I been thinking of anyone could guide me up, that in ubuntu 11.10 with gnome 3,
there is a option ctrl+alt+d to show the desktop by minimizing the current window.

What I was thinking was that if I press ctrl+alt+d it will lead to desktop screen and when I press again ctrl+alt+d to go back to my working window..

As of now it doesnt work in this way ..is there any way out to do that same


With Gnome Shell (17.10+)

The default is Ctrl + Super + d.

You can change it on Settings > Devices > Keyboard > Navitation:


With Unity (before 17.10)

The patch is already released but if you still face that problem use the following:

  • Click your username on the top right of the screen and select System Settings.

  • Under Hardware click Keyboard.

  • Switch to the Shortcuts tab, and click Navigation in the left column. Scroll down and select Hide all normal windows which has a default value of Disabled.

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  • 1
    In Ubuntu 17.10, the default is now Ctrl+Super+D – leo Jan 25 '18 at 11:54
  • Suggest the Gnome developers using MS Windows' shortcut keys conventions as the default configuration, then more MS Windows users will not have difficulties to move from Windows to Linux. – Clock ZHONG Jun 26 '18 at 2:55

If you want a non-keyboard method, there's also the "Show desktop button" option.

Simply visit:


and click on the on/off slider near the top left corner, you'll be prompted to install the widget, and from then on you'll have a small "show desktop" icon next to "Activities in your menu". (Shown here in between my Activities menu and Google Chrome Indicator)

Gnome Shell Show-Desktop Widget

Very handy, IMHO.

Updated 25/09/2017 with the new extension compatible with the current version of gnome shell, as suggested by @stefan-hamke

The out-of-date original is at:



In Ubuntu 12.04 beta2 (gnome-shell 3.4) you can press Super-D to show your desktop, and Super-D again to go back to your previous windows.

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