How to enable hotkeys using the Super key(like in Mac OS X)

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How to enable hotkeys using the Super key(like in Mac OS X)

Post by Mozenrath » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:53 am

I don't come from a Mac background, so forgive me if I get some of my facts wrong.

I recently convinced my girlfriend to switch to Linux Mint after her Macbook died. She's been very happy with it, but there's been one problem that's taken me ages to figure out.

In Macs, instead of <Control>+c to copy and <Control>+c to paste, it's <Super>+c and <Super+v>, etc. Linux doesn't have it's hotkeys set up like this by default, but naturally I thought that it would be a simple matter of adding the hotkey. This turned out to be both correct and incorrect. As far as changing the preset hotkeys(or keyboard shortcuts), I've found that it's virtually impossible(or at least undocumented) for the average user. Sure you can launch programs and stuff using custom shortcuts, but there's no way to alter or copy the functionality of hotkeys like <Control>+c.

I resorted to using methods such as xsendkeycode and xmacro, and neither worked completely. The workaround that had the most success was xsendkeycode, but the problem was that it wouldn't autorepeat. If you wanted to, for example, paste text multiple times, you'd have to repeatedly press the hotkey. That's no good, especially for someone who's new to Linux.

FINALLY, after over a month of trying to figure this out, I came across [an incredibly obvious] solution to enable the Super(or mac/win) key so that the shortcuts are like that in Mac OS X. Doing this will make the transition from Mac to Linux much easier, I presume. This can also apply to Ubuntu, of course.

So here's what you do:

1.) In your menu(mintMenu if you use Mint), select Keyboard. This will bring up the keyboard preferences.
2.) Go to the Layouts tab and click the Options button. This will now bring up a window with a list of options.
3.) Click on 'Alt/Win key behavior' and select 'Control is mapped to Win keys (and the usual Ctrl keys)'.
4.) Close that window, and in the Keyboard Preferences window, click 'Apply System-Wide'. Once you have done that, you can close Keyboard Preferences.

Now the Mac/Win(Super) key should act like the Control key, meaning that you can now copy/paste text using <Super>+c and <Super>+v, among any other hotkeys that use the Control key. The control key also still holds the same functionality as it did before.

Why this isn't documented anywhere on the internet, I don't know. I would have thought this feature would be somewhat in demand. I'm still disappointed that there's no good way to completely customize all the hotkeys, but at least this method accomplishes this little task.

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Re: How to enable hotkeys using the Super key(like in Mac OS X)

Post by Luftmensch » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:30 pm

There's a peculiarity about this that doesn't quite match OSX functionality: On OSX, Super is used for OS shortcuts, but Ctrl is still used for lots of terminal-style inputs in text fields. For example: if you are entering text in a web browser such as Firefox, S-a will select all like you would expect on Windows, but C-a will move the cursor to the beginning of the line, like it does in the terminal. S-n will open a new window, but C-n will move the cursor down one line.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of a simple way to implement this functionality in Mint, but this is not the board for me to ask support questions! Just want to provide feedback so other users like me who are looking for a way to implement OSX-style inputs in Mint aren't disappointed.

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