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Sunday
Aug122012

The Ubuntu Unity Super Key on a Thinkpad

Since 2005 I have had a IBM Thinkpad R50e laptop on which I have run various releases of Ubuntu from 5.04 onward.  Recently I upgraded from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS.  The change in interface from Gnome 2 to Unity was a profound shock to my system and it took me several weeks to get used to it.  At one point I even installed Debian 6 in an attempt to get back to a system I felt more at home with (however, I quickly went back to Ubuntu when I realized Debian does not come with Firefox readily available). 

The main problem facing anyone using Unity on a Thinkpad is the lack of a 'Windows' key.  Unity maps its 'Super' key onto the Windows key, and the Super key is at the heart of how the Unity interface operates, being the basis for many keyboard shortcuts.  Without it you will spend a lot of time switching back and forth between mouse and keyboard.

The solution I chose was to map Caps Lock to the Super key as follows: 

System Settings > Keyboard Layout > Options > Caps Lock key behaviour > Make Caps Lock an additional Super

Now pressing Caps Lock brings up the Unity Dash.

Reader Comments (1)

This also works for my Model M Space Saving keyboard. Thanks!
January 29 | Unregistered CommenterJon P

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