Creating global keyboard shortcuts in GNOME
Posted by Steve on Mon 11 Aug 2008 at 11:09
The GNOME desktop environment is the default for Debian etch, and is one that I use every day. One thing that I always have a hard time remembering is how to setup global keyboard shortcuts, so this quick guide will document the process.
There is a simple applet (reached via the menu "Desktop | Preferences | Keyboard Shortcuts") which allows you to specify which keys should be used for common activities.
Using the applet you can, for example, setup the keybinding Ctrl-Alt-t to run a terminal. However the list of actions is static, and it isn't possible to add a new command there.
If you wish to bind Ctrl-Alt-e to launching emacs you're out of luck - to do this you must use the gconf-editor.
Launch the editor by opening a terminal and running:
Using the gconf-editor we will need to do two things:
- Define a new command.
- Define the shortcut which should be used to execute that command.
So first of all navigate to "apps | metacity | keybinding_commands". Once there in the righthand pane select "command_1" and change the value to /usr/bin/emacs.
Now we need to define the shortcut which will execute it, we do that by visiting the key "apps | metacity | global_keybindings". Choose "run_command_1" and set the value to be "<Control><Alt>e".
Now you should find that pressing Ctrl+Alt+e will launch emacs.
I hope in the future the keyboard shortcut application will allow you to define arbitrary commands and their associated shortcuts.