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daniel-kun 06-02-2008 02:22 PM

Shortcut-application wanted
Hi there,

I just switched back to Linux after using Windows for like two years. I used a program that I wrote myself on Windows that gave me the following feature: I can assign a shortcut-key (like Ctrl+Alt+F) that would launch a specific application. So far that's pretty normal. But what makes that program special is that a second press of Ctrl+Alt+F will bring the previously started instance of the program to the foreground instead of starting a new instance.

Is there something like that for Linux/X? It really is the base of all my workflow when working on my computer now, so I will badly miss it if there is none.


Daniel Albuschat

bigrigdriver 06-02-2008 04:06 PM

That depends on the desktop environment you use.

In Kde, go to the Control Center - Regional and Accessibility - Keyboard shortcuts. Click on the Shortcut Schemes tab, then click on the Application Shortcuts tab.

Read the shortcuts already assigned. If ctrl+alt+F is already assigned, change the assignment to another key so that you can use ctrl+alt+F to start the application you want it for.

The app starts in forground. If you minimize it and want to bring it back to foreground, use alt+tab. Alt+tab will produce a popup list of open apps. If you hold the alt key down, successives keypresses of the tab key will cycle through the list of open apps. Whichever one you highlight will be brought to foreground with you releas the alt key.

I don't know what other desktop environments provide to do the same.

daniel-kun 06-02-2008 04:26 PM


first, thanks for your answer and effort.
Well don't get me wrong, but it's not like I'm a beginner with either computers or Linux. :-)
The fancy thing about the shortcut-handling I've written for Windows is that to, for example, activate Firefox, I just have to press Ctrl+Alt+F and it will use an already open window if there is one. Same goes for all other shortcuts I've defined. Cycling through Alt+Tab is a major pain and not nearly as effective as just pressing the shortcut of the application I want to jump to.
I've just been told about the program wmctrl which I can use to accomplish this. I'll post a new message when I've finished a solution for this.

Daniel Albuschat

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