GalliumOS 2: fixing keyboard layout on the Logon window

I installed GalliumOS v2 on a Acer "CB3-131" Chromebook.

This xubuntu-based distro makes it a nice and quite capable 'netbook' considering the limited 2Gb of memory. In addition the promised 8h batterylife is interesting. The procedure to install GalliumOS is device-specific and detailed in https://wiki.galliumos.org/Hardware_Compatibility.

After install, the keyboard layout for non-qwerty (mine is french azerty) layouts has 2 issues that can be easily fixed:

  • the logon-screen defaults to qwerty.
    Fix: modify the following line in /etc/default/keyboard in a terminal (command: sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard):...
    (my chromebook has an azerty "fr"ench keyboard. Pick the correct layout id for your keyboard)
    Note: this is fixed in GalliumOS 3
  • by default, GalliumOS uses the "right alt" for providing access to the functionkeys. On some-keyboard-layouts like azerty, the right alt is already used to access special characters ("alt gr"). This "alt gr" key combination is not working on a default GalliumOS install.
    solution: open the "Keyboard" application and in the "Layout"-tab select the "Chromebook (most models) | Search overlay | F keys mapped to media keys" entry for "Keyboard model". You can now accessing the F-keys by combining them with the search-key. "Alt gr" will now work fine.
Update 2019-04 GalliumOS 3 beta: the first issue in the logon-screen is solved. The second solution for non-US keyboard with an "alt-gr" key still applies. See https://michael-peeters.blogspot.com/2019/04/gallium-os-3-beta2-on-acer-chromebook.html for details.