I had the same problem. Here's what the command looked like in HOME/.xbindkeysrc:
xte 'keydown Control_L' 'key F1' 'keyup Control_L'
Note: The xbindkeysrc file was created with command :
xbindkeys --defaults > $HOME/.xbindkeysrc
(And this is obviously after installing xautomation.) I also changed the command in Gnome from Alt+F1 to Ctrl+F1 - just to see if that made a difference. It did, but only after installing and running Easystroke. I also changed the ALT/WIN to "Meta is Mapped to Left Win" based on some other posts but this didn't help. So:
After installing easystroke and starting it, the Ctrl+F1 combination worked (somehow, easystroke reset something that allowed xbindkeys to work, even though I assigned no actions in easystroke). If I turned off easystroke, xbindkeys also stopped working.
After installing easystroke and starting it, the Alt+F1 combination did not work (I obviously changed the keyboard combination back to ALT+F1). So, there's possibly some weirdness surrounding XTE, Gnome Shell and the Alt key?
I installed easystroke:
sudo apt-get install easystroke
Then Alt+F2 and typed in easystroke.
- Adding the action in easystroke (assigned to Alt+F1) and turning off xbindkeys works.
So, if you're an average user like me, don't use xbindkeys in Gnome Shell (there are some weird bugs or conflicts going on), use easystroke. Easystroke just works. Remember to add easystroke to your startup applications.