Suggestion for improving installation for non English locales

Not sure if this is the right place for these kind of messages… But I’ve got a point for improvement:

Currently, the installer determines my geographic location, and sets the default keyboard layout accordingly - which would sound like the smart thing to do - but it’s actually not the right choice for anyone with no Latin characters in their keyboard layout, as it’s impossible to use the terminal with these layouts. The default layout should always be English.

The smarter thing to do would be to add the local layout as a secondary layout (and inform the user of the switch keys combo).


Welcome to the forum, @feature!

I second this suggestion. It’s quite annoying to use the terminal with non-Latin keyboard layouts. Sure, it is easy to change it, but that argument goes both ways.

There was a discussion about disabling automatic geographic location. I think having the user pick his or her locale would solve this issue completely.


Thank you for the feedback, we appreciate this a lot.

Although our upcoming release is going to be a major improvement, the issue you described over here is an upstream Calamares, the name of our installer, setting.

It is a very valid point you make, I live in The Netherlands and not a single piece of hardware sold over here ships with a Dutch keyboard layout. They all ship with a US layout with the Euro sign on the 5 key.
Let’s hope this will change in the future. :wink:


Thanks, I’ve opened a feature request in Calamares.

For anyone interested in voicing their own opinion on this feature or their support, it’s here.


No, why? The default should always be Suomi. Linus Torvalds hails from Finland!
Anyway, I fail to see the problem, eventho I’m a special case and many other installers fu… messed me up in the past. I’m a Gerwoman living in South Africa, you see. Which means I’m using a German QWERTZ kb in an mostly Afrikaans speaking country. And Calamares never had a problem acknowledging my situation.

You’ve got Latin characters in your default layout, so my suggestion doesn’t apply to your situation.

Try selecting a non-Latin keyboard layout during installation and see how well that works for you.
All the programs and commands are named in English, which means a layout that has no characters to form these names isn’t capable of executing them…

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It’s a man’s word/(world?) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Whatever you say, Guvnor! :woman_shrugging:

Alright, Fritz!

Weird. On the German kb die €uro sign is on the E key. So we press AltGr+e. Kinda logical, no?

I think it has to do with habit, the Dutch Guilder sign was also on the 5 next to the Dollar sign. So with us it is Alt Gr + 5.

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[build@buildsystem ~]$ localectl status
   System Locale: LANG=de_DE.UTF-8
       VC Keymap: de
      X11 Layout: de

It will be the case for situations like @Bryanpwo from Netherlands where layouts are commonly not nl but in case of p.e. Germany I would not like to have en layout as most systems in Germany has german keyboard layouts. So in my case en layout would be useless.

And also the installer is detecting a default setting, it shows still the slide where you can choose layout and language for your keyboard manually and let you test it.

Would cause the same issue for the users where it is common to have non en layout…

It would be possible to disable the location detection same as it would be if you install offline with no internet connection, there user will have en selected and has the option to change.

In addition en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 locale is generated in addition to the one detected and selected.

So the only way would be indeed the possibility to select more than one and have a switcher added … but this is not something calamares should do and will be on the Distribution to add.

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Yup, makes sense.

Ach. Okeeeee… (tut so als ob sie was verstanden hätte).
Ich weiß nur ich will ein kb mit ÄÖÜ und ß. Alles andere geht ja gar nicht.

Why should it be on the distribution to add this feature? Upstream makes more sense, as every distro would like to have that behaviour (i.e. layouts with no access to Latin should have a secondary layout with Latin).

The Western European layouts isn’t the case I’m talking about… You already have easy access to all the Latin characters. I’m talking about Russian, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew etc. If by default they get their sole layout set to their native layout - they won’t be able to do much before setting a Latin compatible layout. Imagine that something went wrong with the install, and now you’re in tty… you can’t do anything in that situation - not even add the layout that would enable you to do anything…

That could be a very frustrating experience for the newbie who innocently selected their own language as the installer suggested. (and I’m speaking from experience due to nvidia issues)

yes it would be nice to have a generic solution, but p.e. to enable geolocation is on distribution and can be disabled, what would be already a solution to the problem.
But adding scripts or keybindings to the system is up to the Distribution, Calamares has already implementations like schellprocess module to do that.

this would be the same for having a German layout keyboard and en is set as default :wink:

an alias would be easy to add … to .bashrc and we ship this file to targets already

That’s why my proposal was to only do that when the locale is specifically like the incompatible ones I’ve listed above, not for all locales. You can have a list of locales and what sane default they should have (where German locale would have German layout as default and Hebrew would have English, for example).

complex … there is also an issue where it sets it2 map for italians simply by a matching procedure …
So this would need to rewrite and add some script handling to the module… to get all different possible solutions implemented…