I write in Polish. In the Polish default keyboard on the special Polish characters are created by pressing right alt and several letters (z,s,c etc). Since I work a lot on macs I am used to another combination LEFT ALT + the letter. On my laptop I prefer the combination window key + the letter. In any case I find it difficult to type fast using the default combination of left alt + letter. In Freya it was easy to fix this by choosing 3rd level, in Loki it became impossible. To solve the problem I use command "sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration" and choose the combination I need BUT I HAVE TO DO IT EVERY TIME I RESET THE COMPUTER OR START WORKING. It is maybe acceptable but quite annoying. Is there any way I could preserve the keyboard layout I reach after using the reconfigure series of options (this takes some time and becomes tedious)? I would be grateful if hopefully someone told me how they reconfigured the keyboard permanently, many thanks Marek, Poland

1 Answer 1


After changing your keyboard settings, do in terminal:

setxkbmap -query

You should see the options you have chosen,e.g:

    setxkbmap -query
rules:      evdev
model:      pc105
layout:     de
variant:    mac
options:    terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp

You can try setting this command:

setxkbmap -model pc105 -layout pl -option 'lv3:lwin_switch'

with your options. I'm not sure if this is going to be permanent, try it out.

If it's not permanent, there are 2 options:

  1. changing /etc/default/keyboard:

in terminal:

sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard

A text-file will be opened where you can write your input. This should be loaded upon startup.

  1. putting your command in Startup-Aplications:

Go to System-Settings->Applications and add a new Startup-Apllication with your command above, eg:

setxkbmap -model pc105 -layout pl -option 'lv3:lwin_switch'

EDIT: you can see all the possible layouts and options in this file: /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst

  • Many thanks I shall try it out today. Most grateful ;)
    – Marek
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 13:11
  • No luck so far. This is my options: rules: evdev model: pc105 layout: pl options: lv3:lwin_switch
    – Marek
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:15
  • How do I use this info? There is no way to load the lv3 stuff and in every method I end up with the same problem - special characters on right alt while I would prefer them on the left alt like it is done in a mac keyboard. Please give me a hint.
    – Marek
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:17
  • I tried the nano command but cannot save the file, anyway I do not know how to implement lv3:lwin_switch, with -options it is treated as an error
    – Marek
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:18
  • @Marek Try: setxkbmap -model pc105 -layout pl -option 'lv3:lwin_switch' For the other approach: just put lv3:lwin_switch after options in the text file. You save the file with Ctrl+O and exit with Ctrl+X. (Be sure to run sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard )
    – Eric G
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 5:34

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