Giving voice to silent function keys

Marcos Barbosa marcosestevesbarbosa at
Sun Mar 11 22:27:51 UTC 2012

Function keys (Fn keys) are configured in differentes ways, depends
notebook  model.

2012/3/11 Marius Gedminas <marius at>:
> On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 01:53:58PM -0700, Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
>> I'm trying to customize vim in various ways.  I've run into a puzzle
>> with function keys, in that some of them don't do anything at all with
>> certain modifier keys.  I'm running under gnome 2 on Ubuntu 11.04.
>> I'm using the showkey(1) command to get the ASCII sequence from
>> combinations of keys, except Alt-Control or Alt-Control-Shift, all of
>> which switch console windows.
>> I've found that most of them send an escape sequence, a few of them do
>> something special, and a few are silent.
>> The silent ones are control-F1, Alt-F5, Alt-F6, Alt-F7, Alt-Shift-F6
>> and Alt-Shift-F7.
>> The question for each of those 6 is the same:
>>   1) Does the key actually do something, and I just didn't notice.
> Alt-function keys are traditionally used for window management:
> - Alt-F5 restores a maximized window to the original size.
> - Alt-F6 and Shift-Alt-F6 switch between windows (without popping up the
>  Alt-Tab dialog)
> - Alt-F7 lets you move the window using the keyboard
> I'm not sure about Ctrl-F1 or Alt-Shift-F7.
> The function of the keys depends on your desktop environment (or window
> manager, more specifically), and are usually configurable.
>>   2) Is there a way to make the key available to an application like Vim?
> Take it away from its current function in System Settings -> Keyboard,
> and it should become available to Vim.
> Marius Gedminas
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Marcos Barbosa <marcosestevesbarbosa at>

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