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xfce4-xkb-plugin - multiple keyboard layout management


Written by Alexander Iliev, this plugin allows you to setup and use multiple (currently up to 4 due to X11 protocol limitation) keyboard layouts.

You can choose the keyboard model, what key combination to use to switch between the layouts, the actual keyboard layouts, the way in which the current layout is being displayed (country flag image or text) and the layout policy, which is whether to store the layout globally (for all windows), per application or per window.

If a certain flag is missing, the plugin will fallback to displaying the layout as text.

The plugin detects any change in the layout configuration (e.g. setxkbmap invocations) and reconfigures itself to use the new settings.

NOTE: Lots of code was borrowed from the XfKC project by Gauvain Pocentek.


Once the plugin is added to a panel, it displays the current keyboard layout configuration.

The keyboard layouts, keyboard model and layout change shortcut key can be configured from the settings dialog. A default layout is selected through the list of the configured layouts and this layout is used for all new windows.

The plugin can manage the layout globally (one common layout for all windows), per application and per window.

If more than three layouts are configured, then, when clicked, the plugin pops-up a menu with the available layouts. If there are two layouts configured, then the layout is changed right away with a click on the plugin.

If for some language more than one variant is configured, then a little black circle with thin white outline is added to the bottom right corner of the flag image for the second variant, or if the display type of the plugin is set to “text”, then a little dot is shown after the language text (as a subscript). Two of those circles/dots are added for the third variant for the same language and three for the fourth /though I doubt someone uses more than two variants of the same language at all :)/.

The plugin handles runtime layout configuration changes and configures it's settings accordingly.


Currently the plugin cannot handle well most of the XKB options. Actually it will overwrite all but the first group: option found in the running configuration. This will change in future versions.

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  • The plugin in action:


  • The settings dialog:


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Latest Release

  • xfce4-xkb-plugin 0.8.3 released (2022/07/14 08:59)


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  • libgtk+ >= 2.6.0
  • libxfce4panel >= 4.8.0
  • libxfce4util >= 4.8.0
  • libxfce4ui >= 4.8.0
  • libxklavier >= 5.0
  • librsvg >= 2.18
  • libwnck >= 2.12

Source Code Repository

Reporting Bugs

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