I have a fresh Alpine Linux 3.8.0 installed on a local disk, dual booted with Ubuntu 18.04.

While trying to solve some GUI localization issue, I've entered a wrong keymap in setup-keymap. Sadly, after rebooting, this caused all typed letters to be displayed as squares, for example:

Alpine login: øøøøø123

My username and password consist of lowercase English letters and digits. When typing letters, the result is garbage, but digits work fine.

Now, because of this, I'm not able to login again and revert the keymap setting.
Previously, the keymap was set to us, and everything (almost) was working fine.

How can I revert the keymap setting back to us, without having to login to Alpine?

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


In my attempts of solving this, I found a funny little workaround for this specific issue, of logging into Alpine when the keymap is wrong.

When prompted for user/password, and typing (lowercase) letters, a .. z, the result was garbage characters; but, by pressing Caps Lock, I got the corresponding uppercase characters, A .. Z; then, by pressing Shift when typing, I got the correct lowercase letters.

Now, after several attempts, I could type my correct user and password, run setup-keymap and change it to us. Reboot, and voila.

Silly, but it saved my day.


Boot machine from installation media of Alpine 3.8.0

list disk available: # fdisk -l

mount it in /mnt/: # mount /dev/xvda1 /mnt/

chroot there: # chroot /mnt/

then edit keymap: # /sbin/setup-keymap

  • Thanks @FabioM! I was able to mount by adding -t ext4, and chrooted successfully, but sadly I lost the WiFi connection after chroot, and wasn't able to regain it, so setup-keymap failed to show any keymap and the only option was none...
    – valiano
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 7:04
  • Even when following Alpine's chroot wiki page (though WIP - wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/Chroot), I wasn't able to bring up WiFi after chrooting
    – valiano
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 11:47

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