EurKEY - The European Keyboard Layout is based on the American keyboard layout. It is well suited for translators and programmers who are used to the US keyboard layout. It has has a very convenient access to European letters and accents.

This note explains how to install the latest version 1.3 on Debian Linux.

For Windows instructions please refer to: Install the international US keyboard layout with the European EurKEY extension on Windows.

EurKEY - The European Keyboard Layout, version 1.3

The figure above shows the keyboard layout version 1.3.

The layout involves almost no deadkeys at all. As most letters can be reached with [AltGr] key combinations, so it is strongly recommended remapping the [Caps] key as a second [AltGr].

The latest version 1.3 comes with an important detail for German users: It gives direct access to the capital grapheme "Eszett" ẞ (not to be confused with the lowercase Eszett ß). Most distribution offer version 1.2 as „eu“ keyboard layout.

Here the changlog for the

Version 1.3
1. Added ✓ and ✗ (replacing © and №)
2. Added capital ß (ẞ)
3. Made ¬ a dead key with these bindings:
  s                   §
  1                   №
  2,3,4,5,6           ½,⅓,¼,⅔,¾
  c,p,r,t,T           ©,℗,®,™,℠
  h,j,k,l,u,i,n,m,=   ←,↓,↑,→,↖,↗,↙,↘,↔
  H,J,K,L,U,I,N,M,+   ⇐,⇓,⇑,⇒,⇖,⇗,⇙,⇘,⇔


The following is tested with Debian 10 Buster, but should work with Ubuntu as well (not tested).

  1. Download the EU layout definition file from xkbdesc / xkeyboard-config · GitLab:

    cd /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/
    sudo mv eu eu.bak
    sudo bash -c "curl > eu"
  2. Edit /etc/default/keyboard:

    sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard

    Change the below variables to:

    XKBOPTIONS="lv3:caps_switch, shift:both_shiftlock"


    • lv3:caps_switch: turn the [CapsLock] key into a second [AltGr] as requested in the specification (very useful because you need this a lot).
    • shift:both_shiftlock: makes [left Shift] and [right Shift] pressed together act as [CapsLock].

    Optional: Toggle between two keyboard layouts by pressing both [Cntrl]+[Cntrl] keys together:

    XKBOPTIONS="grp:ctrls_toggle, lv3:caps_switch, shift:both_shiftlock, lv5:lwin_switch_lock"
    • The lv5:_switch maps the left Windows-key (only used by the layout „de“ layout)."
  3. Activate your changes.

    sudo setupcon --force
    sudo udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change
  4. Test the new keyboard configuration.

    Type something, for example:

    • [AltGr]+[Shift]+[S] enters the capital grapheme "Eszett" ß (not to be confused with the lowercase Eszett: ß):

    • [AltGr]+[5] enters .

    • [AltGr]+[T] results in þ.

    • [AltGr]+[U] results in ü.

    • [AltGr]+[Shfit]+[Q] results in Æ.