How do I open the application launcher ("start menu") of Kubuntu with my Windows key? Similar to how the Start menu in Windows is opened. I don't want to use Alt+F1.
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Modifier keys like Ctrl, Alt and also the Meta (also called "Super" or "Windows" key, are meant to operate only as modifier keys. This design works its way down to the roots of all the libraries under the GUI you see using KDE: Qt, Xorg, etc.
Your exact question is here on the KDE Forums by the way: Super key to load Application Menu.
It seems however, that there's a large audience for this feature. So, in case you really want this to work, you could try the
ksuperkey package, which contains all you need:
ksuperkey allows you to open the application launcher in KDE Plasma < 5.8 using the Super key (also known as the "Windows key"). If you hold down the Super key it will still act as a modifier key, allowing you to use it for other keyboard shortcuts.
ksuperkey is a small application that runs in the background as a daemon. It was forked from xcape by Albin Olsson: https://github.com/alols/xcape
ksuperkey can be installed from this PPA.
Note that KDE Plasma 5.8 and above will support this feature by default.
It doesn't do exactly what you are asking for, but ALT-Space opens a search box with which you can launch basically the stuff you could select from the Application Launcher.
simple workaround without loosing meta: meta + z (u.s. layout)
can be hit with just one finger at one
I'm on Plasma 5.8.5 and I can enable this feature by going to System Settings -> Input Devices -> Keyboard -> Advanced -> The third checkbox should be "Alt/Win key behavior" -> Choose "Meta is mapped to Win keys" -> Apply
You are all set :)
While the accepted answer may have worked a few years ago,
ksuperkey does not seem to work on Kubuntu 15.10, when installed from PPA. I have no doubt ksuperkey is a better solution, but I ended up following the link in gertvdjik's answer and using this solution, which works absolutely fine. Posting here for future googlers who had the same trouble as I did.
NOTICE: YOU WILL LOSE THE META KEY - so you might want to map it somewhere else.
xev | grep keycodepress the meta key and watch the output (the code is likely 115)
then add an entry to your Xmodmap configuration:
cat "keycode 115 = F13" > ~/.Xmodmap
"xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap" will change the keysym to F13 (not present on most keyboards ;-) and you can use it like any regular key.
If your distro does (probably) not invoke ~/.Xmodmap by default, add a short script to
xmodmap.sh: #!/bin/sh xmodmap $HOME/.Xmodmap
and make it executable
chmod +x ~/.kde/share/autostart/xmodmap.sh
This soultion worked for me
sudo apt-get install git gcc make libx11-dev libxtst-dev pkg-config git clone https://github.com/hanschen/ksuperkey.git cd ksuperkey make ./ksuperkey
then make it to start every-time your computer boots up.