In windows you can press the Win+E to get the Windows Explorer window to open up any time.
Is there an equivalent global hot-key to get the file explorer to show up in Ubuntu Karmic?
Open System / Preferences / Keyboard shortcuts
Scroll down to Desktop/Home folder, click on it, then press Win+E.
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:
1) Navigate to System Settings => Keyboard => Shortcuts Tab => Launchers
2) Click Home Folder and press Win+E to set the shortcut
3) When complete it should say Super+E to the right of the Home Folder
Alternatively, if you are using Nautilus as file manager. You can do Alt+F2 and type
Advantages of this approach are: