The powerful world of Debian keyboard shortcuts

Debian comes with a powerful set of keyboard shortcuts that you can use to improve performance with minimal effort. If you have good shortcut management, you can avoid using the mouse; which saves a lot of time. You can also focus on your work, rather than follow the mouse pointer. Keyboard shortcuts are especially useful if you edit a lot of text; Your arm muscles will actually thank you for avoiding the mouse. In this article, we will mention some useful keyboard shortcuts for Debian, and also show how to create a custom keyboard shortcut for a task that you often perform, i.e. open the terminal Gnome.

Before moving on to the article, pay attention to the following points:

  • The shortcuts mentioned in this article have been tried and tested on the Debian 10 Buster system.
  • The superkey mentioned in this article refers to the Windows key on your keyboard.

Debian Desktop Shortcuts

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to get the most out of your Debian desktop environment:

shortest wayUtility
Ctrl + Alt + DeleteUse this shortcut to exit Debian.
Alt + Tab / Super + TabUse this shortcut to switch between open programs.
Ctrl + Alt + TabUse this shortcut to switch between system controls such as Windows, the top panel, and the desktop.
Ctrl + Alt + EscUse this shortcut to directly switch between system controls.
Super + LUse this shortcut to lock the screen.
Super + AUse this shortcut to view all applications.
Super + V,Use this shortcut to view notifications, if any.
Super + SUse this shortcut to get an overview of open actions.
Alt + F1Use this shortcut to get an overview of open windows.
Alt + F2Use this shortcut to open the Run dialog box.
Alt + F4Use this shortcut to close the current window.
Alt + F5Use this shortcut to expand the current window.
Alt + F7Use this shortcut to select the current window to move.
Alt + F8Use this shortcut to resize the current window.
Alt + F10Use this shortcut to minimize or maximize the current window.
Alt + SpaceUse this shortcut to view the window menu used to maximize, minimize, move, close, etc. the current window.
Super + PageupUse this shortcut to move to the above workspace.
super + PageDownUse this shortcut to move to the workspace below.
Super + HomeUse this shortcut to go to the first workspace.
Super + EndUse this shortcut to go to the last workspace.
Shift + Super + HomeUse this shortcut to move the window to the first workspace.
Shift + Super + EndUse this shortcut to move the window to the last workspace.
Shift + Super + Up / Shift +

Super + Down

Use this shortcut to move the window up / down.
Shift + Super + Left / Shift + Super + RightUse this shortcut to move the window left / right.

Debian Application Shortcuts

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to get the most out of your Debian applications:

shortest wayUtility
Ctrl + 0Use this shortcut to open a new file.
Ctrl + SUse this shortcut to save the current file.
Ctrl + PUse this shortcut to print the current document.
Ctrl + WUse this shortcut to close the current file.
Ctrl + QUse this shortcut to close an open application.
Ctrl + A,Use this shortcut to select all elements / text.
Ctrl + CUse this shortcut to copy the selected items / text to the clipboard.
Ctrl + V,Use this shortcut to paste copied elements / text.
Ctrl + NUse this shortcut to create a new file in the currently open application.

Debian Screen Printing Labels

You can use the following shortcuts to quickly use the Debian screen printing feature:

shortest wayUtility
ScreenshotUse this shortcut to take a screenshot and save it in the Images folder.
Alt + PrintScreenUse this shortcut to take a snapshot of the current window and save it in the Images folder.
Shift + PrintScreenUse this shortcut to select the area that will be saved as a screenshot in the Images folder.
Ctrl + Alt +

Screenshot

Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of the window to the clipboard.
Shift + Ctrl +

Screenshot

Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of the selected area to the clipboard.
Ctrl + PrintScreenUse this shortcut to copy a screenshot of the entire screen to the clipboard.

Debian Terminal Keyboard Shortcuts

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to quickly launch terminal commands in the most optimal way:

shortest wayUtility
Ctrl + A,Use this shortcut to move the cursor to the beginning of a line.
Ctrl + EUse this shortcut to move the cursor to the end of the line.
Ctrl + CUse this shortcut to kill the current process.
Ctrl + RUse this shortcut to search your history based on your keywords.
Ctrl + UUse this shortcut to delete the current line.
Ctrl + KUse this shortcut to delete text on the right side of the cursor.
Ctrl + WUse this shortcut to delete text before the cursor.
Ctrl + LUse this shortcut to clear the terminal command output.
Alt + FUse this shortcut to move the cursor forward one word.
Alt + BUse this shortcut to move the cursor back one word.
[letter]Enter a letter, and then double-tap to list all commands starting with that letter.

Creating Your Own Keyboard Shortcut in Debian

Create a custom shortcut to open a Gnome terminal

When I switched from Ubuntu to Debian, I most lacked the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T, which I very often used to launch the Terminal application. So, here is how you can create a shortcut in Debian to launch Terminal.

Open the Settings utility from the search in the Application Launcher or using the down arrow button located in the upper right corner of the screen.

The settings utility opens in the form in which you were the last time you last opened the settings.

Click on the “Devices” tab in the left menu of the “Settings” window. Then click on the “Keyboard” tab in the “Devices” menu. The following keyboard view will be displayed on the right panel:

Hotkeys

In addition, you can directly open the Settings utility in the Keyboard view as follows:

Search for keyboard shortcuts

Scroll down the keyboard view in the settings and click + button. The Add Custom Shortcut dialog box appears.

Enter the following information in the Add Custom Shortcut menu:

Name: Terminal

Command: gnome terminal

Add custom shortcut

Keyboard Shortcuts: Install the shortcut by clicking the “Set Shortcut” button, and then set the shortcut by simultaneously pressing the keys Ctrl + Alt + T. The following dialog will appear:

Shortcut to open Terminal

Click the Add button and your new shortcut is now installed.

In the Keyboard Shortcuts list, you can see the newly installed keyboard shortcuts in the Keyboard Shortcuts column as follows:

Summary of Details

Try this shortcut by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T. The terminal will appear every time you do it.

Now you can work more efficiently by completely avoiding the mouse, and focus more on your work by simply ignoring the cursor. You can use the shortcuts mentioned in this article to manage your desktop, terminal, applications and screenshots and save a lot of time.

The powerful world of Debian keyboard shortcuts

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