Fedora GNOME Keyboard Shortcuts

Common shortcuts in GNOME streamline your workflow

The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts
The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts

To get the very best out of the GNOME desktop environment, within Fedora, you need to learn and remember the keyboard shortcuts required to navigate the system.

These are the most useful keyboard shortcuts and how they are used.

The Super Key

Pressing the Super key in GNOME

The Super key is your best friend for accessing modern operating systems.

On a standard laptop, the Super key sits on the bottom row next to the Alt key. On most laptops and keyboards, it looks like the Windows logo.

When you press the Super key, the activities overview displays and you will see all of the open applications zoomed out.

Pressing Alt+F1 shows the same display.

Run a Command

Run command in GNOME

To run a command quickly, press Alt+F2 to display a Run Command dialog.

Enter your command into that window and press Enter to execute it.

Switch to Other Open Applications

Using Alt+Tab through applications in Gnome

As with Microsoft Windows, switch applications using the Alt+Tab combo.

The GNOME application switcher shows the icons and names of the applications as you tab through them.

Use the Alt+Shift+Tab keys to rotate the icons in reverse order.

Switch to Another Window in the Same Application

Switching windows in the same application in Gnome

There are two ways to cycle through all of the open instances of the same application.

The first is to press Alt+Tab until the cursor sits over the icon of the application with many windows that you wish to cycle through. After a pause, a drop-down will appear and you can select the window with the mouse.

The second option is to press Alt+Tab until the cursor sits over the icon of the application you want to cycle through and then press Super+` (the accent grave key, shared with the ~ tilde, top left, usually below the Esc key) to toggle through the open instances.

The key for cycling through the open instances is always the key above the Tab key regardless of your keyboard layout, therefore it isn't always guaranteed to be the ` key.

Switch Keyboard Focus

Switching keyboard focus in Gnome

To switch the keyboard focus to the search bar or to an application window, press ​Ctrl+Alt+Tab to show a list of possible areas to switch to. Use the arrow keys to cycle through the possible options.

Show a List of All the Applications

All applications in Gnome

To open a full list of all the applications on your system, press Super+A.

Switch Workspaces

Switching workspaces in Gnome

If you have been using Linux for a while, you will appreciate the fact that you can use multiple workspaces.

For example, in one workspace you might have development environments open; in another, web browsers; and in a third, your email client.

To toggle between workspaces press the Super+PgUp keys to toggle in one direction and the ​Super+​PgDn keys to toggle in the other direction.

Move Items to a New Workspace

Moving application to another workspace in Gnome

If the workspace you are using is getting cluttered and you wish to move the current application to a new workspace press the Super+Shift+PgUp combo or Super+Shift+PgDn combo.

Alternatively, press the Super key to bring up the list of applications and drag the application you wish to move to one of the workspaces on the right of the screen.

Show the Message Tray

Showing the message tray in Gnome

The message tray provides a list of notifications. To bring up the message tray press Super+M.

Lock the Screen

Locked screen in Gnome

Need a comfort break or a cup of coffee? Don't want sticky paws all over your keyboard?

Whenever you leave your computer alone, get in the habit of pressing Super+L to lock the screen.

Power Off

Using Ctrl+Alt+Del within Gnome to shut down the computer

If you used to be a Windows user, then you will remember the three finger salute known as Ctrl+Alt+Del.

If you press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard within Fedora, a message will appear, telling you that your computer will shut down in 60 seconds.

Editing Shortcuts

Close up of Ctrl key

 ​Adam Gault / Getty Images

These editing keyboard shortcuts are pretty much universal across every operating system.

  • Ctrl+A ​= Select All
  • Ctrl+X = Cut
  • Ctrl+C = Copy
  • Ctrl+V = Paste
  • Ctrl+Z = Undo

Screen Capturing

Hands on keyboard

Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images 

As with the editing shortcuts, the screen-capturing keys are fairly standard:

  • PrtSc = Take a screenshot
  • Alt+PrtSc = Take a screenshot of the current window
  • Shift+PrtSc = Take a screenshot of an area of the screen

A less common command that's great for people making tutorial videos:

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R = Record screencast (press the combo again to stop the screencast)

The screencasts will be stored in the videos folder under your home directory in the WEBM format.

Put Windows Side by Side

Putting windows side by side with Gnome

Place windows side by side so that one uses the left side of the screen and the other uses the right side of the screen.

Press the ​Super+​Left Arrow key to shift the current application to the left.

Press the ​Super+​Right Arrow key to shift the current application to the right.

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