Why are keyboard keys staggered?

In every keyboard that I have used, the keys are arranged so that the keys are staggered a small increment to the left from the previous row. Q is above and slightly to the left of A, and A is above and slightly to the left of Z. This pattern continues across the entire board. Case in point:


What is the motivation behind this design? I would think that a column layout would be easier to type on – and indeed, many ergonomic keyboards seem to go with a column layout, where Q is directly above A and so on.

Replace or enhance default on-screen Keyboard

I am running Ubuntu 19.04 on a Sruface Go. There is the default on-screen keyboard which looks exactly like the ones on phones. But I need (at least sometimes) the extra keys like Alt, Ctrl and Umlauts.

So I would like either too enhance the default layout or disable it and use Onboard. I couldn’T find any useful hints. I’d be happy if one could help me here.


Closing app via keyboard shortcut — should there be a confirmation dialogue?

There are many ways to close apps: mouse-and-click on an ‘x’ somewhere, choose “Quit” as a menu option, keyboard shortcuts (ctrl-w, cmd-q, alt-f4 etc.)

I notice some apps I use ask me “Are you sure you want to exit?” when I try to close them.

What are the UX guidelines as to when there should be an “Are you sure you want to exit?” confirmation dialogue?

mouse and keyboard lost with belkin KVM

I’m experiencing problems with a Belkin KVM USB switch, that I use to share the monitor between my Ubuntu 18.04 PC and Windows laptop.

When I switch from linux to windows, and back, keyboard and mouse no longer work, i.e. cursor doesn’t move and I cannot press any key. If I get back to windows, keyboard and mouse work again, back to Ubuntu no luck.

If I connect to ubuntu pc using anydesk, everything works.

How can I make the Ubuntu kbd and mouse work again without restarting the whole pc?

Thanks and ciao

Microsoft Surface Laptop – will keyboard support be added to Ubuntu?

My apologies for my lack of knowledge on how hardware support gets added to distros and the kernal.

I have a first gen MS Surface laptop (actual ‘Laptop’ not pro or go, etc.). When I run the Ubuntu live everything works, as far as I can tell, except the built in keyboard. Since this laptop is several years old I was wondering if this will ever work? I’ve installed various linux systems on laptops and have had things like cameras not work but I’ve never had something as basic as the keyboard not work.

I’ve seen the jakeday kernal work but because I lack this level of system build knowledge I’m worried about things like security and also what that means for future upgrades. Again… this is more on me than jakeday’s work.

So long question shortened… for my Surface Laptop keyboard to work.. Be Patient or stay with windows/buy new laptop?

Thank you

How to adjust display with just keyboard?

Ok I don’t know what happened but I have my display running through HDMI and I was in the display options, and selected “adjust to tv” I believe and then was seeing how it looked with 1080ix768 compared to 1080×768 and it self adjusted across the screen to where part of the end of the right side of my screen was moved to the left side and I tried to just change it back to normal and the screnn went black except I can still see and move the mouse on the black screen and it is still shifted to the right if that makes sense. Does anyone know how to just revert to the original setting without having to reinstall? I don’t know how else to explain this it’s really strange.

Ubuntu 19.04 installer hangs on keyboard layout selection

I’m trying to install Ubuntu 19.04 on a Dell Optiplex 790. I’m getting the issue where the installer hangs with an infinite spinning mouse pointer wheel when I click on “Continue” upon selecting the keyboard layout. Here are some things to note:

  1. It matters not weather I select “Try Ubuntu” or “Install Ubuntu”
  2. same thing when booting from a USB drive, an HDD connected to SATA or a DVD
  3. The USB drives where prepared with DD
  4. The DVD’s(2 of them) where burned with Windows 10 and K3B on Kubuntu
  5. I tried to set the “nomodeset” parameter as explained on other posts but it did not work for me, unless I didn’t do it properly.
  6. Since Ubuntu was giving me this issue, I tried to install PopOS and I got the same problem :-S
  7. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to another computer to test.

This is my setup:

CPU: Intel i5-2400 (4) @ 3.400GHz GPU: AMD ATI Radeon RX 580 Memory: 11961MiB Storage: KingDian 120GB SSD

This is the first time in probably 10 years that I’m having issues installing Ubuntu. Any clues would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you have any additional questions as well.


How do you change the brightness values for the keyboard function keys?

I’m running Ubuntu 18.04 on an HP Spectre x360 13″. My brightness keys work great, however I’d like to be able to change the minimum brightness displayed. For instance, at the lowest possible setting before going black, I have this:

$   cat /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness 1201 

However this is extremely bright in a dark room. A value of 200 would be more appropriate. Is there a way to adjust this?


No keyboard in mate-terminal

Summary: keyboard stops working in mate-tem


Within the last few months on an Ubuntu laptop I’ve been running for years (and upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04 when it was released), I’ve developed this new problem with mate-terminal: I lose all keyboard interaction. The mouse still works, but no response to any keystrokes to any open terms, or any newly launched terms.

The problem doesn’t seem related to anything in particular that I’m doing with the term (sometimes I’m doing nothing, sometimes I’m in vim, sometimes just issuing commands in bash. Killing all the mate-term processes fixes it (killall mate-term) but I’d like to fix the root cause if I can, or alternatively, find a better way to unlock the terms without killing them all.

xterm continues to work fine while mate-term is locked up.