I have recently upgraded from 17.04 to 17.10.

Amongst a few things that aren't working any more, the Alt+spacebar combo with a keyboard key (e.g. Alt+spacebar, then x to maximize a window) is not working any more.

I tried changing Settings -> Devices -> Keyboard, since the default Maximize window combo with Super + Up doesn't even work.

This does allow me to set up a working combination of my choice, e.g. Alt + F10, but it's not exactly what I want.


I just want to e.g. maximize a window with Alt+spacebar, then x, as I used to in 17.04.

  • 2
    I reported bug about that - see bug 1725706 at Launchpad. I recommend to use MATE DE (sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop). Also you can try to install gnome-panel package to use GNOME FlashBack session.
    – N0rbert
    Oct 21, 2017 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, the Alt+Space behavior is gone and there are no plans to bring it back. Without boring you with details, a ton of things changed 'under the hood' in this upgrade and this feature cannot be easily reimplemented.

There is a project that aims to maintain the old Ubuntu features, the Mutiny environment in Ubuntu MATE. You can even install it without having to completely reinstall your OS, so there is no risk of losing anything.

To install the Mutiny environment, open a terminal and run these commands, the first will prompt for your user password:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y ubuntu-mate-desktop

If during the install process, you see a dialog titled 'Configuring lightdm', choose lightdm from the choices.

Now reboot your system and log in.

After logging back in, use the menus in the top left to navigate to:

Preferences -> Look and Feel -> MATE Tweak

Click the Panel tab on the left and switch the first dropdown from 'Traditional' to 'Mutiny'

Now Alt+Space should be working again :)

Feel free to ask if you need help.

  • Many thanks for your answer. Can I ask you to provide me with link to existing documentation or an official forum thread substantiating this functional change?
    – Mena
    Oct 21, 2017 at 10:30
  • I didn't find any one article that touched on everything in my answer so here are a few: Here is where Ubuntu MATE announced the new "Alt menu" feature in their Mutiny environment: ubuntu-mate.org/blog/ubuntu-mate-artful-beta2 Here is an article about Mutiny and the fact that it aiming to provide an easy environment for those used to Ubuntu's old interface: news.softpedia.com/news/… (Continued) Oct 21, 2017 at 10:37
  • Here is another ask ubuntu thread where it was explained how to install Ubuntu MATE askubuntu.com/questions/900561/… Oct 21, 2017 at 10:37
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    Thanks for the links. What I am wondering about more specifically is whether there is an official thread coming from Ubuntu that explains how and why those seemingly basic functionalities are gone with 17.10 and the switch back to GNOME.
    – Mena
    Oct 21, 2017 at 10:43
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    I was aware of the move from Unity, my point is why the GNOME version in use doesn't support such a seemingly basic functionality, and more generally, a summary of what gets lost/gained in this desktop migration process, but I realize it might be too broad...
    – Mena
    Oct 21, 2017 at 11:05

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