Bind Super Key To Application Launcher on KDE

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So I have been using KDE for the past 2 months now and have been loving it. Then again I have always been a KDE lover. Since I started using Linux for my desktops I have used a lot of desktop environments (DE) such as XFCE, LXDE, Enlightenment and Gnome (Of course, it’s pretty much the default DE of several distros!), but I kept going back to KDE. I want my eye candy. And I also want it smooth and stable. KDE is pretty much that. Plus it is very customizable.

Yet despite that level of customisability, it puzzles me why it does not give an option to bind the Super key (known as the Windows key for most) to the main application launcher as shortcut. If you try to configure just the Super key to trigger the shortcut, it will not work since Super is considered a modifier key. That means you will need  another key(s) to create a shortcut, i.e. Super + F1.  For many Linux DEs, the default application launcher shortcut would be ALT + F1. Ubuntu on the other hand, after they introduced the Unity DE back in 2011, defaulted to make the shortcut with only a Super key press.

Just hitting Super to trigger the application launcher has been a welcome thing for me when I started using Ubuntu’s Unity. While I have gotten used to ALT + F1, if not the mouse, over the years, still the convenience of pressing only 1 key is such a relief.

So to get the Super key to trigger the application launcher on your KDE you will need the ksuperkey application. Thanks to AskUbuntu for this piece of information.

I am not sure if there is a .deb package for this tool, but the steps below should be quite easy even for a newbie to Linux. Before doing the steps below, make sure your application launcher is bound to ALT + F1 keys. If not, then go to KDE System Settings, or you can right click on the KDE application launcher button where an option is available to configure the keyboard shortcut. ksuperkey will always use the ALT + F1 as reference to trigger the action.

Now we begin:

(1) Open a Terminal (Konsole on KDE)

(2) Install the necessary packages that are needed to compile from source:

sudo apt-get install git gcc make libx11-dev libxtst-dev pkg-config

(3) Download the source for ksuperkey.

git clone https://github.com/hanschen/ksuperkey.git

(4) After that, just enter each of the commands below one by one

cd ksuperkey
make
./ksuperkey

Test if  it is working by hitting the Super key. Your application launcher should now magically appear!

Note: If you want ksuperkey to run after you login to the desktop, you will need to add it to Autostart. You can do this under KDE System Settings > Startup and Shutdown > Autostart. Just point to the ksuperkey executable in the folder where you downloaded/compiled the application.

For more information about ksuperkey, visit its Github site @ https://github.com/hanschen/ksuperkey

You can find the post where I found this solution @ http://askubuntu.com/questions/107879/bind-keys-to-actions-in-kde-4

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2 thoughts on “Bind Super Key To Application Launcher on KDE

  1. I have a problem on compiling:
    ksuperkey# make
    cc -Wall `pkg-config –cflags xtst x11` -o ksuperkey xcape.c `pkg-config –libs xtst x11` -pthread
    xcape.c:22:20: fatal error: stdlib.h: No such file or directory
    #include
    ^
    compilation terminated.
    make: *** [ksuperkey] Error 1

    • It means you are lacking a library to compile said application.

      Try installing the tool and libraries to compile on Linux.

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