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Ever since I moved to Ubuntu Linux, the windows key on the lower left hand corner of my keyboard doesn't has any utility.

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Can there be any possible utility of this key in Unix/ Linux systems ?. I am sure there are many innovative enthusiasts who can suggest some use of this lame windows key !

UPDATE : Guys thanks for your replies - is there any sure fire method for Ubuntu 9.10 (with Gnome desktop environment)?

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Did you know? – badp Oct 19 '10 at 11:53
@badp : Yes, but then I thought that this question is more suitable for superuser than askubuntu ! ...... :) – Arkapravo Oct 20 '10 at 6:25
to answer this question you have to tell us which desktopenvironment (gnome, kde, xfce) or which windowmanager (fluxbox, openbox, icewm, awesome) you use. – akira Oct 20 '10 at 6:29
@akira : Gnome ! ..... I use Ubuntu as it is ! ..... I do not need to tweak Ubuntu (that is one of the WOW things about it) .... :D – Arkapravo Oct 20 '10 at 6:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

A shortcut I often use is win + s, it shows your shutdown menu.

You can define your own custom actions under Systrem -> Preferences -> Keyboard shortcuts, and use the super key (known as mod4) to hotkey your actions globally.

See this post for a list of useful Ubuntu shortcuts, including some with the super key!

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You cannot make it have the dual role it has in Windows, but you can definitely use it.

One thing you could use for is to bring up the Gnome Applications menu; just use System -> Preferences -> Keyboard shortcuts and select a "new accelerator" for "Show the panel menu".

Alternatively, you can use it as a modifier key, like Alt and Ctrl to expand your range of available keyboard shortcuts; it is a bit involved so I'll just give a link.

(The point of the dual role in Windows is that the key can be used both on its own to bring up the "Start" menu or as a modifier in shortcuts such as Win+E to start Windows Explorer. This isn't, or rather wasn't the last time I looked, possible in Linux.)

Edit: the method of using the Windows key to bring up the Applications menu has changed; you also don't need to change anything to use it as a modifier any more: just go into the keyboard shortcut thing and use it.

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Thanks ! ..... what works for Ubuntu 9.10 ? – Arkapravo Oct 20 '10 at 6:25
@Arkapravo According to the link to howtogeek, it changed in 10.04, so you probably need to do it the "old" way. I'd just try to use the key as a modifier and if it does't work, make the changes to .xstartup. – Neal Oct 20 '10 at 6:55
Maybe you should mention that it is already in use for many desktop-effects, shortcuts and gnome-do uses by default Super+Space. – Bobby Oct 22 '10 at 13:30

Ubuntu does make use of the Super key (windows/apple key). Many accessibility and compositing features are triggered with it - for example, Super-scrollwheel will zoom (if compiz is on); win+n inverts colours (with compiz); win-m opens the global messaging menu, etc.

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Thanks, did not know about that one ! – Arkapravo Oct 20 '10 at 6:26

On Ubuntu 9.04 GNOME if you do Windows Key + M the screen will go negative. Nice if you're using Open Office and the sea of white screen is melting your brain.. :)

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Note this only works if you have desktop composition turned on (compiz) under the Visual Effects tab under Appearance preferences. – invert Oct 22 '10 at 13:34
Nice one ..... this one tickles the funny bone ! ..... :D .. VOTED UP ! – Arkapravo Oct 27 '10 at 12:06

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