I use a good deal of the default Ubuntu shortcuts as shortcuts in Emacs (Alt-Space is the most important). I obviously have disabled these shortcuts in the keyboard shortcuts dialog, but for whatever reason, they sometimes "come back", generally after I've installed/uninstalled certain packages, or upgraded Ubuntu.

My question therefore is: how do I keep these shortcuts disabled? I don't want shortcuts like Alt-Space restored for any reason.

  • No one? :( I did a software update (no new installed packages) and again Alt-Space as well Ctrl-Alt-Arrows have reappeared. So annoying. Feb 4, 2013 at 9:16
  • Agreed! Maybe you can add something to your login script.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Feb 7, 2013 at 18:32
  • That is one of the reasons that I use fluxbox as my window manager. There, the keyboard shortcuts can be edited in a text file and moved around different machines.
    – rvf0068
    Feb 7, 2013 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


There are several ubuntu bugs in launchpad about keyboard shortcuts settings being reset to default.

It seems that when you switch the 'Backend' setting to 'Flat-file Configuration Backend' in CompizConfig Settings Manager under 'Preferences', the keyboard shortcuts changes seem persistent. You'll have to do a unity --replace for the changes to take affect.

  • Thanks for pointing out this 'Backend' option. Can you please edit your answer to tell us where the 'flat files' are stored?
    – Lambart
    Oct 2, 2013 at 21:19

Try gconf-editor then search for the keybinding under Edit -> Find search also in key values
You should be able to find your keybinding here, then unset it or change it to something else

  • this does not answer the question
    – Lambart
    Oct 2, 2013 at 21:24

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