Ubuntu Touch Onscreen Keyboard QML hack for transparency

DISCLAIMER:Apparently this is already being addressed as a resolution to a bug/feature report I filed at:

So by the time you are reading this, might already be obsolete, hopefully ;)

All started with me being frustrated when the onscreen keyboard on my Ubuntu Touch phone overlapped the portion of the window that I was typing text into, so I could not see what I was typing. I quickly shared my complaint online along with a conceptual transparent maliit keyboard, which was just a retouched photo:

Well, very soon after help came from a Google Plus user who
 +Kugi Javacookies helped me with QML, because I'm not familiar at all with QML, never used it. This hack is very simple if you don't mind using command line, as it only requires editing one file:
on your phone, using editor you like. I used mcedit, because I think it is the most user friendly terminal mode editor. You can use vi, or nano. Also, you can download the file to your desktop, edit with gedit or geany and the re-upload new version.
Remember that the mentioned qml file is inside read-only portion of the filesystem, so:
#to make filesystem writable:
sudo mount -o remount,rw /
#to make it read-only again (after you finish the hack):
sudo mount -o remount,ro /

OK, so let's edit the file! Inside the file you want to find canvas element:
Then add opacity, I used 0.5 (50%) you oculd use something else, the screen at the top of this post is at opacity set to 0.35 (35%):

After this file is edited, and after it replaces the original qml file on the phone, you need to restart maliit for changes to take effect. I used to reboot the phone, but apparently it is enough to just (thanks to 
+Kugi Javacookies):

#restart maliit:
pkill maliit

Enjoy and spread the news! But really hope that in the future versions of Ubuntu Touch this could become a feature, a configurable setting, not a manual hack.


  1. Also, if you're having trouble with text cursor scrolling. The little hack I did might help :)

    Fun Fact: maliit means small in our language :D


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