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I know I can change the HUD shortcut key by going into System Settings... > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Launchers > Key to show the HUD.

I need to do this from the command line, so I can put it in a postinstall script called from preseed.

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The following seems to work for me (on Ubuntu 12.04) to set the HUD key to Alt:

gconftool-2 --set "/apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options/show_hud" --type string "<Alt>"

I can replace "<Alt>" (the default) with the desired keystroke, e.g. "<Alt>x" (for Alt+X) or "<Control>" for Ctrl.

Note that if you have a different screen configuration (e.g. multiple monitors), the "screen0" in the above key name may need to be changed accordingly. To find the correct key name(s), do

gconftool-2 --recursive-list "/apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell"

and see where the show_hud key appears.

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