I am very interested in getting AutoHotKey, the windows program for automation of keystrokes, working under Ubuntu. So far I have installed Wine, but am unable to use any of my previous windows scripts. Are there any recommendations?

5 Answers 5


Autokey is a linux equivalent of AutoHotKey for Windows.

(Update 01May16) The above page no longer exists. There is now a port of it to Python 3 on Github.

Some of its features

  • KDE and GTK versions available, making AutoKey integrate well into any desktop environment.
  • Write Python scripts to automate virtually any task that can be accomplished via the keyboard
  • Built-in code editor (using QScintilla in KDE or GtkSourceView2 in GTK)
  • Create phrases (blocks of text) to be pasted into any program on demand (uses the X selection)
  • Create collections of phrases/scripts in folders, and assign a hotkey or abbreviation to the folder to display a popup menu
  • Regular expressions can be used to filter windows by their title, to exclude hotkeys/abbreviations from triggering in certain applications
  • Scripts, phrases and folders can be attached to the tray icon menu, allowing you to select them without assigning a hotkey or abbreviation
  • AutoKey can track your usage patterns and present the most frequently used items at the top of the popup menu

For me, the biggest difference is that Autokey uses Python as its scripting language, instead of a specific proprietary language as AutoHotKey.

They also have an Ubuntu PPA, so you can install it easily and keep up with updates.

You can read a really good article(on How to Geek), on installing and using Autokey to set you up quickly.

  • Decio, you rock. i just went and installed this and have started setting it up. while i don't need as many text macros at home as at work, i can easily see this turning into one of my favorite applications. bravo.
    – nathwill
    Oct 12, 2010 at 1:46
  • I'm glad to help :-)
    – Decio Lira
    Oct 12, 2010 at 2:42
  • I installed AutoKey. Learning python now, but it seems that there is lots of redundancy in the scripts. The autocomplete script is from AutoHotKey is what I really would like. This link (goo.gl/6Y5k) is an 81kb zipped file, but runs at 4.9Mb uncompressed text. It locks up AutoKey just using it. Oct 12, 2010 at 14:54
  • @RunningUtes I'm not sure what you intend with this file since the AutoHotKey script language won't work with AutoKey AFAIK. Funny enough I was able to import the file using the QT GUI of autokey.
    – Decio Lira
    Oct 12, 2010 at 19:20
  • 2
    autokey crashes all the time in ubuntu 13.10
    – qed
    Feb 23, 2014 at 17:03

If you have AutoHotKey scripts to automate Windows applications running in Wine, then AutoHotKey is exactly the program to use. Fortunately, AutoHotKey is very easy to install in Wine, as the Wine project uses it for our automated QA tools.

The easiest way on Ubuntu is to just enable the Wine PPA and install the Wine package there. This will pull in the winetricks package. Then you can open a terminal and type "winetricks autohotkey" and it'll download+install it for you automatically.

  • Good to know, never though of using AutoHotKey with apps in wine.
    – Decio Lira
    Oct 13, 2010 at 23:38

This is more a warning than a solution. I found instructions for building IronAHK on Ubuntu 10. Check all the comments to get it working on Ubuntu 11. But after building and trying to run a few scripts it seems to me that IronAHK is rather far from a full implementation. Core functionality such as, say, hotkeys doesn't seem to be working yet... Would be happy to be shown wrong here though.

  • IronAHK seems totally dead by now. No updates for several years. Pity :-/ Apr 25, 2014 at 14:26
  • @TorbenGundtofte-Bruun It is officially confirmed (on git page of IronAHK) Dec 21, 2019 at 9:10

IronAHK and AutoHotkey (Wine) works on Ubuntu, although they will only capture hotkeys and forms under .NET (IronAHK) or Wine Applications (AutohotKey).

I've teste AutoKey and it is great, but unfortunately it doesn't handle mouse events very well.

IronAHK is not being developed anymore, so you will have to build from source using monodevelop. I found some bugs related to goto (around 3 issues), which I changed to if else statements, then I could compile normally.


there's quite a few text macro applications for linux, as well as some applications for recording and re-running various keyboard and mouse events as needed.

while i've never used AutoHotKey specifically, i use Texter at work and believe it's similar to what you're looking for. (if not could you please clarify particularly what it is you want to get done and maybe that'd help somebody answer).

there are a lot of applications/IDE's that support text macros in linux, or if you're looking to combine repeated actions across multiple applications there's xmacro... http://xmacro.sourceforge.net/

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