I am using Ubuntu 11.10 with GNOME 3.2 and completely loving it. On one computer it works like a charm, but on another computer the Super does not show the Activities overview. Mousing over the top-left corner does bring up the overview, so I am not totally blocked, but I am really missing being able to just press the Super key to get there.

In System SettingsKeyboard there is an option to change the shortcut for Show the activities overview, but I can't set it to Super (I guess because it is considered to be a modifier-key):

Screenshot showing Show the activities overview shortcut

Does anybody have a clue how I could fix this?

  • 1
    I'm experiencing this issue in Ubuntu 20.04.
    – Flimm
    Apr 24, 2020 at 12:40
  • 1
    Same - experiencing this with 20.04 Apr 27, 2020 at 20:19
  • 3
    Same here on Ubuntu 20.04 it is pretty annoying. It works with En keyboard layout but it does not work with Pt-Br layout.
    – leoheck
    Apr 27, 2020 at 22:45
  • @leoheck - I confirm, this was a great input! I often switch between Swiss-German and en layout, and hadn't realized that the super key never works in German, while it does in en! May 1, 2020 at 16:39

7 Answers 7


Okay. You might have locked your Super button. Try to unlock it on your keyboard. It usually has two icons, a window key and a lock.

In my case, I have unlocked the Super button by pressing Right Fn+F12 or, in another keyboard, Fn+Window.

Since then, everything works perfectly.

  • 2
    For me it was Fn + F2. Thank you so much!
    – Liam Baker
    Feb 20, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    On my keyboard it was Fn + F6. The F6 key is labeled "G/PC", which wasn't very descriptive. Sep 15, 2020 at 10:23
  • TY fn + f2 or me also. Why is that even an option lol Oct 19, 2020 at 23:54
  • mine was function f2 on illegear raven
    – James Tan
    Nov 15, 2020 at 4:19
  • On my alienware M15 R4 it was Fn + F6. The F6 key doesn't have any label though!
    – morhook
    Sep 14, 2021 at 18:27

In older Ubuntu versions, go to System Settings → Keyboard Layout → Layouts and then choose Options.

In newer Ubuntu versions, install Tweaks (sudo apt install gnome-tweaks) and open it, then Keyboard & Mouse and then choose Additional Layout Options. There is an option for the Alt/Win key behaviour and there I had the option selected Meta is mapped to Win.

Additional Layout Options

Deselecting that option, and choosing Alt and meta are on Alt fixes it for me. At least the Super button is working again to access the Activities. Not quite sure what the impact of this choice is.

  • Hm that did the trick for me too! However, I don't understand the description of the option. One might think that ticking the option will make the Win key work as an Alt key.
    – Severo Raz
    Oct 29, 2011 at 20:06
  • 2
    I had a similar problem with Debian 9.2, and this helped. In gnome-tweak-tool, under Typing > Alt/Win key behaviour I just chose some random option and afterwards set it to Disabled again (which was the default). It then worked again. Nov 23, 2017 at 18:30
  • It did not work for me.
    – Flimm
    Apr 24, 2020 at 12:37
  • @Flimm not really sure why you edited my answer like you did? Would such a change not warrant a new answer? My answer is now outdated obviously --2011 and I have moved to mac osx sinc 2012
    – nathanvda
    Apr 27, 2020 at 21:04
  • 1
    @nathanvda I made the answer up-to-date. The dialog is the same, you just need to go through a different set of menus to find it. If you think the answer is so out-of-date that it can't be edited to be made useful, feel free to delete your answer. (Stack Exchange doesn't have good solutions for information that gets out-of-date.)
    – Flimm
    Apr 28, 2020 at 12:18

Under gnome, I had to use Meta is mapped to Win. Now shortcuts with Super key work now.

  • It did not work for me.
    – Flimm
    Apr 24, 2020 at 12:37

In my case, I figured it was because "Overview Shortcut" was mapped to "Left Super", but I was clicking on "Right Super". Install tweaks and go to "Keyboard & Mouse" tab as follows: enter image description here


In case you use a laptop stand with an additional keyboard unplugging re plugging the additional keyboard might fix the issue with the super/activity key.


Gnome tweaks does not work for me. You can see the shortcuts from Settings > Keyboard > View and Customize Shortcuts, as the OP suggests.

Gnome developers apparently decided to map it to <Super + S> at some point. I can't change it back to Super either, but this at least tells you what it is mapped to.

enter image description here


What I did to resolve this problem was to: sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

then Keyboard & Mouse -> Click on right super and on left super back again.

The left super now works as intended, without having to do nothing complicated.

I'd love to be able to also use both super keys for bringing overview, but this is good enough for me right now.

If somebody finds a solution similar to mine in simplicity, but that makes 2 super keys bring up overview, that would be lovely and I'd gladly edit/update my answer.

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