Skip to content

Unity indicator to simulate keyboard lock keys LEDs (Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock)

Notifications You must be signed in to change notification settings


Repository files navigation

indicator-keyboard-led - simulate keyboard lock keys LED

This is a Unity application indicator designed for keyboards without lock keys LED. It allows the user to check the state of the three locks (Caps lock, Num lock and Scroll lock) without requiring any mouse or keyboard action. It also allows the lock keys to be toggled with mouse clicks, which could be useful for keyboards without Scroll lock keys or malfunctioning keyboards.


indicator default
Default appearance of the indicator with Num lock on and Caps and Scroll locks off.

indicator menu
Menu of the indicator, shown on click. The locks can be toggled by clicking the respective item in the menu.

Installation from Ubuntu PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:adrianiainlam/indicator-keyboard-led
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-keyboard-led

After installation the postinst script will prompt you for preferences configuration. These config are explained here:


This option allows you to reorder the locks and also to hide some locks if you don't need them.

Use a string consisting of zero or one occurrence of the characters 'N', 'C' and 'S' to set this option.

For exampe, the default order is "Num Caps Scroll".
Num Caps Scroll

CNS changes this to "Caps Num Scroll".
Caps Num Scroll

NC hides Scroll lock from the default appearance.
Num Caps


xdotool is used to emulate key strokes to set/unset locks on mouse clicks. If you installed xdotool at a non-default location, please provide its full path (e.g. /home/user/bin/xdotool) with this option.

If it is installed in your $PATH environment variable, or not installed at all, leave this option blank.

Changing your mind

If you want to change these settings afterwards, simply run

sudo dpkg-reconfigure indicator-keyboard-led

and you will be prompted again.


The indicator will be configured to autostart on log-in. To start using the indicator after installation, log-out and log-in again, or manually start the indicator (search for "indicator-keyboard-led" in the dash).

The indicator should be shown at the top right corner, with a filled circle representing a lock turned on and an unfilled circle representing a lock turned off.

Clicking on the indicator should result in a menu with the three locks. Clicking on the menu item would cause the corresponding lock to toggle.

Known bugs / Troubleshooting

Indicator label does not show on Xfce / XUbuntu

See #6.

Pressing Scroll Lock does nothing

It seems to be a common problem that Scroll Lock is not usable in Ubuntu. To solve this, do the following (assuming US keyboard):

# backup your symbols file
sudo cp /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/us{,.distribution}

Add the following line in the xkb_symbols "basic" { section. Do not worry if that second line is not there, it is only there for some languages and was not there for us on my system.

    modifier_map Mod3   { Scroll_Lock }; <==<< Add this line

    include "level3(ralt_switch)" <==<< before this line

You may have to do the same in your other layouts if you switch between languages.

Also, there is a cache where xkb layouts live. You should clear it before restarting your X server to check the new keyboard symbol file(s).

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xkb-data

By Pykler and Giovanni Toraldo on AskUbuntu. Source. Slightly modified. Original source by dm+ on PCLinuxOS-Forums.

Scroll lock does not appear on indicator

Your installed GTK+ version is probably older than 3.18, which does not support gdk_keymap_get_scroll_lock_state (). The earliest Ubuntu release that supports GTK+ 3.18 is 16.04 (Xenial). If you use an older version, Scroll lock functionality will be disabled. Please consider upgrading your system if you really want Scroll lock.

If your installed GTK+ is 3.18+ then please file a bug report.

Drop-down menu only has "Quit", the clickable locks do not appear

Please verify that xdotool is installed in your PATH with the executable bit set. If you provided a custom path to xdotool please verify that it is correct and is an executable regular file.


Unfortunately, in order to work-around labels not being shown on newer non-Unity-based Ubuntus, I have re-designed the indicators to be based purely on icons instead. This means there will no longer be labels to localize, and I instead have hardcoded icons.

The icons are SVGs so you can still manually edit them if you want. Look for the <text> tag at the end of the SVGs.

The menu items shown on click are still localized.

I have included a screenshot below to show the old design (version 1.1) which you can still install manually if you wish.

As motivated by Issue #1, this script has been localized to French (with the assistance of Wikipedia and Google Translate). Corrections to the translation, as well as translations to other languages, are welcome. Feel free to create a pull request or open an issue.

indicator default, French locale
Default appearance in a French locale.


The program "" is released under the MIT License. Please refer to the file for the full text of the license.

The icons "indicator-keyboard-led*.svg" are released to the public domain.


I would like to thank Tobias Schlitt, who wrote indicator-chars which I used as a reference when writing this software.

The icons used in the indicator (indicator-keyboard-led*.svg) are modified from the file "emblem-readonly.svg" by Jakub Steiner who released it to the public domain for the Tango Icon Library.


I was a user of indicator-keylock, but only one key lock can be shown on the panel. I didn't like the Notify OSD events either.

I then came across lks-indicator and indicator-xbdmod, but I didn't like the fact that they refresh the indicator on a regular time interval (every x milliseconds) rather than on state changes (only when the locks are toggled).

I also thought it would be fun to be able to toggle the locks on-screen.


Unity indicator to simulate keyboard lock keys LEDs (Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock)






No packages published