How do I open the Application Launcher on KDE with just the meta ("Windows") key?

How do I open the application launcher (“start menu”) of Kubuntu with my Windows key? Similar to how the Start menu in Windows is opened. I don’t want to use Alt+F1.

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Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

If you assign the launcher shortcut key to Meta+F1 or Alt+F1, KDE will instead interpret this as assigning it to solely the Meta key.

To open the settings window, right-click on the launcher icon and choose Configure Application Launcher. Then click on Keyboard shortcuts (as shown below).

After clicking Apply, the launcher should open when just pressing Meta. This currently works on Plasma 5.24 and 5.25.

How do I open the Application Launcher on KDE with just the meta ("Windows") key?

Solution 2

About modifier keys

Modifier keys like Ctrl, Alt and also the Meta (also called "Super" or "Windows" key, are meant to operate only as modifier keys. This design works its way down to the roots of all the libraries under the GUI you see using KDE: Qt, Xorg, etc.

Your exact question is here on the KDE Forums by the way: Super key to load Application Menu.


It seems however, that there’s a large audience for this feature. So, in case you really want this to work, you could try the ksuperkey package, which contains all you need:

ksuperkey allows you to open the application launcher in KDE Plasma < 5.8 using the Super key (also known as the "Windows key"). If you hold down the Super key it will still act as a modifier key, allowing you to use it for other keyboard shortcuts.

ksuperkey is a small application that runs in the background as a daemon. It was forked from xcape by Albin Olsson:

ksuperkey can be installed from this PPA.

Note that KDE Plasma 5.8 and above will support this feature by default.

Solution 3

It doesn’t do exactly what you are asking for, but ALT-Space opens a search box with which you can launch basically the stuff you could select from the Application Launcher.

Solution 4

Feature has been added by default since Plasma 5.8.
If it’s not working, make sure your "Start Menu" widget has a global shortcut like Alt+F1 set.
You can’t assign it directly to Meta, but it will open with Meta if another shortcut is assigned).

Right Click the KDE Icon → Application Menu Settings
Keyboard Shortcuts Tab → Shortcut: Alt+F1

Latte Dock:

If you’re using Latte Dock, you will need to run the following commands mentioned in it’s Wiki.

kwriteconfig5 --file ~/.config/kwinrc --group ModifierOnlyShortcuts --key Meta  "org.kde.lattedock,/Latte,org.kde.LatteDock,activateLauncherMenu"
qdbus org.kde.KWin /KWin reconfigure

Solution 5

simple workaround without loosing meta: meta + z (u.s. layout)

can be hit with just one finger at one

Solution 6

I’m on Plasma 5.8.5 and I can enable this feature by going to System Settings -> Input Devices -> Keyboard -> Advanced -> The third checkbox should be “Alt/Win key behavior” -> Choose “Meta is mapped to Win keys” -> Apply

You are all set 🙂

Solution 7

While the accepted answer may have worked a few years ago, ksuperkey does not seem to work on Kubuntu 15.10, when installed from PPA. I have no doubt ksuperkey is a better solution, but I ended up following the link in gertvdjik’s answer and using this solution, which works absolutely fine. Posting here for future googlers who had the same trouble as I did.

For brevity;

NOTICE: YOU WILL LOSE THE META KEY – so you might want to map it
somewhere else.

Run xev | grep keycode press the meta key and watch the output (the
code is likely 115)

then add an entry to your Xmodmap configuration:

echo 'keycode 115 = F13' > ~/.Xmodmap

"xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap" will change the keysym to F13 (not present on
most keyboards 😉 and you can use it like any regular key.

If your distro does (probably) not invoke ~/.Xmodmap by default, add a
short script to ~/.kde/share/autostart/
#!/bin/sh xmodmap $HOME/.Xmodmap

and make it executable chmod +x ~/.kde/share/autostart/

Solution 8

kwriteconfig5 --file ~/.config/kwinrc --group ModifierOnlyShortcuts --key Meta "org.kde.plasmashell,/PlasmaShell,org.kde.PlasmaShell,activateLauncherMenu"

works most of the time for me. It adds the setting to the kwin config file. This means it defines a new so called “ModifierOnlyShortcurt”, which is just the Meta key to activate the launcher menu.

Solution 9

This soultion worked for me

sudo apt-get install git gcc make libx11-dev libxtst-dev pkg-config
git clone
cd ksuperkey

then make it to start every-time your computer boots up.


Solution 10

Running the "If you wish to revert…" commands from here fixed it for me in the latest Kubuntu after I ‘broke’ it switching to a custom doc.

Solution 11

I have also be confused about this question weeks ago.
Today I added a panel and a Tiled Menu on it. Then I use alt+F5 to activate it.
Beacuse alt+F1 F2 F3 F4 are alreadly occupied. Really, not alt+F1.
It happened just after reboot that the Super was back to life!
So I think that:

The one on Latte Dock won't work.
The one on a default panel will do.

It’s interesting.
KDE Plasma Version:5.14.5
KDE Frameworks Version:5.54.0
Debian 10.3

Solution 12

It just randomly stopped working today for me. Had to right click the Application Launcher (start menu) > Configure > Assign a new keyboard shortcut ‘Meta + Z’ because some ditzy person decided to disable the option to just use Meta (That I can assure you was deliberate) Then. Boom! It started working with just Meta and also Meta + Z.

What a silly solution all because KDE has dementia and can’t remember what happened 5 minutes ago. History in Konsole, Screen layouts, etc etc. There are many such examples.

Solution 13

For me, the keyboard shortcut Windows + Enter worked (Kubuntu: 22.04/KDE Plasma: 5.24.6).


  1. Right click on Application Launcher icon, select Configure Application Launcher.

How do I open the Application Launcher on KDE with just the meta ("Windows") key?

  1. Go to Keyboard Shortcuts tab and click on Input ... button.

How do I open the Application Launcher on KDE with just the meta ("Windows") key?

  1. Hit Windows + Enter keys on the keyboard.

(Windows = Meta = Super = same key.

Enter = Return = same key)

  1. It should look like this

How do I open the Application Launcher on KDE with just the meta ("Windows") key?

  1. Finally, click on Ok to save the configuration and test.

Solution 14

This simple solution don’t use the Meta key but you can use only the Menu key for the shortcut.

The Menu key

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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