Ubuntu – How to make Ubuntu 18.04 on screen keyboard work with Google Chrome


The default on-screen keyboard for Ubuntu 18.04 desktop OS is not coming up when using Google Chrome (Version 67.0.3396.99) and some other apps.

It is working fine with Mozilla Firefox (Version 61.0.1)

Are there any on-screen keyboards which work better? There are almost zero customizations that I could do with this one. There are no modifier keys (ctrl, alt etc) etc.

I've gone through below links already and could not make any progress.




On-screen keyboard doesn't work with touchscreen on Ubuntu 18.04

Is this still relevant with Ubuntu 18.04 – Why the Onboard on-screen keyboard doesn't auto-show in google-chrome?

Is there any way to make the OSK shown fixed to the bottom at all time. Maybe an icon to minimize it?

Best Answer

  • The new Gnome on-screen keyboard in Ubuntu 18.04 is this one: https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.28/

    However, note that the description in these release notes is quite misleading (and the description in the Ubuntu help is as well in a different way: It depends on whether you use the default X session or Wayland, and enabling it in Universal Access settings may or may not help).

    Following is a (slightly edited for correctness, though there may still be mistakes based on confusion) copy of my recent comment on an earlier bug report. You can find further links including additional new bug reports there: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-shell/+bug/1760399

    • Auto-summon of the new OSK in Ubuntu 18.04 only works with application/toolkit support. Text widgets in alien (non-Gnome or non-Gtk?) toolkits don't summon the OSK (Chrome, Firefox, Qt, whatever other toolkits; I don't know if this is even standardized by freedesktop.org.

    • Because of alien toolkits there is always a need to summon on demand. Since Gnome 3.28 in Ubuntu 18.04, you can summon on a touch screen by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. However, this ONLY works in a Wayland session, not in X. I can confirm that it does. None of this is described in the Gnome 3.28 release notes or the Ubuntu 18.04 help. These are clearly documentation bugs.

    • Judging by the confusion in this bug report and the many questions on Askubuntu,com, it seems that the swiping up eluded even those users who have access to the feature because they use Wayland. Quite clearly this is not sufficiently discoverable, which IMHO is a bug. (Of course this is not helped by the buggy docs)

    • The Gnome extension to summon on-demand (https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1061/on-screen-keyboard-button/) does NOT work with touch in Ubuntu 18.04 (Gnome 3.28) according to the author, and neither does it in Cosmic (3.30). It works with the mouse but this is awkward to say the least. The author will hopefully be able to look into it but it may take some time.

    • I don't know why for me in Gnome 3.30 (Cosmic) the auto-summon only works for Activities and Applications menus search boxes, and not elsewhere in Gnome as far as I can find. Hard to believe that this is a bug in every Gnome application, maybe a Gtk bug?