Posted by: reformedmusings | April 24, 2010

Keyboard issues with Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 and VMWare Workstation 7.0

I decided to download the Kubuntu Lucid 10.04 Release Candidate and take it for a test drive today. As usual, I installed it into a WMWare Workstation 7.0 virtual machine. The install went very smoothly, but when it came to login time the keyboard didn’t produce any characters in the login box. The mouse worked fine, but no keyboard.

Being a clever fellow, I opted for a console login which worked fine. I then executed “startx” from the console and the GUI started right up. It seemed to work fine in general, but still no keyboard. Tried playing with the keyboard settings in System Settings, but it didn’t fix the problem. Hmmm.

Searching the web, I found the answer on VMWare’s forum. User SGiff wrote, in part:

I found the :0-greeter.log file in /var/log/gdm had errors complaining about not find symbols for “U.S. English” keyboard layout in us keyboard file. A little grepping later finds “U.S. English” is set in /etc/default/console-setup.
<from original file>

<changed to this, matching other linux installs>

Reboot and keyboard now works at login.

And indeed it did. To login to the console, left click on the red “Shutdown” icon, then select “Console Login” from the drop down menu:

After logging into the console, type at the prompt:

cd /etc/default
sudo nano console-setup

Find the offending settings which SGiff pointed out towards the end of the file, make the recommended changes, save the file, then type “sudo reboot” at the console prompt. The system restarts. When the GUI login comes up, everything should work fine. It does here.

Bottom line is that, per VMWare, Workstation 7.0.1 isn’t yet compatible with Lucid. The elimination of Hal from Lucid probably has something to do with this problem. However, everything else, including VMWare Tools, works just fine.

Hope that this helps someone. Many thanks to SGiff!



  1. […] had issues in a VMWare Workstation 7 virtual machine with Lucid not recognizing the keyboard.  I posted here on how to fix that. Still, I wondered if I was shooting myself in the foot by upgrading to Lucid […]

  2. […] second link I clicked brought me to the Reformed Musings blog and his “Keyboard issues with Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 and VMWare Workstation 7.0” article. Bam! Problem solved. He has the necessary fix listed out there that he found in a forum […]

  3. […] And the keyboard should now work properly when you log in. (Courtesy Reformed Musings) […]

  4. […] is a keyboard input problem using Ubuntu 10.04 as a guest in VMWare. I found a website here that explained howto get around this problem in Kubuntu (which uses the KDM login […]


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