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In 10.10 that I was using before 12.04, you could use Alt+F9 to minimize a window to the task bar.

In 12.04 Meta+Ctrl+/ maximizes and unmaximizes a window.
If you have a numeric keypad you can use Ctrl+Alt+0 to minimize to launcher.

On my netbook I don't have a numeric keypad and the normal numbers do not work with the above shortcut. How can I minimize windows with a keyboard shortcut?

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

Launch keyboard:
enter image description here
Shortcuts, windows, minimize window, click at the right of the bar as indicated
enter image description here
It will toggle to new accelerator. Just press CTL + ALT + 0 not the numpad zero.

Do note that the numpad zero shortcut will no longer work after you do this. Shortcuts now make a distinction between numpad numbers and across the top numbers, although it isn't noted as 'numpad0' in the keyboard wizard.

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I use a German keyboard and this deafult shortcut is the same, but not working. – king_julien Jun 29 '14 at 17:06

I prefer the standard way of doing it instead of fiddling around with adding customized hot keys:

  • Alt+Space then pressing N to Minimize
  • Alt+Space then pressing X to Maximize/Unmaximize

This also happens to be the default in Microsoft Windows.

This does seem to work the same way in Gnome 3.14 (15.04). There you can press Alt+Space Space to minimize a menu. Alt Tabbing back to it will maximize it automatically

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alt-space, x to maximize – RobotHumans Apr 18 '12 at 23:06

If you wish to continue to use Alt+F9 then you can. For unity* just set to it in system settings > keyboard > shortcuts > windows as seen in the screenshot in aking1012's answer

For gnome-shell you need to set in gsettings, either graphically in dconf-editor as in screen or thru gsettings

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings minimize "['<Alt>F9']"

enter image description here

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FWIW, in gnome-shell 3.4.1 the proper gsettings keybinding is "['<Alt>F9']" (without the + sign). – Dan O Aug 11 '12 at 14:44

If your keyboard has 'windows' key, also known as 'Super' in Ubuntu, you can minimize, maximize, left-restore or right-restore using the key combinations:

  • CtrlSuperUp arrow = Maximize or Restore (toggles)
  • CtrlSuperDown arrow = Restore then Minimize
  • CtrlSuperLeft arrow = Restore to left
  • CtrlSuperRight arrow = Restore to right
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