't have a AltGr key)
    I think (although not 100% sure) that the Alt Gr key may be the important clue.

    A bit more info https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltGr_key

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