I hail from Asia and am fluent in three languages. This means that I often find myself switching keyboards when I have to type. However, I can't seem to find the way to type in other languages beside English (more specifically, Chinese and Japanese). After I install the language pack and select the keyboard layout for these languages as default, all it does when I switch keyboards is allow me to type English with what is basically an English keyboard.

  • do you want your keyboard to have a different layout with other characters (but one character per key), or are you looking for more advanced input methods like pinyin? Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 3:42

2 Answers 2


Go to Settings - Keyboard - Layout (3rd tab). Add a new language by clicking the plus sign (+) at the bottom left and selecting it from a list.

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-Tip: You can quickly change between distributions by pressing Alt+Spacebar. The shortkey can be edited under Settings - Keyboard - Shortcuts - Universal Access - Next Keyboard Layout

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Also, after adding multiple keyboard layouts, they should be accessible in a panel applet and be switched from there too with the mouse.

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I found a solution in the russian community

Let me translate it.

  1. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  2. sudo apt-get install dconf-editor
  3. Open dconf-editor
  4. Go to org > pantheon > desktop > gala > keybindings
  5. Set switch-input-source and switch-input-source-backward to ['']
  6. To enable switching by Alt + Shift execute following command:

gsettings set org.pantheon.desktop.gala.keybindings switch-input-source "['<Alt>Shift_L', '<Alt>Shift_R']"

Note: you must press Alt first to switch the layout

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