25 Shortcuts for Unity Desktop

Jump to: Dash, Launcher, Arrange Windows, Manage Windows and Workspaces, Other

Unity is the default desktop interface in Ubuntu Linux, starting with version 11.04. The "Launcher" is the row of icons on the left edge of the screen. The "dash" is the overlay that appears when you click the Ubuntu logo in the upper left corner. Note that the "win" or Windows key is also called the "super" key.

1. Dash


Tap to open the dash with focus in the search box. Begin typing to find files or applications.

Arrow Keys

Navigate search results


Launch selected item.


Open the find files dash


Open the Applications dash


(in Applications dash) focus application category list on the right of the search box. Select category fitler with arrow keys.


Open the dash for entering commands.

2. Launcher


Hold to place focus on the Launcher.

Win+1 ... 9

Launch the application in the 1...9th position from the top of the Launcher. Hold down win to see the numbers corresponding to each icon.

Shift+Win+1 ... 9

Launch a new instance of the application in the 1...9th position from the top of the Launcher.


Open the launcher with keyboard focus. Use arrow up/down to select an application icon, enter to launch, and arrow right to open an applications "quick list" (if it has one).

3. Arrange Windows

Ctrl+Alt+num 1...9

Place window in the area of the screen indicated by the num key (e.g. use num 2 to place the window in the bottom half of the screen)

Ctrl+Alt+num 0

Maximize current window

4. Manage Windows and Workspaces


Expo mode. Expands all workspaces into a single view.


Minimize all windows to show the desktop. Restore all windows by hitting again.


Spread view of all windows on all workspaces.

Shift+Alt+Arrow Up

Expo mode for windows in the current workspace only.

Ctrl+Alt+Arrow Keys

Change to workspace left/right/up/down.

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Arrow Keys

Move current window to workspace left/right/up/down.

5. Other


Open first application menu item (e.g. "File" menu). Use arrow keys to cycle among menus and menu entries. Use esc to close menu without selecting anything.


Launch a terminal


Open trash


Lock the screen


Take a screenshot of the current view.


Take a screenshot of the current window.

Created by admin on 8/1/2010. Last updated by admin on 4/22/2015


1 Comments for 'Unity Desktop '   

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Comment #1 by ActionParsnip Nov 10, 2013 at 02:07 pm  Reply

Unity is a shell for the Gnome desktop, a plugin for Compiz. It is not a desktop environment


Unity Desktop Shortcuts

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