Ubuntu – How to reconfigure keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste


I've been looking all over the configuration menus and googling all over the web for how to configure keyboard shortcuts for Copy and Paste in the Unity window manager.

Is there some hidden place somewhere to configure this?

In Gnome Desktop on Lucid, I had it configured so that using the Ubuntu system keyboard/mouse, I could use Win+C/Win+V to copy and paste everywhere on the Gnome desktop, including in Firefox and gnome terminal; then when I moved the mouse to my Mac desktop*, the same keystrokes would copy and paste. I would really like to keep this consistency.

Ctrl+C is obviously inappropriate as the "copy" key in any sort of terminal program. (Any Ctrl characters, actually.)

* I am doing this by running Synergy server on Ubuntu, and the Synergy client on a Macbook.

Best Answer

Various config things needed changing to get the results I wanted:

  • In Firefox, about:config
    ui.key.accelKey 18
    ui.key.menuAccessKey 17

    This makes the Alt+C, Alt+V and Alt+W the keyboard shortcuts for Firefox rather than the corresponding Ctrl keys.
  • In gnome-terminal, edit->keyboard shortcuts, turn off "Enable menu access keys", change the copy, paste, etc., to Alt+C, Alt+V, etc. (This may have been the default that I changed some time in the past.)
  • In .synergy-conf, remove alt = super, super = alt. Now, Alt on the Ubuntu keyboard is the Command key on the Mac. Now, I just use Alt instead of Win; no big deal. (The Unity window manager seems to "own" the Win key; it seemed the path of least resistance to just change my habit here... and the Alt key is more like the location of the Command key on the Mac.)
  • Disable "New Terminal - Alt-T" in system keyboard shortcuts so it can be used for "New Tab" in gnome-terminal and Firefox.

Thanks for the pointers... I'd forgotten about the Firefox about:config change I had made way back when, which was an essential piece to the puzzle.