Gnome Cheat Sheet

Table of Contents

Run startup script before Gnome starts

To get Gnome to run a startup script before invoking gnome-session (e.g., to ensure that various environment variables are set):

On Linux, do one of:

Disable blinking cursor in gnome-terminal

$ gnome-keyboard-properties

Fix it there. Takes effect immediately.

Key bindings

Key bindings in Gnome (e.g., to fix the fact that, by default, ALT-SPACE pulls up a menu, which messes with my Emacs):

$ gconf-editor

See: apps > metacity > global_keybindings and apps > metacity > window_keybindings

Keybindings for GTK applications

$ gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_key_theme Emacs --type string

Typing accented characters

First, ensure that you have a Compose Key on your keyboard. In System > Preferences > Keyboard, select the Layouts tab, click the keyboard name, and press Show…. Verify that a Compose Key is set.

Then, use the Compose + accent-key + character sequence to generate an accent. Note: Unlike on the Mac, where you use Option as a chorded key, use Compose separately (e.g., Compose, then accent**, **then character).

On a standard USA keyboard, Compose is often the left Windows key.


Disable Alt-F opening Gnome Terminal menu:

Open Keyboard Shortcuts on an active terminal, and uncheck top checkbox.

Single click to open a folder

Disable “empty trash” prompt

Getting Gnome desktop to quit prompting for trash emptying:

Or: Just use Edit > Preferences > Behavior (as noted above).

Get trash icon on desktop

Show the Computer, Home and Trash desktop icons in Gnome.


Disabling Workspace Switcher tooltips


This is as a workaround to a bug that left some tooltips “hanging” and were generally annoying. …

If you want to disable the “Click to start dragging” tooltip (when you hover over a workspace in the workspace switcher) and that for the calendar, so they don’t linger around or pop up in the first place, do the following:

Start ccsm:

$ ccsm

Go to Accessibility > Opacity, Brightness and Saturation > Opacity > Window specific settings. Create settings like this:

class=^Clock-applet$ & type=Tooltip 0
class=^Wnck-applet$ & type=Tooltip 0

Be sure to click the Enable Opacity, Brightness and Saturation checkbox.


Disable resize when mouse moves on top border

Symptom: Moving the mouse upwards on the top border of a window initiates a resize action (e.g., with a growing orange rectangle).

Solution: In the CompizConfig Settings Manager, go to Window Management, then Grid, and select Edges. Under Resize Actions, select “None”.