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How do I stop D from showing the Desktop?

When I RDP (xrdp) or VNC (built-in or x11vnc, client-side UltraVNC), pressing 'D' shows the desktop.

Please tell me how to remove this binding.

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I have had the exact same thing happen - curious to see the answer. – Jayson Rowe Sep 22 '11 at 19:12

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've had the same thing happen. Here's what I do to solve:

  • Go to System menu -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Under the Window Management catagory, select the entry for Hide all normal windows and set focus to the desktop and press the Backspace key to clear the entry
  • Restart the vncserver session

An alternative option is to use the command line within the session. Paste the following in the terminal:

gconftool-2 -t str -s /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/show_desktop ""
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As an alternative to the above answer, what I did in my remote session was edit the dconf for ubuntu 12.10 on the gnome-fallback ui.

open Applications\System Tools\dconf Editor

navigate to org\gnome\desktop\wm\keybindings

then change the show-desktop keybinding to [].

I then rebooted the machine, but you probably could just restart the service, and everything worked.

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Finally, someone talking about gnome-fallback! This problem is everywhere on askubuntu, but Jeremy's solution is one of the only ones that works with the fallback ui. [Edit: Worked for me on 13.04] – Eric Sep 15 '13 at 1:30
I was having a similar problem with the 's' key on gnome-flashback in 14.04. It opened the Applications menu, making the remote session completely unusable. In the same menu described above under the panel-main-menu keybinding. Getting rid of '<Super>s' from the default list ['<Super>s','<Alt>F1'] solved my problem. Not sure why just the 's' key alone would be interpreted as '<Super>s' by the system. – scottgwald Oct 3 '14 at 17:58

So I have seen the same question asked on 5 different stackexchange sites, and all the answers say to just remove the hotkey, which does work, but isn't the root of the problem (at least it wasn't for me). The real problem is that the windows super key is not mapped correctly, as is described here:

i3 ignores mod4 (windows key) when in VNC session

Basically just run these two commands

xmodmap -e "clear mod4"
xmodmap -e "add Mod4 = Super_L"

That should do it. Now the desktop should only be shown if you hold down the super (windows) key as well. The "d" key (and other keys with super shortcuts) should now work as expected.

You may need to replace Super_L with something else depending on your keyboard, check the link above for details.

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I had the problem with d showing the desktop and other single key issues. I found that I made a mistake in my ~/.vnc/xstartup. I had 2 window managers configured: startxfce4 & and x-window-manager &. After I removed the later, I no longer had the single key issues.

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