Linux utility that allows you to use the Super key both to open the start menu and as a modifier key in keyboard shortcuts
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xfce-superkey allows you to open the whisker menu launcher in XFCE using the Super key (also known as "Meta" or "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.

xfce-superkey is a small desktop-agnostic application that runs in the background as a daemon. It was forked from ksuperkey by hanschen, which was forked from xcape by Albin Olsson.


Below are some generic instructions for how to compile xfce-superkey from source.

  1. Install dependencies.

    On Debian-based systems (including Ubuntu and Linux Mint), run:

    $ sudo apt-get install git gcc make libx11-dev libxtst-dev pkg-config

    On Fedora-based systems, run:

    $ sudo dnf install git gcc make libX11-devel libXtst-devel pkgconfig

    On some systems you also need to install the build-essential (or equivalent) package.

  2. Clone project and compile:

    $ git clone
    $ cd xfce-superkey
    $ make
  3. Install system-wide using e.g. sudo (optional):

    $ sudo make install
  4. Launch xfce-superkey.

  5. Set xfce-superkey as auto start. See Xfce#Autostart.


$ xfce-superkey [-d] [-t <timeout ms>]


Debug mode. Does not fork into the background.

-t <timeout ms>

If you hold a key longer than this timeout, xfce-superkey will not open the menu. Default is 500 ms.



Makes left Super key to execute xfce4-popup-whiskermenu when pressed and released on its own (does not affect existing keyboard combinations using the Super key).

Note regarding xmodmap (may not relate to xfce-superkey)

If you are in the habit of remapping keycodes to keysyms (e.g. using xmodmap), there are two issues you may encounter:

  1. You will need to restart xfce-superkey after every time you modify the mapping from keycodes to keysyms (e.g. with xmodmap), or xfce-superkey will still use the old mapping.

  2. The key you wish to send must have a defined keycode. So for example, with Control_L=Escape, you need an Escape key defined in your xmodmap mapping. (A workaround is to use 255, which some keyboards cannot send.)