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

Different keyboards come with different special keys. For example mine has a key for bringing up the calculator, another for putting the to sleep, another for opening email client and so on...

My question is, how can I change what these keys do? For instance I want my email key (since I never use it) perform as the Next key on my music player?

share|improve this question
Have you tried keyboard shortcuts under system settings? – Mitch Jun 2 '12 at 17:28
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In your special case go to System SettingsKeyboardShortcutsSound and Media. Click onto "Next track ... Audio next" and press your email key:

edit shortcuts

This is the right place for connecting keys or key combinations with actions; it is possible to set up custom commands, too.

If you wish to configure several keys on your keyboard, go to System Settings and check out Keyboard LayoutOptions. There you can edit the Caps Lock behaviour, for example:

keyboard layout

share|improve this answer

You can do this manually through configuration files, or you can use KeyTouch, which has profiles for different keyboard models and allows you to change the functions of special keys on those models. It was in the software centre last time I checked.

share|improve this answer

you can change behavior of any key using AutoKey.

more info and guide can be found here and here in my answer.

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.