Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a keyboard shortcut to access the gnome-shell messaging tray? E.g. For responding to incoming IM, etc.

share|improve this question
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Gnome 3.6 and up

This extension has not yet been updated for Gnome 3.6 But the functionality it provided for the message tray is now a built in feature of Gnome 3.6.

Gnome 3.4 and earlier

A GNOME extension has been developed to enable keyboard access to messaging tray.

You can, by default, use Super + M to display the messaging tray and Super + Space to activate the messaging tray. You can also configure the keyboard shortcut to your wish.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
This is good for showing the messaging tray, but I wish there were a way to access it interactively by keyboard. i.e. to emulate clicking on a notification. – Sparhawk Sep 24 '12 at 1:53
I'll try to check if there are any similar extensions that does it for you. – jokerdino Sep 24 '12 at 2:02
Ah, I've played around with it a bit more, and it seems that you can access the notifications if you catch them immediately (e.g. with super+space), but once they disappear back down into the tray, you can only see them (e.g. with super+m), but not activate them. – Sparhawk Sep 24 '12 at 2:03
So, if you can elongate the duration of the message appearing, you have your problem solved. Good luck :D – jokerdino Sep 24 '12 at 2:05
But that's not ideal either, as having the pop-up persistent obscures the bottom of my window. Oh well... I guess I'll spend the extra half second moving my hand to the mouse. Sigh. ;) – Sparhawk Sep 24 '12 at 2:13

This is a built in feature of Gnome 3.6's Message Tray.

You can customise the shortcut to open the tray, and then use arrow keys to navigate the various notifications.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.