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There are lots of posts on this about Unity, this is about gnome-shell

As with other posters, I use apps (Inkscape in particular) that uses Alt-Click and Alt-drag. Gnome-shell is grabbing this off me and thus disabling features in the application.

I have tried

  • using ccsm's Move plugin - you can turn this off and you still get Alt-drag window moving.

  • using gconf editor to change /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier - this has no effect AFAICS.

It's really hindering me. Otherwise I find gnome-shell a really productive environment.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 40 down vote accepted

First of all, install dconf-tools Install dconf-tools.

To do that, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Then open it, Alt+F2dconf-editor.

Scroll down to orggnomedesktopwmpreferencesmouse-button-modifier → Set it to whichever key you like.

enter image description here

Or, equivalently,

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences mouse-button-modifier "<Super>"

in the terminal. (This requires neither dconf-editor, nor dconf-tools Install dconf-tools)

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Warning! Setting it to nothing means that all clicks move windows, instead of disabling it! –  Andrea Oct 28 '13 at 21:15
This setting seems to reset for me each time I restart. Anyone know why? I suppose I could just add the command line to my Startup applications however. –  Michael Butler Dec 3 '13 at 5:07
I tried the dconf-editor method, but nothing seems to have happened. <ALT> is still my modifier key. I have tried "['<Control><Alt>']" (following the syntax of the keybindings options) and "<Control><Alt>". Do I need to restart in order for this to take effect? –  Gordon Bean Aug 11 '14 at 17:04

To resolve the Alt+Click move window dragging problem:

sudo gconftool-2 --set /org/gnome/desktop/wm/preferences/mouse-button-modifier --type string '<Super>'

Does the same thing, really, just with a different config tool, and less hunt-and-click.

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gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences mouse-button-modifier "<Super>" for dconf. –  ulidtko Jun 24 '13 at 21:51

I set "Alt + Super" like a temporary solution. So I can use Alt button in Inkscape and Super for activities.

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what do you mean by "activities"? I have changed Alt to Super and it works fine for me. I did not notice any side effects. Why would you need Alt + Super? –  faizal Oct 20 '14 at 8:25
wiki.gnome.org/Projects/GnomeShell/Tour#Activities_Overview If you set "Super" for moving windows you can't use it for show "Activities Overview". Look at posting time, it was two years ago. –  KEIII Oct 20 '14 at 11:58

Go to System Settings Select Keyboard On the bottom left click on 'Layout Settings' Select you language and click the 'Options' button on the lower right Select 'Alt/Win key behavior' Change it to the one you like. I use 'Left Alt is swapped with Left Win'

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For Fluxbox 1.3.5 (circa 2013), you do this:

Modify your ~/.fluxbox/keys file. Here is the line:

# alt + left/right click to move/resize a window
OnWindow Mod1 Mouse1 :MacroCmd {Raise} {Focus} {StartMoving}

Simply comment out that line or change it.

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