Tech Notes, Tips & Reviews

Setting up Notebook Hotkeys

Jul 272007

undefinedI recently set up the hotkeys on my notebook in Mandriva 2007 running KDE. It is fairly simple to do and consists of one script file and then appropriate entries in “Keyboard Shortcuts”.

I created the following file called “command-shortcuts” and placed it in the “bin” directory in my home directory. Make sure to make it executable using “chmod +x command-shortcuts”.

xmodmap -e “keycode 176 = F20″ # Volume up
xmodmap -e “keycode 174 = F21″ # Volume down
xmodmap -e “keycode 160 = F22″ # Mute volume
xmodmap -e “keycode 178 = F23″ # Mail hotkey
xmodmap -e “keycode 236 = F24″ # Web hotkey
xmodmap -e “keycode 162 = F25″ # Play / Pause
xmodmap -e “keycode 164 = F26″ # Stop
xmodmap -e “keycode 144 = F27″ # Previous Track
xmodmap -e “keycode 153 = F28″ # Next Track
xmodmap -e “keycode 115 = F29″ # Win
xmodmap -e “keycode 117 = F30″ # Menu
xmodmap -e “keycode 223 = F31″ # Sleep

The keycodes should work for many notebooks. To check they are right for your notebook you can run the ‘xev’ command in a console. The keycode will be displayed for each key you press.

So that the keycodes get loaded at each login, add “/home/{username}/bin/command-shortcuts” to the end of your “.bashrc” file. Replace {username} with your login name.

Now launch “Keyboard Shortcuts” from the “System”, “Conifguration”, “KDE”, “Regional & Accessibility” Menu. Here using the “Command Shortcuts” tab you can assign the “Mail” and “Web” Keys. Using the “Shortcut Schemes” you can assign the the “Win”, “Menu” & “Sleep” Keys. I set the “Win” key to switch to the next desktop, the “Menu” key brings up the KDE Menu and the “Sleep” key issue the logout command.

Finally you can set up the Volume Down, Up and Mute by right-clicking on the Mixer and selecting “Show Mixer Windows”. Then from the “Settings” menu select “Global Shortcuts” and assign the appropriate keys. You can do the same in Amarok for the “Play/Pause”, “Stop”, “Previous Track”, “Next Track”.

Thanks go to Ubuntu user zba78 who posted info on hotkeys at

I would appreciate your feedback if you have comments, corrections or additions to this article, Thanks.

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