Thursday, July 30, 2009

Log in Screen Issue - Ubuntu

Last night I was working with some Localized applications in Tamil Language in Ubuntu 9.04.
For that I had changed my keyboard settings to ta-IN using System > Preferences > Keyboard, and choose Tamil India. For the first time, I forgot to switch back to the English Keyboard before I log out.

Today, at the log in screen, I tried to enter my user name. To my bad, it was entering Tamil characters, which made logging in impossible. I changed the language there at the log-in screen, but it just changed the log-in screen interface language, not the input language.

I tried to recover using CD, and failed. Similarly when I tried to go to the console using Alt+Ctrl+F1, still the keyboard input to the username field must have been in Tamil, thus giving diamonds instead of the letters. Finally in the Grub, I choose somewhat earlier version of gnome-terminal before the update to the later Ubuntu version, as the log in option, where I was unable to log in, yet still able to log in using the console (Alt+Ctrl+F1), as the keyboard was still EN-US there.

Then after some serious examination of the web and bugging my pals, I found the solution.
In /etc/default/console-setup
I found the two parameters were set to refer to India and Tamil.

sudo vi /etc/default/console-setup

I modified them to refer to EN-US.

After saving the console-setup file, I restarted the computer. Then I was able to type in EN-US, and I successfully logged in.

Now I will make sure my keyboard settings is not Tamil or Arabic before I log out, to prevent this issue repeating again. Seems sticking to EN is mostly the safe.

[Update as on Nov 2009]
Since Ubuntu Karmic Koala has the input language and keyboard as a setting option in the log in window itself, it seems this issue has been fixed for Karmic Koala.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Thank you for your encouragement.
    Feel free to shout at me, if you find anything unclear in my posts.



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