Mapping shortcut keys with xbindkeys

If you are using one of those window-managers, which does not support shortcut keys very well by default (lwm, aewm etc.) then xbindkeys might be just what you are looking for.

Xbindkeys is a small program, which sits on the background and is ready to execute an action once some of the mapped key combinatioions gets pressed. Xbindkeys should be included in the majority of the repositories that come with current Linux distributions.  Installing is as easy as opening a terminal and becoming a root or a sudo and then writing something like:

apt-get install xbindkeys
pacman -S xbindkeys
emerge xbindkeys

Once xbindkeys is installed then you need to create a file called .xbindkeysrc and place it to your user’s home directory. The .xbindkeysrc is a hidden file, which will host all the needed shortcut¬† information.

To make matters simpler here is my .xbindkeysrc file:

ALT + F1

ALT + F2


ALT + F4

“xterm -fullscreen -e mocp”
ALT + F5

ALT +  F6


ALT + F8

“xterm -e alsamixer”
ALT + F9

“xterm -fullscreen -e mc”
ALT + F10

The structure is very simple and follows the logic of

“place your program/command here”
give a desired shortcut structure to open it.