So I added the following command into my lubuntu-rc.xml document:

alias pbpaste='xclip -selection clipboard -o';vlc -vvv $(pbpaste)

and whenever I try to do the shortcut C-l-c, nothing happens.

Is there a specific way commands have to be done in this XML file to work?

This is my XML entry:

<keybind key="C-l-c">
      <action name="Execute">
        <command>alias pbpaste='xclip -selection clipboard -o;vlc -vvv $(pbpaste)</command>

  • • Please show us the exact part of your lubuntu-rc.xml. In other words, please post the relevant <keybind> … </keybind>. • Keep in mind that not all characters work in <command> … </command>. You may need to escape some characters: see here for hints. • Sometimes, it maybe better to write a script and then assign a shortcut to that script. • BTW, what is C-l-c?
    – DK Bose
    Sep 20, 2019 at 9:12
  • @DKBose This is my XML entry as it is right now Sep 20, 2019 at 10:27
  • Did the answer I provided below work for you?
    – DK Bose
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


This works for me on Lubuntu 18.04:

<keybind key="C-W-C">        # my vlc
  <action name="Execute">
    <command>sh -c 'vlc -vvv "$(xclip -o)"'</command>

Remember to run openbox --reconfigure after saving your edits to lubuntu-rc.xml.

If you have any output from openbox --reconfigure, you'll need to fix the issues mentioned.

Edit: You normally1 can't have shortcuts with two non-modifier keys. Common modifier keys are C (for Control), A (for Alt), S (for Shift) and W (for Windows aka Super).

1 See https://web.archive.org/web/20190815101235/http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Bindings for more:

Key combination

KEY-COMBINATION is the key combination which you want to bind to the actions. The format for the KEY-COMBINATION is: Modifier-Modifier-Key. Any number of modifiers (0 or more) can be used together, and they are each separated by a "-". Multiple KEY-COMBINATION can be specified in one keybind by separating them with spaces. This is useful if you use multiple keybinds for a thing that is quite complicated to specify.

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