I can't get my shortcuts to work, among other things in 12.04.

Anyone else with this problem? I'm not very pleased with Ubuntu 12.04 so far. What a letdown!

  • What shortcuts? What happens when you tap super? Is your keyboard working?
    – Jjed
    May 2, 2012 at 1:41
  • Hold down the Super key to get a list of default shortcuts for 12.04. Perhaps some of them were changed when you upgraded/installed. Also note that there are a few bugs with 12.04 right now regarding shortcuts and certain shortcut actions , Super+W comes to mind. You can check current bugs at (bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/precise)
    – James
    May 2, 2012 at 2:41
  • 1
    Yeah, Super+W makes my computer spazz out lol When I hit super, the app menu thing shows up like normal. What I'm talking about specifically is getting Rhythmbox to jump to the next song. My keyboard doesn't have a "Next" button (only play/pause and volume), so I had assigned Super+N to be "Next" and Super+B to be "Previous" but that wouldn't work so I did Alt+N and Alt+B which works most of the time. It's working again after reboot, but it intermittently stops working. May 2, 2012 at 3:09
  • When I press and hold Super, the menu pops up as Jacob Johan Edwards said, but it doesn't show "Media" shortcuts on there anywhere. In any case, I got it working again, but only with a reboot and assigning the shortcut to something else, then BACK to Alt+B and Alt+N. I was disappointed that I couldn't keep my Super+N and Super+B shortcuts :( May 2, 2012 at 3:14
  • Assigning Super to user shortcuts seems to be broken in 12.04 right now.
    – James
    May 3, 2012 at 2:33

5 Answers 5


I finally managed to get my shortcuts back, including the ones with Super.

1) Map the Super key

In System Settings / Keyboard / Typing tab / Layout Settings link (at the bottom) / Layouts tab / Options button / "Alt/Win key behaviour", choose Meta is mapped to Left Win key.

2) Desktop Shortcuts (such as "Show Desktop")

a) install dconf-tools: sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

b) run dconf-editor, go to /org/gnome/desktop/wm/keybindings and change the values you want to change. I set my shortcuts like in Windows:

  • panel-run-dialog is the run command, I set it to ['<Super>R']
  • show-desktop is to show the desktop, I set it to ['<Super>M']

3) Other Shortcuts (such as "Launch Terminal")

a) In System Settings / Keyboard / Shortcuts tab / Custom Shortcuts, Add (with the '+' button) all the shortcuts you want and set their accelerator. If you want to use the Super key here, you should use the Super here but it won't work yet

b) run gconf-editor (with a 'g', not a 'd' like 2.a), go to /desktop/gnome/keybindings and for each shortcut that uses Super, change Super to Mod4

That's it!


Any custom keyboard shortcuts involving Super button don't work in 12.04. For example, when I set a key combination Super+L to lock the screen - it doesn't do it (although it shows this combination in the menu by the "Lock Screen" menu item).

This is a regression from 11.10, where these key combinations worked flawlessly...

  • Okay, I'm happy with using Alt instead of Super, I just have to relearn that muscle memory haha. No big deal.. May 2, 2012 at 4:20

To get my media keys (volume up, volume down etc.) working in Ubuntu 12.04, I had to run dconf-editor and go to org -> gnome -> settings-daemon -> plugins -> media-keys and check the "active" box.


A work-around for shortcuts to run commands is to use compiz's commands plugin. Using this plugin I was able to make my custom Super-shortcuts working again which did not work with the standard Keyboard -> Shortcuts system settings.

Still this solution does not seem to work for shortcuts used by Unity. For example it's not possible to override Super-T, which opens the trash even if it has been re-assigned to something else in the commands plugin. And I couldn't find a way to disable the default action as defined by Unity.


I don't think it works with Unity but I have a solution which works at least for those who use Gnome. If you still don't have dconf-tools install it. Open it and go to org -> gnome -> desktop -> wm -> keybindings. There you can edit all the desktop shortcuts

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