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How do I open the application launcher ("start menu") of Kubuntu with my Windows key? Similar to how the Start menu in Windows is opened. I don't want to use Alt+F1.

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Why is this being voted for closing? – Eric Carvalho Jan 24 '13 at 13:29
@EricCarvalho No idea, it's clearly on-topic here. Maybe someone voted by accident? I've just voted 'leave open' in the review. – Tom Brossman Jan 24 '13 at 14:40
you can also use this – Mahdi Apr 20 '15 at 5:09
up vote 22 down vote accepted

About modifier keys

Modifier keys like Ctrl, Alt and also the Meta (also called "Super" or "Windows" key, are meant to operate only as modifier keys. This design works its way down to the roots of all the libraries under the GUI you see using KDE: Qt, Xorg, etc.

Your exact question is here on the KDE Forums by the way: Super key to load Application Menu.


It seems however, that there's a large audience for this feature. So, in case you really want this to work, you could try the ksuperkey package (available here) which contains all you need:

ksuperkey allows you to open the application launcher in KDE Plasma Desktop using the Super key (also known as the 'Windows key'). Unlike other solutions, it will not affect your current keyboard shortcuts, as the Super key will still act as a modifier when held down.

ksuperkey is a fork of xcape (, most of the work was done by the original author Albin Olsson.

For easy installation, install the package available as a download at the bottom of the page. Package appears to be removed from the page.

Now let's hope this will be available in Ubuntu soon. Feel free to create a bug report (feature request) for Ubuntu to get this packaged up!

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Thank you very much! Wow it was soo easy with Ubuntu. I appreciate it! – sushi2141 Jan 25 '13 at 0:47
Is there a way to assign this to a hot corner, like in gnome-shell? – user267814 Apr 11 '14 at 11:56
@Karsta Make that a new question! :) – gertvdijk Apr 11 '14 at 12:34
There is no debian package available, so the link you provided is partly outdated (as you said packages are available there). – RolandiXor Apr 27 '14 at 5:43
@RolandiXor Looks like the package is removed indeed. – gertvdijk Apr 27 '14 at 19:11

simple workaround without loosing meta: meta + z (u.s. layout)

can be hit with just one finger at one

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Simple and effective!!! – diosney Nov 5 '15 at 22:12
I like this workaround since with ksuperkey there is a lag when closing the menu by tapping Super twice. – diosney Nov 5 '15 at 22:12

It doesn't do exactly what you are asking for, but ALT-Space opens a search box with which you can launch basically the stuff you could select from the Application Launcher.

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Was exactly what I was looking for and I didnt even know. – Vasspilka Oct 23 '15 at 13:18

This soultion worked for me

sudo apt-get install git gcc make libx11-dev libxtst-dev pkg-config
git clone
cd ksuperkey

then make it to start every-time your computer boots up.


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While the accepted answer may have worked a few years ago, ksuperkey does not seem to work on Kubuntu 15.10, when installed from PPA. I have no doubt ksuperkey is a better solution, but I ended up following the link in gertvdjik's answer and using this solution, which works absolutely fine. Posting here for future googlers who had the same trouble as I did.

For brevity;

NOTICE: YOU WILL LOSE THE META KEY - so you might want to map it somewhere else.

Run xev | grep keycode press the meta key and watch the output (the code is likely 115)

then add an entry to your Xmodmap configuration:

cat "keycode 115 = F13" > ~/.Xmodmap

"xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap" will change the keysym to F13 (not present on most keyboards ;-) and you can use it like any regular key.

If your distro does (probably) not invoke ~/.Xmodmap by default, add a short script to ~/.kde/share/autostart/
#!/bin/sh xmodmap $HOME/.Xmodmap

and make it executable chmod +x ~/.kde/share/autostart/

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I receive this error : cat: keycode 115 = F13: No such file or directory – Woeitg Feb 4 at 12:25
@Woeistg You might try replacing that line with echo "keycode 115 = F13" >> ~/.Xmodmap, the important thing is that the ~/.Xmodmap file contain that line. If that works for you i can edit the post. – Knetic Feb 4 at 19:09

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