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After using yast2 keyboard module the keyboard mapping in GNOME is changed only until next login

This document (7023374) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12


When starting the YaST2 keyboard module to change the keyboard, the GNOME keyboard settings are changed as well but only until the next login.


The YaST2 keyboard module  is not meant to be used to change the keyboard settings of a graphical desktop environment. In fact, it changes the settings for the system keyboard. As Linux was designed as multi-user environment by default, there are keyboard settings for users working on a local tty (configured by /etc/sysconfig/keyboard) as well as keyboard settings for the graphical desktop environment which can be configured differently for each user that exists on the system. These settings are typically stored in the user home directory while /etc/sysconfig/keyboard requires root access to make changes.

A user having experience with a single desktop environment, might find this confusing but it is working as designed. The correct way to adjust the keyboard mapping inside a graphical desktop environment is to use the respective configuration tools, not YaST2.


YaST2 uses the xkbset command to change the keyboard layout. This unfortunately has an effect on the active e.g. GNOME keyboard settings and overrides them. Hence a user might get the impression, using YaST2 is the right way to change the keyboard layout. In fact, YaST configures the system-wide keyboard and the change is written to /etc/sysconfig/keyboard.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7023374
  • Creation Date: 25-Sep-2018
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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