KKBSwitch Homepage

What is KKBSwitch?

What is KKBSwitch?

KKBSwitch is a keyboard layout indicator for KDE 2 or 3. It is useful when you have configured the XKeyboard extension of your X Server to have more than one keyboard group (layout), for example US/ASCII and Russian. KKBSwitch displays an icon in the system tray that indicates which layout is currently active. Note that KKBSwitch does not help you configure XKeyboard, it merely serves as the indicator of the current layout. You still have to configure XKeyboard by editing the XF86Config file.

KKBSwitch is a KDE application, but is reported to work under GNOME as well.


  • Displays an icon in the system tray indicating which keyboard layout is currently active.
  • Keyboard layout switching by clicking the applet's icon or selecting the desired group from the menu.
  • Configurable icons for the keyboard layouts. Icons can show either a corresponding country flag, the corresponding language ISO two-letter code (a la Windows®), or language code against the background of a country flag (a la KDE application kxkb). If that's not enough, choose your our custom graphic!
  • The "toggle mode"; when the mode is activated, the XKeyboard layout-switch key toggles between the two most recently-used keyboard layouts. The third and fourth layouts (if configured) are accesible via KKBSwitch's tray icon menu. Useful if you have configured more than two layouts, but only two are actively used.
  • Make layout global, or choose to have per-application or per-window layouts.
  • Configurable keyboard shortcuts to quickly activate a particular layout (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+1 activate the first layout, etc).


16 Sep 2005. KKBSwitch is now in the official Debian: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/kkbswitch. It's available for installation from Debian's official repositories using apt-get, thanks to Shlomi Loubaton and Lior Kaplan.

24 Jan 2005. KKBSwitch 1.4.3 is released. This maintenance release adds Czech translation contributed by Michal Bukovsky and Bulgarian translation contributed by Petko Yotov. Also the algorithm for guessing layout icons was improved a little and now must guess the correct icon in more situations.

6 Nov 2004. KKBSwitch 1.4.2 is released. This maintenance release adds the Hebrew translation contributed previously, as well as a manpage to comply with Debian standards.

12 Oct 2004. KKBSwitch project received two contributions: a Gentoo ebuild by Meir Kriheli and a Hebrew translation by Igal aka "Koala". The ebuild can be downloaded from the KKBSwitch download page. The Hebrew translation will be incorporated into the next release of KKBSwitch, but meanwhile interested users can download it from here: source and compiled translation files. To use it, copy the compiled file he.mo as /usr/share/locale/he/LC_MESSAGES/kkbswitch.mo to your computer.

16 Jun 2004. KKBSwitch 1.4.1 is released. This maintenance release fixes a bug that could crash KKBSwitch if no window was active when the program started up, fixes the alignment of the system tray icon and adds Slovak translation contributed by Michal Sulek.

16 May 2004. KKBSwitch 1.4 is released. New in this release:

  • Reworked Pick Icon dialog: new look and ability to browse for an arbitrary image file to use as an icon.
  • Option "Use per-window layout" is replaced by a more flexible "Layout scope". Now the layout can apply either globally (same as "per-window layout" off), to one window only (same as "per-window layout" on) or to windows of one application (new feature).

22 Mar 2004. First thousand of downloads! According to SourceForge's statistics, KKBSwitch packages have been downloaded more than 1000 times since version 1.3 was posted to SourceForge. Thanks to all the users of KKBSwitch!

14 Jan 2004. KKBSwitch 1.3.2 is released. This maintenance release fixes a bug, due to which the config dialog failed to set a icon for a layout, for which KKBSwitch could not initially guess the icon. Compilation fixes where made and a Greek translation was contributed by Stergios Dramis (sdramis [at] egnatia [dot] ee [dot] auth [dot] gr).

2 Nov 2003. KKBSwitch 1.3.1 is released. This release restores compatibility with KDE 3.0, which was unintentionally broken in version 1.3. Users of KDE 3.0 can now upgrate to version 1.3.1. Users of KDE 3.1 don't need to upgrade. Also, Ukrainian translation was slightly updated.

31 Oct 2003. A Debian package of KKBSwitch 1.3 is available. See Download section.

23 Oct 2003. The latest version of KKBSwitch is 1.3. Here's what's new in this version:

  • Configurable styles of layout indicator icon;
  • Keyboard shortcuts to activate layouts;
  • Autostart option;
  • Compatibility with Red Hat® 9 (which doesn't ship KDE country flag icons);
  • Ukrainian translation was added.
Starting with this release, KKBSwitch is hosted at SourceForge and has a home page (this page!).


You can see a few screenshots of KKBSwitch in action at the screenshots page.


The latest version of KKBSwitch is available for download from KKBSwitch project page at SourceForge.

The distribution includes source tarball, as well as source and binary RPMs. The binary RPM is precompiled for Fedora Core 3, but may work with other version of Fedora too. A ebuild is available for Gentoo users.

Debian package is available from Debian official repositories using apt-get: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/kde/kkbswitch, thanks to Shlomi Loubaton and Lior Kaplan.


KKBSwitch ships with complete user documetation. You can read these docs online at this page.


Please report any problems or feature requests to the author, Leonid Zeitlin, at the address lz@europe.com.


Thanks to SourceForge for generous hosting

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Also thanks to all the people who have sent me patches, bug reports and feature suggestions. Some of the are listed in the documentation.