I've just installed xubuntu 17.10 and cannot change xfce4-terminal keyboard shortcuts. I tried enabling editable accelerators (according to http://docs.xfce.org/faq), running:

Appearance -> Settings -> Menus and Buttons -> Enable editable accelerators: Tick

but when I hover the mouse over any menu item and press any key combination, nothing happens; I can see all shortcuts are greyed out, indicating that they can't be changed. I closed/reopened xfce4-terminal, and also logged out/in from the xfce session, to no avail, still can't change the shortcuts.

Don't know what changed in xfce because I remember being able to do this in past versions. I'm running fresh xubuntu 17.10, so xfce is version 4.12.3 and xfce4-terminal is 0.8.6-0ubuntu1.

Would anybody know how to change them ?

EDIT: I've just discovered that they can be changed editing:


Remove the leading ; from the menu entry and edit the shortcut. xfce4-terminal has to be closed/reopened for the new shortcuts to take effect. Not sure if this is the standard way of doing it, but at least it works.

EDIT 2: Found a good explanation about it here

  • The ~/.config/xfce4/terminal/accels.scm file doesn't seem to have any effect for me (xfce4-terminal 0.8.3 on MXLinux 17)
    – bli
    Feb 28, 2018 at 13:01
  • So place you findings as an answer.
    – Suncatcher
    Mar 9, 2018 at 8:55
  • Thanks very much for documenting this. These shortcuts have definitely been a moving target over the years. I'm not sure where the accelerators went, but just as I got used to those they decided to keep us on our toes :P I remember when they used to be simple, menu-driven deal, but yeah, not the worst thing to have this direct in a config file. I'm about to throw it into ansible now so I don't forget. Cheers! Jun 8, 2018 at 23:18
  • Oh, also just want to note that this identical across *nixes I think. That config file mentioned in OP existed for me and I'm on FreeBSD 11.1, xfce 4.12, and of xfce4-terminal. This worked like a charm for me. But yeah, be sure to exit ALL open xfce terminal windows after updating config Jun 8, 2018 at 23:22
  • 1
    @ChristopherKuttruff, I get the impression it's a generic GTK method for setting accelerators, even though the specific filename may differ. For instance, I see that quodlibet uses ~/.config/quodlibet/accels, geeqie uses ~/.config/geeqie/accels, Thunar uses ~/.config/Thunar/accels.scm. Jun 9, 2018 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


As the solution was present in the question and in comments (along with contradictory statements) I will post an answer to make it more clear.

As said under Xfce bug report #12861 — "editable accelerators no more working in xfce4-terminal after GTK+3 migration":

gtk3 does not support editable accelerators. Since xfce4-terminal is a gtk3 app, this feature isn't available anymore...

That affects all later Xubuntu versions, not just 17.10.

accelerators can be changed via ~/.config/xfce4/terminal/accels.scm

While editing that file, as the OP said in the question, you have to remove the lead (the ; part at the beginning of the line); example for Ctrl-C for copy and Ctrl-V for paste:

(gtk_accel_path "<Actions>/terminal-window/paste" "<Primary>v")
(gtk_accel_path "<Actions>/terminal-window/copy" "<Primary>c")

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