I'm trying to use xdotool to configure touchpad gestures on Ubuntu 18.04 with Gnome.

This works fine:

xdotool key ctrl+alt+Down

However this:

xdotool key ctrl+alt+Up 

does not change workspaces and instead seems to output some extra characters to the terminal.

as seen in this screenshot

I also attempted to use the serial values, and the keysym values output by the xev command and the behavior is identical.

  • Is this a Wayland session? – Justice for Monica Nov 29 '18 at 4:29
  • @DKBose I'm not on my machine, but it was my impression that 18.04 ships with xorg by default, and I have not changed it. I will confirm when I get home but I am on whatever is default for Ubuntu 18.04. – dlynch Nov 29 '18 at 23:25
  • 1
    @DKBose I can confirm that I am on X11. – dlynch Nov 30 '18 at 3:13
  • Okay! The reason I asked is that there is a Wayland option the user can choose at the time of logging in. xdotool works only partially in a Wayland session even with xwayland present :( – Justice for Monica Nov 30 '18 at 3:32
  • @DKBose Thanks for the help. I found a workaround that someone posted on the xdotool github page. It looks like its a known bug. – dlynch Nov 30 '18 at 22:07

I found some explanation to why this happens and somewhat of a workaround.

There are several issues on the xdotool github page that mention issues like this. Apparently it is caused by a misinterpretation of keyboard configuration due to the vast number of possible configurations that xdotool is not programmed to handle, or something like that.

There is somewhat of a workaround, and it has allowed me to program my gestures. The trick is to have xdotool type something directly after issuing the command, like this:

xdotool key ctrl+alt+Up && xdotool type :

The ":" is just an arbitrary character.

Doing so executes the workspace switch now! I'll leave this up in case anybody else stumbles upon this question with my same issue.

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