Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Fix Keyboard Input Lag in Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu 20

Keyboard input lag can be a frustrating issue for Ubuntu 18.04 users. This article provides several potential solutions to this problem, ranging from checking system settings to modifying software configurations.

Understanding the Problem

Keyboard input lag refers to a delay between when you press a key and when the input appears on the screen. This can be particularly problematic when typing or gaming, where responsiveness is crucial.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Slow Keys Feature

One potential cause of keyboard input lag is the Slow Keys feature. This feature is designed to help users who have difficulty pressing keys quickly. However, if enabled unintentionally, it can cause input lag.

To check if Slow Keys is enabled, navigate to Settings > Universal Access > Typing. If Slow Keys is turned on, toggle it off and check if the lag disappears.

USB3 Problem

If your keyboard is connected via a USB3 port, it could be causing the lag. Errors such as “xHCI host controller not responding, assume dead” in the system log can indicate this issue.

To address this, you could try using an older kernel version, such as 4.13.0-39-generic. Alternatively, moving the USB receiver away from potentially interfering devices might help.

Orca Screen Reader

The Orca screen reader, if enabled, can cause additional work for GUI controls, resulting in lag. To disable Orca, open a terminal and type the following command:

killall orca

This command will kill the Orca process. To prevent it from starting up automatically, navigate to Settings > Applications > Startup and remove Orca from the list.

Switch to Wayland

Switching to the Wayland display server may solve the keyboard input lag issue. To do this, log out of your current session. At the login screen, click the gear icon next to the sign-in button and select “Ubuntu on Wayland”.

Power Source

Low battery power or an unstable power source can cause keyboard lag. Ensure your device is plugged into a reliable power source or has sufficient battery power.

Discord Hardware Acceleration

If you use Discord, disabling hardware acceleration in its settings may help. To do this, open Discord and navigate to User Settings > Appearance > Advanced. Uncheck the “Hardware Acceleration” option.

Universal Access Settings

Check your Universal Access settings. Navigate to Settings > Universal Access > Typing. Ensure all items except “Repeat Keys” are set to “Off” or “Default”.

Conclusion

While these solutions may not work for everyone, they cover the most common causes of keyboard input lag in Ubuntu 18.04. If none of these solutions resolve the issue, it may be necessary to seek assistance from the Ubuntu community or support channels. Remember, the key to resolving any technical issue is patience and a methodical approach to troubleshooting.

How do I check if Slow Keys is enabled?

To check if Slow Keys is enabled, navigate to Settings > Universal Access > Typing and see if the Slow Keys toggle is turned on.

How can I address the USB3 problem causing keyboard input lag?

You can try using an older kernel version, such as 4.13.0-39-generic, or moving the USB receiver away from potentially interfering devices.

How do I disable the Orca screen reader?

Open a terminal and type the command killall orca to disable the Orca process. To prevent it from starting up automatically, navigate to Settings > Applications > Startup and remove Orca from the list.

How can I switch to the Wayland display server?

Log out of your current session, and at the login screen, click the gear icon next to the sign-in button. Then, select "Ubuntu on Wayland" to switch to the Wayland display server.

What can I do if my keyboard lag is caused by low battery power?

Ensure your device is plugged into a reliable power source or has sufficient battery power to prevent keyboard lag.

How can I disable hardware acceleration in Discord?

Open Discord, go to User Settings > Appearance > Advanced, and uncheck the "Hardware Acceleration" option.

What Universal Access settings should I check?

Navigate to Settings > Universal Access > Typing and ensure all items except "Repeat Keys" are set to "Off" or "Default".

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