Show Desktop Keyboard Shortcut for Linux

Did you just switch to Linux and realise that pressing Win Key + D shortcut doesn’t take you to the desktop? Yes, by default this keyboard shortcut for ‘Show Desktop’ doesn’t work in Linux.

Show Desktop Shortcut for the Gnome Desktop

By default, Gnome should come with a Show Desktop icon. Look for it. You can also use CTRL + ALT + D shortcut on your Gnome Desktop to bring the Desktop View.

If you’re too used to the Win+D shortcut, there’s a way you can enable it to act as the ‘Show Desktop’ shortcut. Here’s how you can make Win+D to show up the desktop for you:

Just fire up the shell, and enter the following command:

$ gconftool-2 -t str set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/show_desktop “d”

That’s it. Press Win + D keyboard shortcut, and you’re taken to the desktop instantly.

Show Desktop for the KDE Desktop

The same CTRL+ALT+D key works on KDE as well, or you can add a panel (if it’s not there already) by right clicking on the panel, clicking on ‘Add’ >> ‘Special Buttons’ >> ‘Desktop Access’. Drag the button and place it anywhere on the panel.

I’m not sure of how to go about changing the shortcut combination in KDE, let me know in the comments if anyone has got a solution to this.

Published by

Shankar Ganesh

A 16 year old Techie, High School Student, Blogger and Part Time Freelance Writer from India. He writes about computers and software at Killer Tech Tips

  • so shankar, r u using linux desktop ?

  • Yeah, I’m on Ubuntu right now.

  • Thank You for nice responding and a timely theme
    of this post.

  • Linux is new to me…So, this post is really useful as I don’t know much about Linux right now. Thanks for the great info.

  • KDE:
    1) Run KControl (Alt+f2, kcontrol if not in KMenu)
    2) On the sidebar, go to Regional and Accessibility — Keyboard Shortcuts
    3) Find “Toggle Showing Desktop” under Panel section. You can use the search for quicker finding.

    From here, it should be self explanatory. :) Sorry no easy command to insert though. :-\

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  • Greg M

    In KDE 4.3, open system settings. Click Keyboard & Mouse, global keyboard shortcuts, change kde component to plasma workspace, click “show dashboard.” Enable the default setting or choose your own.


    for KDE
    1) Run KControl and write CompizConfig Settings Manager
    2) and you will see desktop –> show desktop
    3) add widgets —-> show desktop and configure it
    and enjoy

  • I was struggled to get back to the Linux GUI mode terminal being new to the Linux environment. I was even tried and tired by pressing Crtl+alt+F7 to get back to the GUI mode but nothing had work. Ctrl+alt=D worked it out. helped me to got back to the Linux GUI mode.

  • blackmail

    So, for KDE it is pretty straight forward, just type in the kickoff menu search bar keyboard and the glodal keyboard shortcuts will be there somewhere, then just try to find show desktop and define the shortcut keys your heart wishes… I personally set Meta(Windooz-key)+D

  • mdemirst

    For ubuntu 12.04 you should use Ctrl+Super(Windows)+d instead of Ctrl+Alt+d

    • brisbane

      Thanks. It works well! :)