Compiz and Gnome have many keyboard shortcuts. Examples are Ctrl+Alt+L for locking the session or Ctrl+Alt+Arrows for switching workspaces. Often they overwrite shortcuts in applications. It would be nice to have a way to temporarily disable these system shortcuts to make way for application shortcuts. Best thing would be to have a shortcut for doing so. :)

Any solutions, ideas?


To disable compiz temporarily, replace it with metacity, that's the other window manager/decorator.

Alt+F2, and run metacity --replace

To restore compiz, run compiz --replace

Of course, after logging off and in, or rebooting your computer, compiz will be used as the window manager (since this command disables it temporarily).

I use it quite often, so I've even bound it to a launcher in the gnome panel.

  • For anyone runnint those commands in the terminal, you should follow the command by an & ...see [askubuntu.com/questions/12682/…)
    – Peter.O
    Dec 14 '10 at 17:20
  • This is a rather bold way of disabling the compiz shortcuts. Still, some (like ctrl+alt+arrows) remain active. Still, the switch is quick and it doesn't need any prerequisites.
    – ziggystar
    Dec 15 '10 at 13:40

Here is an example of how to disable and enable individual shortcut-keys in Compiz:

Assign these two commands to hotkeys, or just run them in the terminal (either asis, or in scripts).

You can setup your shortcut-keys via "Keyboard Shortcuts" in the Preferences Menu... (I use xbindkeys.. It has finer control over wihch keys you can use. eg Numlock on/off makes a difference.)

Turn enable the shortcut-key for: Zoom Specific Level 1:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/compiz/plugins/ezoom/allscreens/options/zoom_specific_1_key --type string "<Shift><Control>Return"  

Turn disable the shortcut-key for: Zoom Specific Level 1:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/compiz/plugins/ezoom/allscreens/options/zoom_specific_1_key --type string "Disabled"  

If there are many hotkeys, just make two scripts: one for on, and the other for off

You can find all the Compiz keys in Gconf Editor: `gconf-editorenter code here

  • This looks like a very promising solution. I will try this. Maybe you know a (semi) automatic way to extract the current settings into the script? Or at least a file where I can read them without having to browse through the compiz setting manager.
    – ziggystar
    Dec 15 '10 at 13:41
  • Actually it works and solves all my problems in a very customizable way. Thank you!
    – ziggystar
    Dec 15 '10 at 14:12
  • @ziggystar... You're welcome... To list all keys and values: gconftool-2 --recursive-list /apps/compiz ... to get more info: info gconftool-2
    – Peter.O
    Dec 15 '10 at 14:53

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