Adding flags to Gnome keyboard layout switch

One of the little things that has been bugging me for a few years now is the Gnome keyboard layout switch.  I am using two layouts – English and Russian – and instead of having two nice flags, like in KDE, I had to live with ‘USA’ and ‘RUS’ letters in my task bar.  Not that big of a problem, but annoying.  Icons are much easier and faster to understand than text.  And all the other things in my task bar are graphical, so the text stands out too much.

Today I finally decided to do something about.  Thanks to this forum post I had a solution in hand which almost worked.  The steps were:

  1. Download en.png and ru.png icons into ~/.icons/flags/ folder.
  2. Run gconf-editor.
  3. Change the value of /desktop/gnome/peripherals/keyboard/indicator/showFlags to true.

The only thing that went wrong for me were the actual images.  Gnome scaled them to 24×24 pixels and they looked rater ugly.  So I created my own icons using Gimp.  I created a new image 24×24 pixels with transparent background and then dropped in the center of it the flag icon that I got from the FamFamFam icon set.  Saved the results back into the ~/.icons/flags/ folder and vuala!

One thought on “Adding flags to Gnome keyboard layout switch”

Leave a Comment