[SWLUG] Keyboard shortcuts in GNOME

Jonathan Wright mail at djnauk.co.uk
Wed May 12 22:22:48 UTC 2004

Steve Anderson wrote:
> Hello again =)
> I've installed Mandrake 10.0 Community, thanks to Linux Format shoving 
> it on the cover, and it's great. It's geared me up to finally get all 
> the hardware to work properly, and here's where my question heads...
> I've got a multimedia keyboard do-dah. I've seen a program called 
> HotKeys (or something like that) which runs as a daemon and converts 
> your extra key presses to commands. That's fine but I think it's a touch 
> of overkill - I don't care if I have an OSD. I saw in Linux Format (not 
> a bad magazine, except for the masses of spelling and gramatical errors) 
> the use of xev to get keycodes for the extra keys and give them F-key 
> labels, which is more my thing. However, the example in there was to map 
> these keys to do things in KDE. I know lots of people like KDE but I 
> hate it! I've tried to find an equivalent way of doing it in GNOME but 
> have, so far, drawn a blank.
> Anyone got any ideas, or am I going to have to tinker with HotKeys?

GNOME has got an inbuilt system for most multimedia keys, although they 
require some supported applications (atm I know of only Muine).

If you go into the Desktop Preferences menu, you'll have one of two 
options, depending on your version of GNOME: Multimedia Keys (I think it 
was called) for 2.4 and 2.5/2.6 it's just Keyboard Shortcuts (the two 
were integrated for 2.6).

There are various options in there then. Just click to the right of the 
option and press the key you want it to bind to. Volume Up/Down and Mute 
work out of the box and control the master volume output (although I 
think you need 2.6 for it to control ALSA).

If you want to control the music though XMMS (and a few other things), 
you can use a plugin called iTouch (after the logitech keyboards) which 
allows you to make a key to either a function in XMMS or (for some 
options) an external command. Although, this only works in XMMS while 
it's loaded.


jonathan wright                          mail at djnauk.co.uk
life has no meaning unless we can enjoy what we've been given
                    all new and improving ... www.djnauk.co.uk
running on gentoo linux    kernel 2.6.5-gentoo-r1 & gnome 2.6

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