Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 Keyboard Shortcuts in compiz (Appearance > Visual Effects)

I love the eye candy compiz provides in Ubuntu 7.10. (To enable this, go to System > Preferences > Appearance, and on the Visual Effects tab, turn on Normal or Extra effects.) However, as a keyboard shortcut nut, I lamented the fact that enabling these horked all my non-standard application launch shortcuts I had entered into gconf-editor. I dug around and figured out how to fix them. (Gripe: KDE handles this configuration waaaay better.)
  1. Run gconf-editor (Alt+F2, and type gconf-editor in the dialog box).
  2. Drill down to apps | compiz | general | allscreens | options.
  3. There are a series of commandx keys (command0 through command11). Pick any empty one(s) and type the command to start the application(s) you desire, e.g. for command0: speedcrunch
  4. For any commandx you entered, find the corresponding run_commandx_key node further down the screen. Type the keystroke you desire to trigger running the command. Special keys are:
    1. Control: <Control>
    2. Alt: <Alt>
    3. Windows key: <Super>
    4. Shift: <Shift>
So, to set the key sequence Windows+Alt+s to launch SpeedCrunch in the example above, I would type (not press) the following in run_command0_key: <Super><Alt>s

Does anyone know how to represent the escape key? It used to be "Escape", but that doesn't seem to work with any of the combinations I tried.

** UPDATE 15 Oct: I learned that you can more naturally set the shortcut commands and keystrokes by installing the compizconfig-settings-manager package. Once installed, this is accessed via the System > Preferences > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings menu entry.

Under its Command options, you can enter the commands that get stored in the commandx keys above. Then on the Actions tab under the Commands section, you can click in the Key column and type in the keystroke you wish to set for each command. I still had problems getting the Ctrl+Shift+Escape keystroke mapped, but for many keystrokes this is much easier.

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