How to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Gnome3?

I upgraded my Debian Squeeze installation to Debian Wheezy. I did a fresh install and had almost everything up and running within hour. But Gnome3 is a pain to a new user. I had to spend hours to understand it and then I realised I can use Gnome Fallback Mode to minimise the “cultural shock”. But the keyboard shortcuts I was used to were not present in this mode. Luckily this was easy to fix.

To fix keyboard shortcuts, go to Applications (Press Alt +F1) > System Tools > Preferences > System Settings and choose Keyboard and go to Shortcuts tab. You can locate all the keyboard shortcuts here. I needed 3 basic shortcuts.

  • Launch Terminal: This is not present in the given shortcuts. I can press “Alt + F2” which launches run command pop up and enter “gnome-terminal” command to run Gnome Terminal. But that’s too much of work compared to a shortcut. I needed to create a custom shortcut.
    • In Shortcuts tab click Custom Shortcuts.
    • Press the + button.
    • Enter a user friendly name, say “Terminal”, for name and enter “gnome-terminal” as Command.
    • Click Apply. This will add a row to the custom shortcuts list.
    • This newly created entry will show “Disabled”. Click “Disabled” and it will change to “New Accelerometer”
    • Press the key combination you want as shortcut, in my case its “Alt + Ctl + t”
    • If you by any chance press a key combination that is already in use, you will be warned.
    • Done!
  • Go To Home Dir: I didn’t bother to locate this shortcut and followed the steps mentioned above to create my own combination of “super or Windows key + e”, which is same as a MS Windows shortcut for launching file manager, to launch “nautilus”. You can pass arguments to this command to go to some different folder.
  • Minimise all windows or Show Desktop: Go to “Navigation” and in shortcuts list locate “Hide all normal windows”. This will be most likely disabled. Set up the new keyboard shortcut for it.

Now I need to set up virtual hosts and MySQL. 🙂

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