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I'm running Linux with Gnome 3.14.2 under VirtualBox (hosted on macOS Sierra), using the latest generation Apple wireless keyboard.

I disabled every Gnome keyboard shortcut using:

(Desktop title bar menu) Applications->System Tools->Settings->Keyboard->Shortcuts 

For every category:

  • Launchers
  • Navigation
  • Screenshots
  • Sound and Media
  • System
  • Typing
  • Universal Access
  • Windows
  • Custom Shortcuts

I also used xmodmap to un-map the Super_L key from mod4, and make it another Control key. That works... Linux know thinks the Apple keyboard's left command key is an additional control key, since I'm used to using that for cut/paste under macOS.

The problem is, something is intercepting left command key, such that if I push the command key and then release it without pressing other keys, upon release, the desktop shows me the "Activities Overview" screen (see screenshot below), and it stays in that desktop mode until I press the command key again, and release it. Then it reverts to the normal desktop. That's a very annoying side-effect of pressing that key and I'd like to eliminate that behavior.

I think I noticed that when I first went to the keyboard settings and changed the Host key from the left command key to the right command key. But nnow, I've disabled the host key along with all the other shortcuts in those settings.

enter image description here

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I just discovered "Activities Overview" is integral to Gnome 3. Apparently Linus Torvalds is not happy at all with Gnome 3 and now I know why.

After googling around I figured out the following:

(Gnome title bar menu) Applications->Utilities->Tweak Tool->Keyboard and Mouse

I changed Switch between overview and desktop to Super right, instead of Super left.

Now the right-side command key (which I never use) activates "Activities Overview" and the left command key just behaves like the control key.

So that solved my problem. But yeesh!

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