Change Activity Overview Keybinding in Gnome


Pressing the Super key in Gnome invokes the Overview, which shows all open windows in the current Workspace. While very nice at times, it can also be rather inconvenient, if you press it by mistake, like I do quite often. There are, fortunately, various ways of changing the default keybinding.

Using Gnome Tweaks

Change the default keybinding for “Show Overview” from gnome-tweaks (Keyboard & Mouse, Overview Shortcut), by choosing Right Super:

gnome tweaks

Figure 1: Gnome Tweaks and Super Key

On many keyboards the Right Super key does not exist, in fact solving the issue.

Using the Command Line

A more elegant solution consists in changing the default from the command line with gsettings1:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter overlay-key ''

This has the advantage that no other key is bound to the function.

To bring the keybinding back:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter overlay-key 'Super_L'

Invoking the Overview with the new defaults

The overview can still be invoked with Super-S, the default keybinding in Gnome.

To assign a custom key go to Settings, Keyboard, and look for “Show the overview” entry.

gnome settings

Figure 2: Gnome Settings Show Overview

Finally, you can invoke the overview from the command line with the following command2, which you can easily alias or bind to a shell function:

dbus-send --session --type=method_call --dest=org.gnome.Shell /org/gnome/Shell org.gnome.Shell.Eval string:';'