How To Enable And Use On-Screen (Virtual) PC Keyboard In Linux.

By | August 27, 2019
linux on-screen keyboard banner


If for any reason you have a malfunctioning keyboard or there is no keyboard attached to your computer at the moment, a virtual keyboard may come handy when there is need for you to enter text.

In this post, I’m going to show you three (3) very simple ways of activating the virtual keyboard in ubuntu Linux.

METHOD 1: USING ACCESSIBILITY SETTINGS.
To enable on screen keyboard using this method. Follow the steps outlined below.

STEP 1: Got to “settings”.

STEP 2: Click on the “universal access” at the bottom of the settings window.

settings ubuntu
Universal Access settings.

STEP 3: Select the “typing” tab and click on the “On Screen Keyboard” enable toggle button.

virtual keyboard settings
On-Screen Keyboard Settings.

Then an accessibility icon suddenly appears on the menu bar; showing that an on screen keyboard is now active (even when temporarily not displayed).

METHOD 2 : USING ONBOARD ICON
This is a simpler way of activating the keyboard.

STEP 1: Open the “dash” by pressing the super (Windows) key.
STEP 2: Type “onboard” into the dash and click on the onboard icon that appears.

on-screen keyboard
On-screen keyboard


Then the virtual keyboard will appear.

METHOD 3: USING THE COMMAND-LINE (TERMINAL).
This is another simple method just like the method above, you can use a command-line to activate the on-screen keyboard.

To do this, simply open your terminal and type the following command:

onboard

Then anytime you want to type; the on-screen keyboard would automatically open at the bottom of the screen. And also when you reboot your PC the screen keyboard appears on the desktop.

on-screen keyboard writing test
On-Screen keyboard in LibreOffice.


The keyboard has an intuitive interface, that is familiar to common PC keyboards.

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To hide the temporarily, you can check on the “X” button at the top right corner of the keyboard. It will show up again, when there is a need for you and some typing (i.e. writing).


When you are done with the use of the on-screen keyboard you can permanently disable it by following the same steps as enumerated above. This time the toggle button is clicked to disable it.

Though the on-screen keyboard is not a long-term (permanent) solution it can come very useful in some desperate circumstances to save the day.

There you have it , how to enable on-screen keyboard on Linux (Ubuntu).

Happy Linux’NG!

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ALEXANDER WAYNE OMOROKUNWA

Chief Editor/Founder at FossNaija
A Linux enthusiast with a focus on enriching the Nigeria Linux experience and keeping a keen eye on Ubuntu and other Foss related developments.
ALEXANDER WAYNE OMOROKUNWA

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