Whenever I'm working in virtualbox guest system and pressing meta key (aka winkey, or Mod4) a huge unity menu pop ups.

Is there any way to fix this behavior?

  • I don't know if there is a way to change it, but that is the default for Ubuntu, whether or not in VirtualBox. If you are still able to use it as a modifier (e.g. Super+Whatever), then it is set up correctly, as defined by the powers that be. – zpletan Nov 9 '11 at 13:31
  • Unfortunately this seems not to be possible - see here. – Takkat Nov 9 '11 at 14:51
  • 1
    agree with Takkat - if you want to stop the intercepting of the meta key then run the guest in full screen mode - right control + F – fossfreedom Nov 9 '11 at 19:32
  • fossfreedom, still intercepting – tensai_cirno Nov 9 '11 at 19:50
  • @TensaiCirno - very strange - I'm using virtualbox 4.1.6 and running full screen works for me. – fossfreedom Nov 9 '11 at 19:55

Still doesn't work, even on new profile :/. I created simple patch, to disable unity launcher and turn off highlighting menu on panel when Alt pressed.


Steps to apply it:

  • cd $build_dir (any empty dir)
  • apt-get source unity-2d
  • sudo apt-get build-dep unity-2d
  • wget https://raw.github.com/gist/1352470/eb9c736bd1041af4be04f0bafdd8e437c222ea15/annoying_keys_unity_2d.diff
  • patch -Np1 < annoying_keys_unity_2d.diff
  • cd unity-2d-4.12.0
  • dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b
  • cd ..
  • sudo dpkg -i ./*.deb

Unfortunately there is no way to grab the Super key when working in Virtual Box in non-fullscreen mode as this key is not released by by Unity.

By installation of compizconfig-settings-manager Install compizconfig-settings-manager and running ccsm we may define keyboard shortcuts to show unity desktop elements even when Unity2D is running.

Warning: ccsm can lead to unwanted effects that may be hard to overcome and may leave you without a desktop (see also this question for more background information).

Browse to the Desktop -> Unity settings and choose the key shortcut you want to change from the Behaviour tab.

Note: The Unity plugin does not need to be enabled to change keybindings:

enter image description here

The key that controls the "huge black" dash is the Key to show the launcher. By doing so you can assign a different key combination on the host and on the guest to avoid that both open. Note however that still Super will open the Dash on the host when choosing any combination with the Super-key (e.g. Ctrl + Super) in the guest.

You can also disable the keyboard shortcut from here.

This procedure was tested on a virtual machine running 11.10. where we disabled the 3D graphic acceleration in the machine. It may not work the same on real hardware.

  • Are you sure that this settings applied to Unity 2D? Because it isn't compiz plugin, it is standalone QML application. And doesn't work for me :( – tensai_cirno Nov 9 '11 at 19:55
  • Well, I was only able to test this for Unity2D with compiz installed but not running. Sorry to hear that it does not work for you. – Takkat Nov 9 '11 at 20:16
  • Very strange, I'll try with new user profile then. Thanks in advance anyway. :) – tensai_cirno Nov 9 '11 at 20:32

OK... my question which was related to the Unity 3d dash was closed as it was marked as an "exact" duplicate of this.

Is there a patch to apply this to Unity 3d? Whenever I use the "Alt-L' keys to lock my windows guest, dashboard is brought up in the background and my password is entered in clear text.

  • I don't think there is any. But you can write your own patch, just use grep on sources. – tensai_cirno Oct 2 '12 at 21:59

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