Tutorials, Villupuram GLUG

Important Keyboard Shortcuts in GNU/Linux

Most of computer users and developers manipulating the mouse and keyboards takes up to two seconds each time. As per Brainscape calculation, If a person works for eight hours per day :

[2 wasted seconds/min] x 
[480 minutes per day] x 
240 working days per year = 64 wasted hours per year.

So, Most of users last their 8 working days every year. Now, you realize the importance of keyboard shortcuts. So that in this post we will learn most important shortcuts in GNU/Linux operating system. These not only save time, but also make the computer user more efficient.

General shortcut

Key combinationAction
Ctrl + Alt + TLaunches a terminal window
Super + L or Ctrl + Alt + LLocks the desktop
Super + D or Ctrl + Alt + DDisplays the desktop. Pressing the same keys again will show al the windows on the desktop as these were originally.
Ctrl + Alt + DelDisplays the log-out dialogue box.
Super + AShows the Application menu.
Ctrl + H Displays the hidden files in the file manager. Has a toggle effect.
Alt + Fl Gives an overview of all open windows.
Alt + F2Opens the Run command dialogue box.

Terminal shortcut

Key combinationAction
Ctrl + RSearches history based on the entered text.
Ctrl +AMoves the cursor to the beginning of the line
Ctrl + EMoves the cursor to the end of the line
Ctrl + UDeletes the entire current line
Ctrl + LClears the output of a command in the terminal.
Ctrt + KDeletes all text to the right of the cursor.

Print Screen and video recording of  the screen

Key combinationAction
Print ScreenTakes a screenshot
Alt + Print ScreenTakes a screenshot of the active window.
Ctrl + Alt + PrintTakes a screenshot of a window and Screen copies it to a clipboard.Screen
Shift + Ctrl + Alt + R Takes a video recording of the full screen of the desktop. The recording is done for 30 seconds, a time frame that can be changed. During the recording, a red circle on the top right corner is displayed, and the recorded video is saved in the WebM format in the Videos folder of the user. Press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+R to stop the recording manually.

Switching between application

Key combinationAction
Alt + F4Closes the currently active window .
Alt + TabSwitches between application.
Ctrl + Alt + TabSwitches between application from all workspaces.
Super + SSwitches between workspaces.
Super + WDisplays all windows in the current workspace.
Shift + Super + WDisplays all windows from all workspace.

Tile Window

Key combinationAction
Super + left arrowTiles the current window to the left half of the screen.
Super + right arrowTiles the current window to the right half of the screen.
Super + up arrowTiles the current window to the top half of the screen.
Super + down arrowTiles the current window to the bottom half of the screen.

Browser shortcut

Key combinationAction
Ctrl + TOpens a new tab.
Ctrl + Shift + TOpens the most recently closed tab.
Ctrl + DAdds a new bookmark.
Ctrl + WCloses the browser tab.
Alt + DPositions the cursor in the browser’s address bar.
F5 or Ctrl+RRefreshes a page.
Ctrl + Shift + DelClears private data and history.
Ctrl + NOpens a new window.
HomeScrolls to the top of the page.
EndScrolls to the bottom of the page.
Ctrl + JOpens the Downloads folder
(in Chrome)
F11Full-screen view (toggle effect)

Own Custom shortcut

You can also configure your own custom shortcuts in Ubuntu, as follows:

  • Click on Settings
  • Select the Devices tab in the left menu of the Settings window.
  • Select the Keyboard tab in the Devices menu.
  • The ‘+’ button is displayed at the bottom of the right panel. Click on the ‘+’ sign to open the custom shortcut dialogue box and configure a new shortcut.

Learning three shortcuts mentioned in this article can save a lot of time and make you more productive.



  • Blog – Haripriya and Manimaran

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