Using the Super a.k.a. Windows keys with Xfce - it works

Thomas Stein tstein at
Mon Jun 18 21:54:38 CEST 2007

Hello everybody!

First of all, I'm quite new to Xfce. I've used IceWM and Fluxbox for
ages. Now, after upgrading my laptop to Debian Etch, I gave Xfce a try
and simply love it.

With the help of the documentation I could quickly adjust the new
environment to my needs with one little flaw:

Almost all my hotkeys I'v got used to over the years use the Super or
Windows keys as modifier (Super+b for a xterm, Super+m to maximize a
window, Super+Fn to switch to workspace n and so on). But in the GUI for
configuring the hotkeys (don't know what the program is called) the
Super keys were ignored.

I looked in the FAQ under <> and behold, under
"Usage -> Keyboard" it says:

"My windows button does not work in the Keyboard Settings > Shortcuts.
The windows button (also known as the superkey) not working as a
modifier is related to the toolkit, GTK+ in the case of Xfce. If you
want to have the windows-key working we recommend you to upgrade GTK+ to
at least version 2.10.0."

Etch uses Gtk 2.8.20, so I thought I had lost at this point. But then I
tried the direct way be editing the config files

~/.config/xfce4/shortcuts/tstein.xml (command hotkeys)

~/.themes/tstein/xfwm4/keythemerc (window manager hotkeys)

and sure enough, after restarting my xfce session the keys work as

I had to create the two files mentioned above via the GUI as descriped
in the documentation under
I replaced "Custom" with my username "tstein" though.

NOTE: The documentation only mentions one config file. Did this change
from 4.2 to 4.4? Docs for 4.4 seem not to be online yet.


Thomas Stein

To map the keys to "Super" I have the lines

keycode 115 = Super_L
keycode 116 = Super_R

in ~/.Xmodmap

When using them as modifiers for hotkeys, use the following syntax:
(from ~/.config/xfce4/shortcuts/tstein.xml)
<shortcut command="Thunar" keys="Super+n"/>
Don't use Super_L or Super_R here, just Super!
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