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Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Installing
  • Configuration and detecting key codes
  • Examples of functions
  • References


Xbindkeys is a program that allows you to launch shell commands with your keyboard or your mouse under X Window. It links commands to keys or mouse buttons, using a configuration file. It's independant of the window manager and can capture all keyboard keys (ex: Power, Wake…).

It is useful to make “dead keys” of a multimedia keyboard work. (ex: play, pause, browser homepage…)


Use tazpkg to quickly install xbindkeys package. Open a terminal as root and type:

# tazpkg get-install xbindkeys

Current package is xbindkeys-1.8.3.

Configuration and detecting key codes

Xbindkeys uses a configuration file to link a command to a key on your keyboard. Usually this file is : $HOME/.xbindkeyrc You can have a default one created by using :

$ xbindkeys --defaults > $HOME/.xbindkeysrc

Start the program using:

$ xbindkeys

To add a custom keyboard shortcut, first you have to detect the key code. To do this, use:

$ xbindkeys -k

When a small white window shows up on screen, just press the desired key. Terminal will show you the 3-line code of the pressed key. Example:

"(special function)"
m:0x10 + c:180
Mod2 + XF86HomePage

Now, close xbindkeys application to make changes on configuration file:

$ killall xbindkeys

Open .xbindkeysrc file on Leafpad and copy the 3-line code above to the end of the file. We need to change the first code line to link the key code to a desired function. For example, we want that Leafpad be openned when the XF86Homepage key is pressed. To do this, just change the first line to:

m:0x10 + c:180
Mod2 + XF86HomePage

Save and close the .xbindkeysrc file. Restart xbindkeys program and your new shortcut is already working! To add other shortcuts, repeat the proceeding above. To detect a multi-key shortcut code, like CTRL+F, use:

$ xbindkeys -mk

To be continued… Please, don't modify this page yet.

en/guides/xbindkeys.1403281794.txt.gz · Last modified: 2014/06/20 18:29 by sidini