Adding anything to a compose file kills the entire compose key

It seems that modifying the /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose file, or the ~/.XCompose file actually kills the Compose key.
The second you try to add custom combinations to it, the compose key just stops working. You can’t use it anymore. When you remove the combinations, it goes back to normal. I can’t seem to find a reason for this to be so.
I can’t seem to use setxkbmap to replace fcitx if that’s the problem. So if it is, I might not be able to fix this.
What could be the problem and how would I fix it?


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Failed units:

A syntax error in the config can invalidate the whole file (it won’t just incorporate the valid parts). Paste what you have so far into the thread; perhaps someone from the community can help spot what the error is.

<dead_acute>             <Cyrillic_s>  : "с́"
<Multi_key> <acute>      <Cyrillic_s>  : "с́"
<Multi_key> <apostrophe> <Cyrillic_s>  : "с́"
<dead_acute>             <Cyrillic_S>  : "С́"
<Multi_key> <acute>      <Cyrillic_S>  : "С́"
<Multi_key> <apostrophe> <Cyrillic_S>  : "С́"
<dead_acute>             <Cyrillic_z>  : "з́"
<Multi_key> <acute>      <Cyrillic_z>  : "з́"
<Multi_key> <apostrophe> <Cyrillic_z>  : "з́"
<dead_acute>             <Cyrillic_Z>  : "З́"
<Multi_key> <acute>      <Cyrillic_Z>  : "З́"
<Multi_key> <apostrophe> <Cyrillic_Z>  : "З́"

I am not an expert, but as far as I can tell that looks fine. Be sure to restart the X input method after you modify ~/.XCompose by restarting your desktop session, or I believe you can restart it manually like this:

killall -HUP fcitx

Try starting with a really basic ~/.XCompose file, with only one line in it and see if it works. Then gradually add additional lines until you find whatever is causing it to break.

Even if you can’t replace fcitx, you should be able to use setxkbmap to explicitly set the Compose key. For example, to set the Compose key to right-Ctrl:

setxkbmap -option compose:rctrl

The second I put even a single one of the custom combinations I wanted to put in, it immediately killed the key. I have no idea why it hates those combinations so much.

And as for this, it seems that this does not work. Even if I tried to use this (which I have) it still doesn’t work…

And as for this reply from 4 days ago:

By custom combinations, I meant the compose combinations. Not the key combinations. If you got confused.

What editor are you using to modify the Compose file?

What is the output of locale?

X11 has a built-in list of valid Compose key sequences. In /usr/share/X11/locale/ is a list of directories which each have a Compose file in them. Open up the one for your locale and check that your custom sequences align with the format in this file.

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I used Kate, however I also tried Micro to see whether or not the editor was the problem. Using Micro also didn’t work.

When using locale I found out that it had actually reverted my changes. I had switched it back to en_US however going back to my previous snapshot had reverted it seemingly.


So I switched it back to en_US again.


Btw, I tried putting the combinations into the sr_RS compose key before too. That did absolutely nothing. Didn’t kill the key, but didn’t let me use the combinations either.
Hmm… maybe I have to restart to get the combos to work since I changed the locale?

Nope, the key is still dead.