Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

Ubuntu

I am exploring keyboard shortcuts to improve workflow efficiency and happy to discover that Ubuntu's Unity desktop is configured very keyboard-friendly by default. Here are the Ubuntu/application key combos that I find most useful...

Launcher

Super
open Dash
Super(Hold)
display shortcuts
Super-Tab
switch between Launcher applications
Super-(1-9)
run application (1-9) on Launcher
Alt-F2
run command

Switching

Alt-Tab
switch between running apps
Control-Alt-Tab
switch between running apps from all workspaces
Super-S
show and select workspaces
Control-Alt-(Left,Right,Up,Down)
navigate between workspaces

Windows

Super-W
show windows in current workspace
Shift-Super-W
show windows in all workspaces
Control-Super-Up
maximize window
Control-Super-Down
minimize window
Alt-Space
open window menu
Alt-F4
close window

Applications

Firefox

Control-T
open new tab
Control-Tab
switch tab
Shift-Control-Tab
switch tab backwards
Control-W
close tab
Control-L
enter new address/search
F5
reload page

Gnome Terminal

Shift-Control-T
open new tab
Alt-(1-9)
switch to tab {1-9}
Shift-Control-W
close tab

Bash

Control-A
move to the start of the line
Control-E
move to the end of the line
Alt-B
move back one word
Alt-F
move forward one word
Control-W
erase a word
Control-U
erase a line
Control-L
clear screen
Control-R
reverse incremental search of history

Tmux

My tmux cheatsheet.

Gnome Screenshot

PrtScr
screenshot
Alt-PrtScr
window screenshot
Shift-PrtScr
selected area screenshot

Custom

Move windows between displays

At home I connect my Ubuntubook to an external 24" display to form a combined desktop across the 2 devices. I use Compiz to create a Control-Super-W key combo to move windows back and forth between displays:

$ sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra

Open the Dash and run compiz settings manager. Enable and select the Window Management -> Put plugin and configure a key shortcut for Put to Next Output.

Compiz Put Plugin Compiz Put to Next Output

Built-in screen (1366x768) and external display (1920x1080) form a combined desktop of different resolutions. Select Put -> Misc. Options -> Activate "Avoid Offscreen" to ensure maximized windows are properly resized when moved between displays.

Logout and back in to activate modifications.

Source: Move windows between monitors

Chromebook keyboard shortcuts

Top row on my Ubuntubook keyboard has a series of shortcut icons (brightness, volume, etc.) that identify in Linux as the F1-F10 keys and the Search key (in the CapsLk position) acts as Super (Windows) modifier key.

Enable these keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu by first installing:

  • xbindkeys - associate keys to shell commands
  • xbacklight - set backlight level using RandR
  • pulseaudio-utils - manage sound with pactl
  • xvkbd - send characters to another client
$ sudo apt-get install xbindkeys xbacklight pulseaudio-utils xvkbd

See Chromebook to (L)ubuntubook for a sample configuration.

Next thing is to start working on my touch-typing!

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