Useful Shortcut Keys in Ubuntu


For those shortcut key lovers out there, here is a long list of keyboard shortcuts for Ubuntu. Most of them should work in most Gnome-based distros. Enjoy the list.

General keyboard shortcuts

Ctrl + A = Select all
Ctrl + C = Copy the highlighted content to clipboard
Ctrl + V = Paste the clipboard content
Ctrl + N = New (Create a new document or new application, not in terminal)
Ctrl + O = Open a document
Ctrl + S = Save the current document
Ctrl + P = Print the current document
Ctrl + W = Close the current document
Ctrl + Q = Quit the current application

Keyboard shortcuts for GNOME desktop

Ctrl + Alt + Delete = Log out
Super + L = Lock the screen
Super + A = Show all applications
Super + V = Show the notification list
Super + S = Show the overview
Ctrl + Alt + F1 = Switch to the first virtual terminal
Ctrl + Alt + F2(F3)(F4)(F5)(F6) = Select the different virtual terminals
Ctrl + Alt + F7 = Restore back to the current terminal session with X
Ctrl + Alt + Backspace = Restart GNOME
Alt + Tab = Switch between open programs
Ctrl + Alt + Tab = Switch between system controls
Ctrl + Alt + Escape = Switch system controls directly
Alt + F1 = Open the Activities overview
Alt + F2 = Open the "Run Command" dialog box.
Alt + F4 = Close the current window
Alt + F5 = Unmaximizes the current window
Alt + F7 = Move the current window
Alt + F8 = Resize the current window
Alt + F10 = Maximize the current window
Alt + Space = Opens the window menu
Ctrl + Super + D = Hide all windows/Show desktop
Super + PageUp = Move to the above workspace
Super + PageDown = Move to the below workspace
Super + End = Move to the last workspace
Super + Home = Move to the first workspace
Shift + Super + Up/Down/Left/Right = Move window one monitor up/down/left/right
Shift + Super + PageUp/PageDown = Move window one workspace up/down
Shift + Super + End = Move window to last workspace
Shift + Super + Home = Move window to first workspace

Keyboard shortcuts for Terminal

Ctrl + A = Move cursor to beginning of line
Ctrl + E = Move cursor to end of line
Ctrl + C = Kill the current process
Ctrl + Z = Suspend the current process by sending the signal SIGSTOP
Ctrl + R = Find the last command matching the entered letters
Enter a letter, followed by Tab + Tab = List the available commands beginning with those letters
Ctrl + U = Delete the current line
Ctrl + K = Delete the command from the cursor right
Ctrl + W = Delete the word before the cursor
Ctrl + L = Clears the terminal output
Shift + Ctrl + C = Copy the highlighted command to the clipboard
Shift + Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) = Paste the contents of the clipboard
Alt + F = Move forward one word
Alt + B = Move backward one word
Arrow Up/Down = Browse command history
Shift + PageUp / PageDown = Scroll terminal output

Keyboard shortcuts for Taking Screenshots

Print = Save a screenshot to Pictures folder
Alt + Print = Save a screenshot of a window to Pictures folder
Shift + Print = Save a screenshot of an area to Pictures folder
Ctrl + Alt + Print = Copy a screenshot of a window to clipboard
Shift + Ctrl + Print = Copy a screenshot of an area to clipboard
Ctrl + Print = Copy a screenshot to clipboard
Shift + Ctrl + Alt + R = Start screencast recording

Keyboard shortcut for Files/Nautilus

Ctrl + ?/F1 = Open the Keyboard Shortcut window
Shift + Ctrl + N = Create New Folder
Delete = Move selected files/folders to Trash
Shift + Delete = Delete selected files/folders permanently
Ctrl + T = Open a new tab
Ctrl + PageUp = Go to previous tab
Ctrl + PageDown = Go to next tab
Shift + Ctrl + PageUp = Move tab left
Shift + Ctrl + PageDown = Move tab right
Shift + Ctrl + T = Restore closed tab
Alt + 0 . . . . 8 = Go to the specified tab
Ctrl + ENTER = Open the selected folder in a new tab
Shift + ENTER = Open the selected folder in a new window
Alt + ENTER = Show File/Folder Properties
Ctrl + 1 = Toggle View As List
Ctrl + 2 = Toggle View As Grid
Ctrl + S = Select Pattern
F2 = Rename File
Ctrl + A = Select all files and folders
Ctrl + F = Search
Ctrl + D = Bookmark current location
Ctrl + W = Close Window
Ctrl + o or Enter = Open selected file/folder
Ctrl + R = Reload Window
Alt + Up = Open parent directory
Alt + Left = Back
Alt + Right = Forward
Alt + Home = Go to Home folder
Ctrl + L = Show/go to location bar
/ = Show/go to location bar with root location
~ = Show/go to location bar with Home location
Ctrl + H = Show Hidden Files
Ctrl + + = Zoom In
Ctrl + - = Zoom Out
Ctrl + 0 = Normal Size
Shift + Ctrl + Down = Open selected file and close window
Alt + Down = Open selected file with default application
F9 = Show/hide sidepane
F10 = Show/hide action menu

For those who want to configure your own keyboard shortcuts, you can do so at “Settings -> Devices -> Keyboard.”

Which ones are your favorite keyboard shortcuts? Are there anymore shortcuts that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I will add them in.

This article was first published in July 2008 and was updated in May 2018.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Very Useful tips for students in RGUKT like me, please upload new shortcut keys for ubuntu.

  2. hey add
    Alt + Shift to change the writing language in any app inside Ubuntu

    psst: note: this works only if you actually installed other languages besides us Eng us

  3. Lets be realistic, folks…. some of these combos have changed since July 14th 2008. Be prepared to find incorrect statements.

    Carry on, Stumblers!

  4. Is there a shortcut to list all (or many) of the commands in Ubuntu?
    Also, do these shortcuts work running Ubuntu under Windows?

    1. Do you mean the terminal’s command? or keyboard shortcuts?

      Most of the shortcuts should still work in a virtual machine, though those involve the “Super” (or “Win”) key might not work as Windows has its own shortcut using the “Win” button.

      1. Sorry if I wasn’t clear: I’d like to have a list of terminal commands (and keyboard shortcuts would be welcome as well).

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