German keyboard support for gdm???

Peter Ulrich Kruppa opsyspref at
Fri Feb 2 16:08:49 UTC 2018

(I hope this webmailer doesn't produce any HTML mess - it's the first time
I try it on a mailing-list)

On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 2:11 PM, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:

> On Fri, 2 Feb 2018 05:04:24 +0100, Peter Ulrich Kruppa wrote:
> > does anyone know how to make gnome's display manager gdm understand
> german
> > keyboard input?
> Historically, you put an entry in /etc/X11/xorg.conf,
> but today, this is not so easy anymore. There are at
> least two options:
> a) Use X11 cofiguration /usr/local/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/keyboard-de.conf
>         Section "InputClass"
>                 Identifier      "KeyboardDefaults"
>                 Driver          "keyboard"
>                 MatchIsKeyboard "on"
>                 Option          "XkbLayout" "de"
>         EndSection
That one I have found myself. It's nice to set german keyboard in twm or
xfce4 , but is ignored by gdm.

> b) Use HAL configuration /usr/local/etc/hal/fdi/policy/x11-input.fdi:
>         <?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
>         <deviceinfo version="0.2">
>           <device>
>             <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.keyboard">
>                   <merge key="input.x11_options.XkbModel"
> type="string">pc102</ merge>
>                   <merge key="input.x11_options.XkbLayout"
> type="string">fr</merge>
>             </match>
>           </device>
>         </deviceinfo>
This one I didn't know. I tried it and checked if hald is started. Result:
Nothing, not even a french keyboard :-)
And by the way: The space in </ merge> (behind pc102) will produce some

> c) Use Gnome's configuration utility (the one which can also
> configure gdm). I've never used that, so I cannot be more
> specific, sorry. :-)
Which one might that be: I have got gnome-control-center, gnome-tweak-tool
and dconf-editor and can't see where anything about gdm could be done ...

But in the meantime I found this:
To me it sounds as if I either need the program localectl , which is only
available on Linux or a /dev/input/event which can be produced by
installing libudev-devd and rebuilding xorg-server with DEVD option - see
the README at
I will try that, but it will take some time on this old box.



> > I can find many discussions, hints and ideas in the web, but whatever I
> > try, gdm stubbornly insists on using en_US default keyboard.
> Which idea(s) did you already test?
> > I am running gdm-3.16.4_3 from ports on FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE amd64 .
> > My german keyboard is supported on console and "inside" Gnome 3 , but not
> > on gdm's username/password dialog.
> Which can cause lots of "fun" if you're user name or password
> includes german Umlauts, Eszett, and special characters. ;-)
> --
> Polytropon
> Magdeburg, Germany
> Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
> Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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