How to Enable Caps Lock Key Indicator in Ubuntu

Keyindicator Featured

I am sure most of us have been through situations where we enter a password, but the system rejects it, repeatedly. Then we realize it’s our fault, as we didn’t notice that the Caps Lock key was on.

Is there a way to avoid such situations? For Ubuntu/Linux, you can use a key lock indicator to display your key lock status on screen. Here we show you two such tools: Lock-Keys and Keyboard Modifiers Status extensions.

1. Lock-Keys Extension

The lock-keys tool is basically a Gnome extension tool that is primarily designed for keyboards that do not have the lock key LED lights.

It works by simulating the key locks, showing an indicator on the Desktop and a status on Ubuntu top bar.

The tool also allows users to toggle the state of the lock keys with mouse clicks, something that could also be really helpful in scenarios where the keyboard starts malfunctioning.

Install and Configuration

We are going to use the gnome-extensions to enable the lock-keys tool.

For this, we need to install various requirements. Launch the terminal and enter the command:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension -y

Once we have the Gnome shell extensions installed, we can proceed and add the lock-key indicator tool.

Launch the Firefox browser and navigate to the lock-keys download page.

On the download page, Firefox requires you to install the browser extension which allows you to install gnome extensions straight from the browser.


Click continue to installation and allow to install the browser extension, then refresh the browser window with an On/Off Button.

Image 1

Fix Host Connector Error!

In some instances, you may encounter an error indicating that the host connector is not detected.

To fix this, you need to install the chrome-gnome-shell. Use the command

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell -y

Note: if you refresh the browser window and still get a host connector error, try logging out and back in again.

Install Lock Keys Extension

The final step is to install the lock keys extension. In the browser window, simply click the on switch to activate the extension.

Image 2

This will ask you whether you want to install the extension. Click install to proceed with the installation process.

Configure Keys

Once the installation is completed, you should see the lock keys enabled and available in the top bar.

Lock Key Topbar

You should now get an indicator showing when the keys are enabled or disabled.

Image 3

If you do not want the indicator icons on the top bar, you can turn them off by configuring the extension settings.

Start by opening the gnome-extensions tool from Ubuntu applications.

Gnome Extensions Search

Next, select the lock keys option and click on the settings icon.

Finally, set the indicator style to notifications only. This will remove the top bar icons and only show the key toggles on the screen.

Image 4

2. Keyboard Modifiers Status

You may get errors or the Lock keys extension may not work depending on the distribution you are running or the Gnome version.

An alternative solution is to use the Keyboard Modifier Status tool.

Launch Firefox and navigate to the Keyboard Modifiers Status extension page.

Similarly, toggle the On/Off option to activate the extension.

Once the extension is installed, you should have the key indicator enabled and available in the top bar for configuration.

Image 5

Wrapping Up

Needless to say, lock-keys and keyboard-modifier-status tools are extremely useful tools, especially for those whose keyboard does not have lock key lights. Plus, they are easy to install and use. Also check out these extensions that make your Gnome desktop easier to use.

John Wachira

John is a technical writer at MTE, when is not busy writing tech tutorials, he is staring at the screen trying to debug code.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox