Cleaning up after console-setup mistake in Natty

David Henningsson david.henningsson at
Wed Feb 9 07:20:22 UTC 2011

On 2011-01-28 13:35, Colin Watson wrote:
> Lots of people have reported keyboard layouts being broken in Natty in
> one way or another.  This was due to a merge I did from Debian on
> 2011-01-05 which worked fine in my tests, but turned out to fail in a
> number of common cases.  I've identified two major problems:
>   * I added some misguided migration code which broke in the case of
>     debconf preconfiguration (which most people use because apt does it,
>     but I was testing with 'dpkg -i').  The effect of this was to reset
>     the various keyboard settings to the first choice in their respective
>     lists: if you have XKBMODEL="a4techKB21" and XKBLAYOUT="us,af" in
>     /etc/default/keyboard, then this is what happened.  This also tended
>     to result in keyboard questions being asked on every upgrade.
>   * Versions of the installer-side keyboard handling code prior to Natty
>     didn't always set the 'seen' flag for keyboard questions in the
>     installed system's debconf database.  As a result, many people were
>     asked the keyboard layout and variant questions again.
> I've uploaded console-setup 1.57ubuntu5 to fix this.  When upgrading the
> keyboard-configuration package to the new version, if it detects a
> migration bug, it takes the old commented-out XKB* values from
> /etc/default/console-setup and restores them, which should restore the
> correct keyboard layouts for most people.  It will print messages on
> standard error saying that it is doing so, but will not present any
> debconf messages.
> However, if you installed your system with an image from before
> 2011-01-05, upgraded it to current Natty, and then manually edited
> /etc/default/keyboard or used 'dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration',
> the effect of this cleanup will be to *erase* those manual changes and
> restore the configuration from before you upgraded console-setup.  I
> hope that this will cause few problems, as the overwhelming likelihood
> is that the previous configuration was more accurate.  I considered
> presenting the debconf questions again, but given the significant
> confusion already caused I felt that this would not improve the
> situation.
> Note that all of this only affects people who have upgraded through
> Natty between Alpha 1 and Alpha 2.
> If there's still a problem after all this, please let me know.  Sorry
> for any inconvenience caused!

I still have a problem, but I'm not sure if it's console-setup's fault. 
After a boot into Natty/Unity, I press Ctrl-Alt-T to open a terminal, 
and notice that I in fact have an English/US keyboard layout, even 
though the keyboard applet/indicator shows "Swe".
To fix this, I can click the keyboard applet and select "USA", then back 
to "Swe" - now, the keyboard indicator now shows "USA", but I have the 
correct layout in the terminal.

Swedish layout works correctly from boot in a VT (i e Ctrl-Alt-F1). 
/etc/default/keyboard shows XKBMODEL="pc105" and XKBLAYOUT="se".

David Henningsson, Canonical Ltd.

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