I'd like to know if its possible to disable the global hotkeys (Start and Alt) for Unity features while running applications in fullscreen under DOSBox.

If possible, it would be nice to disable them for all applications running fullscreen, but DOSbox is my specific use-case.

I'm otherwise completely happy with HUD and Dash.

The issue manifests as follows:

  1. Start DOSBox in fullscreen mode

  2. Hitting Alt-X (or whatever) is delivered to the game as appropriate, but if you hesitate or change your mind and just release alt you get flipped out of DOSBox fullscreen to display the HUD. This involves a change of screen resolution so is quite slow.

  3. Hit ESC to exit HUD and exhibit another screen-resolution change, which is rather frustrating.

  • I have found no way to stop the HUD from stealing my modifier key. You could always run dosbox in a separate X session, but that seems like overkill. This is not just a problem with DOSBox but with any app that want's me to press that modifier key. Games are a great example. – coteyr Nov 12 '12 at 15:58
  • @coteyr, if you look at my answer below, you'll see how you can get back your modifier key... sorta... its a workaround, but it works. If you don't use the HUD, you can just disable it altogether - which is what I've done. The HUD is a cool idea, but its still far from being anywhere near where I'd use it on a daily basis... lets wait for the apps to start supporting it properly! :) – hazrpg Dec 8 '12 at 21:47
  • @Greg, did any of these answers help you? – hazrpg Dec 24 '12 at 8:09
  • @hazrpg - changing the key-mappings isn't appropriate for me. Out of the box cuttlefish doesn't help, but it can be used to trigger any command on open/close of an application. I could use it to drive something if I could get a script that changes something in dconf/gconf or triggers dbus. – Greg Dec 26 '12 at 10:45

I found that the HUD (ALT) and Ubuntu Menu (SUPER) keys are very annoying for any application... so the way I fixed this was changed the keybinds to something a bit more appropriate for me. This might help you, so I'm going to outline how I did this:

First you need to install a program to manage Unity and other Compiz settings called "CompizConfig Settings Manager:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
  1. Run CompizConfig Setting Manager, by looking for it in the Dash (Ubuntu's Main Menu).
  2. Under the Desktop section, look for Ubuntu Unity Plugin, and click on it.
  3. Change the values you need. The button you need to press is next to the titles I give below:
    • Key to show the HUD - I disabled the HUD, but you could use: CTRL + ALT instead.
    • Key to show the Launcher - I changed this to CTRL + Super, however it shows ControlPrimarySuper - this is fine, since CTRL+Super still works as it should. Pick whatever you feel comfortable using.
  4. Click the Back key when your done. Please note changes above should change instantly.

The main reason I did this too, was because I like freeing up my Super key to be able to do other shortcuts. For example Super+T = Terminal, Super+g = Gedit, Super+c = Chrome, Super+PrtScn = grab section of the screen (for taking screenshots). If you want to set something like this... then the section is called "General" and the button to press is "Commands". Please leave "Command Line 0" as blank, I noticed mine has a key binding of Mod2Escape - and wasn't sure if this was important for anything, so I started from "Command Line 1".

Hope this helps you.


I don't have any experience with the application but based on its description you might try to work it out with Cuttlefish. "Cuttlefish is an event driven tool that will adapt the appearance and settings of your system according to the environment"

Install via the terminal with:

sudo apt-get install cuttlefish

or using the Software Center

Install via the software center

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