I swapped both sides of Ctrl and Alt using xmodmap. It is quite convenient to use Ctrl keys in Emacs, Emacs uses Ctrl key a lot.

However, when I start ibus, the xmodmap stops working.

I googled and figure out that:

  1. ibus overrides the settings in xmodmap.
  2. xmodmap is considered obsolete.

So how to do the remappings in ibus?

2 Answers 2


If you run ibus-setup and check "use system layout" (if I remember correctly), it will not override the system settings.

You mentioned that xmodmap is obsolete, but you may still be able to use it. You can also use setxkbmap or xkbcomp, which are not obsolete.

  • Yes, I've checked Use system keyboard layout, however, it still override the system keyboard. I guess maybe this is the problem of Gnome-shell, or ibus conflict with Gnome-shell.
    – Nick
    Dec 4, 2014 at 23:31

I have already faced this problem, the Use system keyboard layout trick didn't work, and finally I found out a temporary solution for this by making a keyboard shortcut executing a command that has two jobs:

  • Send Alt + Shift keystroke to system (this key combination will change the input source of IBUS)
  • Then load my xmodmap profile into system keymap

Take a look on my post for more detailed information about this solution: http://blog.z1k.pw/?p=60

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