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UbuntuAutomaticKeyboardLayout aims to automatically configure location. This will allow automatic configuration of keyboard layout, nearest mirror and other location based settings.


Configuring location related settings is often the only required configuration step when using live-CD. Location can often be automatically detected from network information. This information should be used for simplifying installation and configuration.

Use cases

Maija is a beginning Linux user. She boots the computer from Ubuntu Live CD. She is very happy to see that without any questions, even the keyboard layout is correct and she can begin working.

Pekka is a system administrator. He uses Ubuntu Live CD to fix unbootable computers. Because he uses Live CD very often, he is happy to avoid repeatedly configuring keyboard layout.

Urpo wants to install Linux for the first time. He always presses enter to any question provided by the installer. Ubuntu project is happy that the correct mirror is used automatically.

Frances boots from Live CD when travelling. The same Live CD works in most countries without configuration, because location based settings are automatically detected.


Detection is based on network information, using Wheretero. Only settings that can be estimated or guessed from physical location are modified.


Wheretero detects physical location. Existing Linux tools are used for modifying system settings.


Wheretero is written and in beta. Wheretero homepage and download.


Code is written in perl. All dependencies are in main and universe.

Code using location information can be in other languages. For example, init scripts could use bash, preseed uses its own language.

Data preservation and migration

Questions and Answers

Manual override

What about users who don't want to use the current location's information? For example, let's say I go abroad to a country like Italy. However, I'm from Japan and want to continue using my Japanese settings via the LiveCD. I need to be able to manually specify what keyboard layout, locale, etc., to use because autodetection based on being in Italy would completely and totally screw me up. -Matt

Autodetected information is more likely to be correct than hardcoded information. Thus, this is an improvement over the current situation. Of course, user can manually change settings if needed. To keep system modifications to minimum, the keyboard question on boot could default to "Automatic" with a timer. -Tero

BoF agenda and discussion


UbuntuAutomaticKeyboardLayout (last edited 2008-08-06 16:24:54 by localhost)