Is there anyway to open up the applications menu with only the windows key, and not the Windows+Space Bar?

  • Please select this bug affects you: bugs.launchpad.net/switchboard-plug-keyboard/+bug/1333015
    – png2378
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 21:14
  • 1
    I usually use spotlight to launch application faster, webupd8.org/2015/01/albert-fast-lightweight-quick-launcher.html Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 6:27
  • I really like this but it was causing Firefox several issue. It was very irritating because at first I didn't realize this tweak was causing it. I just thought the new Elementary was buggy with Firefox, or visa versa. After extensive testing and troubleshooting, I finally realized that maybe this shortcut tweak may have cause it. After finding out the command to disable it, all issues with Firefox went away. - Issue 1. Scrolling wheel on my mouse would zoom in/out about 50% of the time. - Issue 2. Right clicking on highlighted text would select-all text on page. - Issue 3. Right clicking menu Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 21:51

3 Answers 3


You can assign Super key to open Slingshot-launcher on Loki with following commands:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter overlay-key "'Super_L'"
gsettings set org.pantheon.desktop.gala.behavior overlay-action "'wingpanel --toggle-indicator=app-launcher'"
  • how can I undo this? I cannot use any shortcut with combination of winkey now (found it myself : dconf reset /org/gnome/desktop/wm/keybindings/panel-main-menu )
    – Sadegh
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 18:16
  • 3
    @Woeitg You can reset this with gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings panel-main-menu
    – Aki K
    Commented Mar 6, 2016 at 19:17
  • I tried on 0.3.2. The shortcut worked, but when the panel menu is up and I switch to another workspace, (not the one w/ panel menu up) then I cannot use <super>+Num to switch any other workspaces. (I guess I just cannot use any combination with <super> as modifier)
    – Xin
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 18:13
  • You deserve a cookie @png2378
    – Bent
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 13:20
  • I see no reason why this isn't the default behavior. Is there an issue tracker for this?
    – Jonathan
    Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 0:18

This currently can be configured from System Settings -> Keyboard like

enter image description here

  • 1
    this should be higher up, this is exactly what OP needed Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 5:04
  • This is the right answer. Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 11:48
  • Indeed - this is the correct answer.
    – simonescu
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 8:28

You can't do that through the custom shortcuts that you can set via Switchboard, which only allow combinations of 2 or more keystrokes.

I believe it is possible using xbindkeys, though. To install it (along with a GUI configurator) paste this command into a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install xbindkeys-config

In order to run, the program needs a config file in your home directory. Create it with this command:

xbindkeys --defaults > /home/YOURUSERNAME/.xbindkeysrc

Now run the program by typing xbindkeys-config into the terminal or in the search string of the application launcher. This window will fire up:

enter image description here

Hit "New" to create your custom command. On the top right box you must type in all relevant information: a name for the shortcut, the key assigned to it, and the command to execute the program (in your case slingshot-launcher). To get the name of the correct key use the "Get Key" button. A blank window will pop up. Just press your key and the program will automatically record its name code. Hit "Save & Apply & Exit" and you're done.

Now the bad news: in my test I couldn't assign the Super key. I'm afraid it is already binded to other shortcuts, but I couldn't troubleshoot the issue. I was able to assign a "less-used" key, though, like the "Pause" key.

Note. To make this setup permanent you need to add xbindkeys to your startup applications.

  • This post is a super long comment to saintjules' response. This is a post, not a comment, because I cannot comment yet. You can assign the meta (super, windows logo, command, Mod4) key to slingshot-launcher. Here's how: 1. Assuming you have completed saintjules' response, open a terminal. Type xmodmap -pke | grep '= Super_L NoSymbol Super_L'. 2. Make note of the keycode number. 3. Run xbindkeys-config. 4. Create the item according to saintjules' response, but in the "Key: " field, type Super_L | c:your_keycode_number. For me, this would be Super_L | c:133. Now you should be able to pre
    – Merlin04
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 15:56
  • "... press meta to open the launcher."
    – Lewis Goddard
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 20:03
  • Good catch, Merlin04! It's not clear if you can post answers or not, so I'll ask the mods: should I just edit my answer? Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 13:53

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