I've installed Ubuntu 12.04 as a VMWare Virtual Machine. I like to switch between my Workspaces using the Ctrl+Alt+ArrowKeys but it doesn't work. It works on my other system with the "Proper" install.

This is a problem with only the Left and Right keys. It works fine for Up and Down.

  • Are you using the left control key?
    – nanofarad
    Dec 5, 2012 at 20:27
  • Yes. Tried the Right one as well.
    – Sheharyar
    Dec 6, 2012 at 11:22

3 Answers 3


Found it! It seems that VMWare uses the keys Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right, So there are two things you can do:

1. Change VMWare's Default keys - Go to VMWare > Edit > Preferences > Hot Keys and select some other combination

2. Change Ubuntu's Shortcut - Go to System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Navigation and select some other combination for Switch to Workspace Left/Right

  • According to the help text in the VMWare settings dialog, you can also use Ctrl-Alt-Space Ctrl-Alt-Left to send Ctrl-Alt-Left to the guest. Jul 1, 2015 at 14:31

VM itself uses Ctrl+Alt for commands such as "Ctrl +_ Alt + Insert" is the same as Ctrl + Alt + Del" on your computer, you use the insert because that does the del command only in the VM where if you hit C+A+D it will bring you to the screen on your host comp not in the VM. so things like that may not work entirely running it in a VM.

Now that i read that it may be confusing so let me know if it is.

  • Hmmm... So it is because of VMWare. Thanks. Looking for a solution now...
    – Sheharyar
    Dec 6, 2012 at 11:19

This question is old but today I was dealing with this same issue so my two cents here.What has worked in my case with VMWare Fusion 6 is:

  1. Open VMWare Fusion's Preferences (CMD+,)
  2. Select Keyboard & Mouse Tab
  3. Uncheck "Enable Mac OS Host Keyboard Shortcuts"

This way I have native shortcuts and if I require to use Mission Control I can accomplish that holding at the same time CTRL+CMD.

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