The keyboard in Linux operating system comes in a variety of layouts for different languages. Even for a single language there are several layouts. When using our systems, many of us like to use their native language as the main input language. The Linux operating system allows us to add any language as the primary input language and set it as the default language. It allows us to add multiple keyboard layouts and switch between them whenever we want.

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

We have 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. Settings utility can be opened via the following method:

Click the downward arrow at the top right corner of your Debian desktop. From the menu that appears, click the System settings icon as shown in the following screenshot.

Settings Icon

Alternatively, you can open settings utility by searching it from the Application’s menu.

Desktop Settings

When the Settings window opens, go to the Region & Language tab. Then on the corresponding right pane, click the + button under Input Sources.

Region and Language

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

Add an Input Source

Now your selected language will be shown under the Input Sources as a new keyboard layout.

Input Sources

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

Switch between Keyboard Layouts

After adding a keyboard layout, you will now see the keyboard selection icon at the top right corner of the desktop. When you click the downward arrow in front of it, a drop-down menu will appear allowing you to select the keyboard layout.

Show Keyboard Layout

An alternative and the quickest way to switch between the keyboard layouts is by using the keyboard shortcut that is Super key+ Space key. This is the default keyboard shortcut for switching between keyboard layouts. However, you can also change this shortcut from the keyboard settings.

Language switcher

In this article, you have learned how to change the keyboard layout in a Debian OS. Now you are able to choose and set your preferred input language for the default keyboard layout.

How to Change the Keyboard Layout in Debian Desktop

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn