I would like to set a shortcut for the Run-Command in Kubuntu 12.04, where the shortcut key would be the Win key (aka Meta).

The Global Keyboard Shortcut settings however does not allow me to use the Meta key alone, but rather in combination with some other key.

As a keyboard-power-user, I find this frustrating: I want to open-search as fast as possible and the Win key is a perfect candidate, which I used to use with Gnome or XFCE.

Is there a possibility to override this rule preventing me from using the Meta key alone as a shortcut key?

  • I think this has been asked already. And the only solution they found was to make the Meta key something different, which would make it impossible to use in key combinations. Aug 18, 2012 at 17:38
  • Let me see if I can find that question you mentioned. PS: I wouldn't mind being able to set the shorcut on the Menu key as an alternative. Aug 18, 2012 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


Meta key can't be used as a shortcut alone, because Qt, and therefore KDE, uses it only as a modifier.

But you can set it to some two-key shortcut that you like. Go to Global Keyboard Shortcuts – KDE Control Module, look for something like KRunner or Command Run Interface in KDE component and change the Alt+F2 keyboard shortcut to something like Meta+Space.

And if you really want to have it mapped to just the Meta key, I found a solution in this article. It suggests to remap the Meta key to some other key like F13.
Just add the line xmodmap -e 'keycode 133 = F13' to your autostart script. Then you should run the same line in a terminal or just relogin for it to take effect.
If you want to do it with different keys, use xev | grep keycode, press the keys and look at the output.

Then change the shortcut as usual, and when you press the Meta key, it will show up as F13. Note that F13 won't work as a modifier key, so you can't make key combinations with it, and also some applications might need to use the Meta key itself, so that won't work too.

  • Thanks. The first half of the answer does not help because I am looking for a shorcut to Run-Command, not to Kickoff-Menu and with the Meta key only, not a combo. The second half is really interesting however and I am asking myself whether I could map the Meta-key to something more useful than F13, like the Menu-key or inversely, map the Menu to F13, so I could use the Menu-key to launch the Run-Command. Aug 18, 2012 at 19:06
  • @Benjamin I've updated the answer. I don't know what your Menu key is, but it might just work without any tricks (like in the first part of the answer). Aug 18, 2012 at 19:27
  • OK I confirm the second part is the solution. I have mapped the Menu-key (Menu-key is between Right-Alt and Right-Ctrl) to behave as F13 and use it to launch Run-Command (it seemed wiser than re-mapping the Win-key, because much more shorcuts use it). I suggest you copy the answer from the link your provided over here, in case it ever becomes a dead link and it might get you extra up-votes too. Aug 18, 2012 at 19:32
  • 1
    @Benjamin That article is too verbose; I made a summary of the most important things there. Aug 18, 2012 at 19:43
  • Where is the auto-start script? I added a .sh file to the ~/.Kde/Autostart folder as per the article. Aug 19, 2012 at 6:27

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