Once again I have started to use Ubuntu GNU/Linux to try to get away from Windows and explore more freedom respecting software. Of course there are going to be a lot of utilities you use in Windows that are not available in Linux so you have to find the equivalents. One of my must have utilities on Windows is AutoHotKey, especially since I use a TypeMatrix compact keyboard with a Dvorak layout. For example, my Z key is on the right side of the keyboard so I like to remap Ctrl + ; (semicolon) to activate Ctrl + z to undo things with my left hand.
Here is how to remap a combination of keys to another combination of keys on linux:
sudo apt-get install xbindkeys
Create the default config file for xbindkeys
xbindkeys --defaults > /home/your-user-name/.xbindkeysrc
When thats done, install xbindkeys-config, the GUI for xbindkeys (note: the GUI is optional, you could just edit the config file with a text editor).
sudo apt-get install xbindkeys-config
Now the utility the actually does the “typing”
sudo apt-get install xvkbd
Once each is installed, start xbindkeys by bringing up “Run Application” with ALT -F2.
If you want to launch the GUI editor you can run xbindkeys-config, but I found it to be more confusing than the text file.
Configuring your Shortcuts and Macros
Open your configuration file in your favorite text editor. It is called .xbindkeysrc in your home directory. Use the # character to comment out lines, such as the default macros placed by the program’s author — after I installed it, Ctrl + F was launching an xterm window all the time.
At the end of the file, put this:
"xvkbd -xsendevent -text "Cz"" control + semicolon
– r – Return
– t – Tab
– b – Backspace
– e – Escape
– d – Delete
– S – Shift (modify the next character)
– C – Control (modify the next character)
– A – Alt (modify the next character)
– M – Meta (modify the next character)
– [keysym] – the keysym keysym
Please note that modify with “S will be ignored in many cases. For example, “aCbScDCE will be
interpreted as a, Control-b, c, Shift-D, and Control-Shift-E.
"firefox" control + f
Now I just have to find an easy way to reload my xbindkeysrc config file when I make changes. Right now I’m killing the process and launching it again.
Final note: you can set xbindkeys to launch on startup — in ubuntu, just go to System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications and add a new command xbindkeys.