Mate Shortcuts

Table of Contents

The Mate desktop environment has a number of built-in shortcuts for manipulating the system's resolution, switching workspaces, and launching applications. Mastery of these shortcuts will greatly reduce the amount of time spent clicking around menus and potentially boost your productivity.

NOTE: We will not cover all of the available shortcuts. You can look at the Keyboard menu discussed below in order to see them all. This article will cover some of the ones you are most likely to use.

NOTE on Key Terminology:

  • If your keyboard came from a Mac, the Alt key might be labeled Option instead.
  • If your keyboard came from a Mac, you likely have a Command key. If you have a Windows-based keyboard, you likely have a Windows key. These keys are referred to in the Linux world as the Super key (or Meta key in emacs and a few other contexts)
  • The ` key is sometimes called the grave or backtick. It is usually found above the Tab key, and shares its key with the tilde (~).

Changing the Default Shortcut Keybindings

We will be discussing the shortcuts as they exist on a freshly-installed instance of Korora Mate. However, if you would like to change the default shortcuts to better suit your keyboard or workflow, you are free to do so by opening the Keyboard settings application, which can be reached by navigating through the following menu path:

Menu -> System -> Preferences -> Hardware -> Keyboard Shortcuts

Emergency Shortcuts

Launch a Console Terminal

If Mate becomes unresponsive or you need to otherwise access a text-only console terminal outside of the window manager, enter the following command:

Ctrl + Alt + F2

You can switch back to the GUI by hitting:

Ctrl + Alt + F1

Restart Mate

If Mate has become buggy or unusable, you can try restarting it via the following:

Ctrl + Alt + Escape

Shut Down

Ctrl + Alt + Del

Session Shortcuts

Lock Screen

Ctrl + Alt + L

Workspace Shortcuts

NOTE: You can have as many workspaces as you like. When the documentation refers to moving "left" or "right", it means referring to the workspace immediately to the left or right of your current workspace. For example, if you are currently on Workspace 3, moving to the left workspace would switch you to Workspace 2. Moving to the right would shift you to Workspace 4, etc.

Switch to left workspace

Ctrl + Alt + Left Arrow

Switch to right workspace

Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow

Send current window to left workspace

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left

Send current window to right workspace

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Right

Launch the Menu Application and Search Bar


Window Management

Cycle between open windows / applications

To cycle from left to right, use:

Alt + Tab

To cycle in the reverse direction, use:

Alt + Shift + Tab

Cycle between open instances of the same application

By default Alt + Tab to cycle open windows will lump all instances of an application together. If you wish to cycle through those clumps of the same application (e.g. multiple File windows, multiple instances of Firefox, etc.), use the following command:

Alt + Grave (`)


Take a Screenshot

Print / PrtScr

Take Screenshot of the Current Window

Alt + PrtScr