I'm trying to set up a shortcut that will open the gnome-control-center to the display tab.

The command for this is gnome-control-center display which works in a terminal and in the dash.

I set up the custom keyboard shortcut in the settings > keyboard > shortcuts panel but no matter what I set as the shortcut, nothing happens. In the command, I tried to echo text into a file but nothing happens either.

How should I set up my custom keyboard shortcut?

  • Logging out and back in helps. However, I changed the shortcut for "Toggle maximize" and the default shortcut is set back after a logout/reboot. I am still puzzled. – Matt Feb 12 '14 at 15:12
  • I began having this problem several months ago when I was still using Ubuntu 13.04. Probably next thing to do is to check if this a GNOME bug, e.g. by testing it in a non-Ubuntu Gnome desktop. – Sadi Mar 3 '14 at 10:38
  • I also checked dconf-editor. I had two custom keyboard shortcuts under org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys.custom-keybindings listed as "Custom0" (Ctrl+Alt+Del=SystemMonitor) and "Custom1" (Ctrl+g=MyScript). Both 2 used to work until late 2013. System Monitor still works! But the second one doesn't, and if I add a third command with a custom keyboard shortcut (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+g=gedit), it doesn't work either... Interesting puzzle... – Sadi Mar 3 '14 at 12:07

There seems to be a bug https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-control-center/+bug/1224732

It has only recently affected me. I was fine on 13.10, but some recent updates have killed my shortcuts.

They work fine in a gnome session, but do nothing in ubuntu. I'm not knowledgeable enough with the workings of this area to debug it though :/


After many many tests, I've discovered that the first thing to test is whether the command or script concerned really works (e.g. using command line) or not, and then the second thing to test is whether the custom key combination chosen (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+D) conflicts with another one in use.

Unfortunately, the second problem seems much more difficult to resolve because the current gnome-control-center system apparently does/can not warn all such conflicts.

For instance, in the case mentioned here (gnome-control-center display) a custom keyboard shortcut such as Ctrl+Alt+D doesn't work - without any warning when assigning it - but a custom keyboard shortcut such as Ctrl+Super+Backspace does work.

Therefore, one might need a lot of trial-and-error work to find a good keyboard shortcut.


  1. It might also be necessary to log out and then log back in for the newly assigned keyboard shortcut to work.

  2. In addition to many keyboard shortcuts used in various application, here are some Unity keyboard shortcuts to avoid: What are Unity's keyboard and mouse shortcuts?

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