My left and right win key, both either don't actually function as "super" or "super" doesn't produce the expected results. The button used to work (bring up the overview) after the fresh install of ubuntu 16.10 (Gnome) but then at some point stopped working.

M-F1 does switch to overview (Alt+F1). Super+L does not lock the screen.

The solutions in Super Key does not invoke activities in Gnome Shell 3.8 and Gnome shell: pressing the super key does not work don't work for me, i.e. there is no observable change in either case: there is no overview when pressing the win-key and common shortcuts like win+l don't have an effect (like locking the session). I am saying win key rather than super because I cannot be sure that this key is in fact bound to super, as there is no effect. And the term Meta is ambiguous as it can refer to either of the keys commonly labelled as "Alt" and "Win".

$ cat /etc/default/keyboard

# Consult the keyboard(5) manual page.



having a blank XKBOPTIONS (and rebooting) changes nothing.

TweakTool: Keyboard and Mouse

  • Key Theme: Default
  • Switch between overview and desktop: Left super

TweakTool: Typing

  • Alt/Win Key behaviour: Disabled
  • Alt/Win Key behaviour: Meta is mapped to Left Win

Screenshot Tweak Tool: Typing

both settings have no perceivable effect. In either case pressing the Win Key does nothing.

keycode 64 (keysym 0xffe9, Alt_L)
keycode 37 (keysym 0xffe3, Control_L)
keycode 108 (keysym 0xff20, Multi_key)

no such line appears for the win key. The last one is AltGr/Right Alt, in my case mapped to Compose.

  • Welcome to AskUbuntu! What happens if you change Tweak Tool Typing to "Add the standard behavior to Menu key? Can you define a bit more clearly what happened when you tried those other solutions? All due respect "don't work for me" is a bit vague. Thank you!
    – Elder Geek
    Mar 6, 2017 at 19:38
  • Hi, well, "doesn't work for me" means that there is no change at all when I do the suggested thing. "Add the standard behavior to Menu key" has no observable effect either. Pressing the win key produces nothing in xev, again. WIN+L does not lock the session. In fact win+l types the letter "l" (if an editor is open and in focus) Mar 7, 2017 at 11:07
  • I figured it out. It is quite surprising. It was the keyboard and it was only this pair of buttons. Mar 7, 2017 at 12:17
  • I'm glad you got it sorted! ;-)
    – Elder Geek
    Mar 7, 2017 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


So, I used this keyboard: logitech G610. It was the only mechanical keyboard I could get at a local store, so I didn't anticipate the "gaming button". It is one of the special buttons, similar to the multimedia keys and it is labelled with the pictograph of a joystick, I now realise.

Pressing this button turns off the win keys as in windows this would presumably return the screen to the desktop.

I must have pressed it by accident and it keeps the state over reboots. It has no other function other than turning off the win keys as far as I can tell.

  • I turned that button off because I didn't like the light it was emitting, but I did it years ago. Didn't think that it would cause my meta key to not getting recognized anymore. Great finding, finally I can try to use sway (the window manager) :D
    – JepZ
    Aug 15, 2020 at 14:47

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