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Master Your Linux Keyboard (And Fix Caps Lock Forever) - page 2

Exorcising Caps Lock

  • July 12, 2007
  • By Carla Schroder

KDE and GNOME, window managers like IceWM and Fluxbox, and many applications come with their own set of prefab keybindings. You should investigate these before going on a customization spree, or you run the risk of creating conflicts. We're going to learn how to use XBindKeys. XBindKeys is not dependent on any particular desktop or window manager, and should run on pretty much any Linux or Unix system."

The easy way is to install xbindkeys-config along with xbindkeys, which gives you a typically plain GTK-based graphical configuration tool, as Figure 1 shows.

xbindkeys-config comes with Debian and all of its descendants. If you want an RPM and can't find one, get the source tarball from the Debian repository.

Launching graphical applications with root privileges is easy when you know a few slick tricks. In this example I have configured the left Windows key to launch a root file manager, and the right Windows key to launch a root text editor. Before you do anything else you must create a default configuration file with this command:

$ xbindkeys --defaults > $HOME/.xbindkeysrc

xbindkeys won't work without this. Take a look at it to get an idea of how to manually configure it; you might even make a copy to study, because xbindkeys-config will overwrite it.

Next, follow these steps to create a new keybinding:

  1. Hit the "New" button in xbindkeys-config
  2. Press "Get Key"
  3. Press a key or key combination on your keyboard
  4. On the "Action" line, type in your command
  5. Press "Run Action" to test it
  6. If it works, hit Apply and do more keybindings, or hit Save&Apply&Exit. Your changes will not be saved until you press the Save&Apply&Exit button
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