Dec 242010

I am starting a series of blog posts for users who are new to Ubuntu. After spending all the time working on Windows, users face a learning curve for even doing simple tasks in Linux. I am going to explain some of those tasks and hopefully it makes things simpler.

The first task many users struggle with is usually shortcut keys. Having gotten used to a few short cut keys in Windows, users find it adapt to the different keys in Linux. I am going to explain how to see existing key mappings and add your own keys. Unlike Windows which usually comes with a single desktop management software – Windows Explorer, Linux has a multitude of options. The two most popular ones are GNOME and KDE. A list of keyboard shortcuts for both these environments can be found here.

Apart from the ones given, there might be scenarios where you want to add your own shortcut keys. Lets see how to do that. First on the top navigation menu, click System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts

You will see the Shortcut keys window which can be collapsed to four main categories – Sound, Desktop, Accessibility and Windows Management.

Clicking on any of the categories gives you a list of functions and the shortcut keys assigned for them. Some functions are not assigned shortcuts and given as disabled. If you click on any function, it is highlighted and the shortcut changes to “New Shortcut…” The window is now ready to accept the new key combination and you can enter your desired key to it.