Debian (XFCE/Wfm4) with macOS-like keybindings

Some keybindings & shortcuts I configured to make my transition to linux a little easier.
2 min read

I recently installed the Debian with XFCE & Xfwm4 on my laptop, dual booting alongside macOS. For my own sanity, I did some key remapping to make myself equally productive on both installations.


I wanted the keybindings which’re mostly the same on linux as they are on macOS, to use the CMD aka “Super” key on linux, instead of the control key. I didn’t want to remove the control key’s functionality, just duplicate it on the Super key, so muscle memory for things like CMD+c would still work inside most apps.


I found this solution on stack overflow, and it works quite nicely, using xmodmap:

inside my ~/.Xmodmap:

remove mod4 = Super_L
add control = Super_L

Application Shortcuts

Spotlight Replacement

As a spotlight search replacement, I added an application shortcut in the Keyboard settings, from SUPER+SPACE to xfce4-appfinder.

Magnet Window Snap

Magnet’s window snapping shortcuts (CTRL+ALT+{LEFT,RIGHT,UP,DOWN,U,I,J,K}), can be bound directly inside xfce’s Xfwm4 window manager settings.


In macOS, the cursor can be jumped to the start & end of the line, using CMD+{LEFT/RIGHT}. Linux just jumps one word, which is a bit annoying. Unfortunately, this trick doesn’t seem to work in all apps.

I installed xdotool and added a couple application shortcuts. I’m still experimenting with making this work better.

CTRL+RIGHT bash -c "xdotool getactivewindow key End"
CTRL+LEFT  bash -c "xdotool getactivewindow key Home"

Change Log

  • 4/30/2020 - Initial Revision

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