I am using Ubuntu 14.04, running a Windows 7 guest VM via QEMU/KVM. It's all working fine, I interact with it via Spice using remote-viewer. I use Compiz to place the window automatically on the top right desktop (i.e. using workspaces) and keep it running most of the time.

The issue is this: I can use Ctrl + Alt + right to get into the remote-viewer window, but then because it captures all input I can't use Ctrl + Alt + left to get back to the other desktops in Ubuntu. I have to use the mouse to click the icon of the program I want to switch to from the launcher, which is annoying and makes it harder to use the workspaces feature.

Is there a way to define keys that aren't passed to the guest OS? I want to have Ctrl + Alt +left/right/up/down kept within the host so that I can change workspace away from the Windows VM window.

  • I realise the man page mentions the "hotkeys" override, but that doesn't seem to do what I need. – seanlano Dec 4 '15 at 2:51

I don't have enough reputation to comment to have to put as an answer, I am looking for a similar solution, I need to send commands to host with keyboard shortcuts, from my research I found there is no way to do it with virt-viewer unless you write a custom app that wraps spice-gtk widget. Its a shame, I really need this.

Edit. I Just found that it has been filed as a bug/feature request recently https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=93249

Edit 2. According to this commit http://cgit.freedesktop.org/spice/spice-gtk/commit/?id=767e5522f64c115f66f6419abd378ad568e5564e this is possible from spice-gtk v0.27 unfortunately its not in 14.04 repo, but 15.10 ships with v0.28 i am considering upgrading to 15.10

Edit 3. I just tested it in 15.10 and it works, left ctrl+alt releases focus then just do whatever keyboard short-cut you need. For me this has solved the issue.

  • Thanks for finding this out! I tried to get the required packages installed into 14.04, but there were a lot of dependencies so it look like it's too hard to do. I guess I'm just stuck with using the mouse (since I can't upgrade from 14.04 until 15.10 gets approved by my IT department - which it probably won't. Maybe 16.04 will save me.) – seanlano Dec 21 '15 at 2:43

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