Using Ctrl+Shift+Escape for System Monitor in Ubuntu

Moving from Windows to Ubuntu, there is one shortcut I surely miss – Ctrl+Shift+Escape. On Ubuntu this does absolutely nothing.

Fortunately one can always add a custom shortcut to System Monitor:

Terminal
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys custom-keybindings \
"['/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/']"
GSCHEMA=org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys.custom-keybinding
GPATH=/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/
gsettings set $GSCHEMA:$GPATH name "System Monitor"
gsettings set $GSCHEMA:$GPATH command "gnome-system-monitor"
gsettings set $GSCHEMA:$GPATH binding "<Primary><Shift>Escape"

However, this is not quite “it”. The major issue is that, if System Monitor is already open, it will remain in background. As this is Linux, of course there is a command line solution for this.

First we need to install wmctrl package

Terminal
sudo apt install wmctrl

Then we can setup a script to run System Monitor and activate it’s window. Since application itself is single instance, this does exactly what we need:

~/bin/system-monitor
#!/bin/bash
nohup gnome-system-monitor >/dev/null 2>&1 & >/dev/null
wmctrl -Fa 'System Monitor'

To make it runnable, we shouldn’t forget chmod:

Terminal
chmod +x ~/bin/system-monitor

And now finally we can adjust our key binding to call that newly created script:

Terminal
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys custom-keybindings \
"['/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/']"
GSCHEMA=org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys.custom-keybinding
GPATH=/org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins/media-keys/custom-keybindings/custom0/
gsettings set $GSCHEMA:$GPATH name "System Monitor"
gsettings set $GSCHEMA:$GPATH command "$HOME/bin/system-monitor"
gsettings set $GSCHEMA:$GPATH binding "<Primary><Shift>Escape"

I call this close enough.

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