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I need some short cuts to launch applications, as opening them from the dash takes time. Is it possible to launch applications from a custom key combination?

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  • 2
    Pressing Super + a number key will open the application at that position in the dock. Hold Super and you will see this.
    – njallam
    Aug 25, 2012 at 13:53
  • Yes, but it works for only for application in Unity. I want to know about other rarely using applications like artha, system monitor. I don't want them to be in unity bar always
    – Abhishek
    Aug 25, 2012 at 14:03
  • I'm writing a solution now.
    – njallam
    Aug 25, 2012 at 14:03

2 Answers 2

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Pressing Super + a number key will open the application that is at that position in the dock.

TIP: You can find this out as well as lots of other keyboard shortcuts by pressing Super.


If you would like keyboard shortcuts for applications that are not in the dock, or would like a custom key combination that doesn't involve the Super key, then follow the following instructions:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Choose Keyboard.
  3. Go to the Shortcuts tab.
  4. Choose Custom Shortcuts from the left (it's at the bottom of the list).
  5. Click the + button at the bottom of the window.
  6. In Name, type a name for the shortcut. E.g. "Open Firefox".
  7. In Command, type the command you want it to execute. (For a program it is likely to be the program name in lowercase. Mozilla Firefox is "firefox".)
  8. Click Apply
  9. Find your new entry in the list (the large box).
  10. Where it says "Disabled" click your mouse.
  11. Press the key combination you want it to be assigned to on your keyboard.

To change your key combination, just go the the Shortcuts section of Keyboard and click on the key combination it is currently assigned to, next to it's entry.

To remove your key combination, click it (not the shortcut, the name) and press the - button, next to the + button.

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  • Any idea why super with number keys would not work as you described? For me super will open a search for applications and not show any shortcuts. Similarly super + a number does not start the corresponding application.
    – Kvothe
    Jul 4, 2018 at 14:11
  • In 18.04, the shortcuts are in Settings -> Devices -> Keyboard.
    – Jaydin
    Oct 9, 2020 at 5:15
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You can create keyboard shortcuts(key bindings) to jump to your preferred apps quickly using jumpapp.

What's nice about jumpapp is that it opens that app if it is not open already.

jumpapp takes advantage of the fact that Ubuntu allows you to create custom shortcuts for any terminal command at Settings > Keyboard > View and Customize Shortcuts.

note : Because jumpapp works best with X11 window manager, you will need to switch from Wayland(default window manager) to X11 window manager using instructions here or here

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