In this file you can find all keyboard bindings used in FVWM-Crystal desktop.


Alt - Meta (Alt)
Win_L - Windows Left
Win_R - Windows Right
Menu - a "menu" key
KP_ - means that following key is on the numeric keyboard
LMB - Left Mouse Button
RMB - Right Mouse Button
MMB - Middle Mouse Button

Terminal windows:

Alt + ` (grave)

Opens "QuakeConsole", a terminal similar to console available in FPP games, like Quake series. It’s a normal terminal where you can launch commands. It stays on top of other windows, is visible on all desktops. When you press Alt+` again, it will roll up and hide, waiting for your next press of Alt+`, when it will show up again, so you can launch a command in this terminal and hide it.

Alt + Shift + ` (grave)

It will open new terminal window, Aterm by default.

Alt + ;

Opens FvwmConsole in the lower-left corner of the screen, where you can issue FVWM commands, and sometimes see error messages. The same combination will hide/unhide it.

System and Applications menu:

Alt + Menu

Opens a small menu with all the menus from ApplicationPanel and Docklet. You can navigate the menu using cursor keys, or h, j, k, l, Escape cancels the selection, Enter selects a menu position.

Alt + Win_R

Opens an /Applications menu which contains a list of available applications. You can use arrow keys or hjkl to move between menu entries, Enter to select an entry and Escape to close the menu.

Desktop switching & moving windows between desktops:

Alt + Escape

Swiches between two last used pages of the desktop.

Alt + F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8

Switches to the selected page of the desktop, from 1 to 8.

Alt + Shift + F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8

Moves active window to selected page, from 1 to 8.

Alt + [

Go to the page on the left side of the current one.

Alt + ]

Go to the page on the right side of the current one.

Alt + Shift + [

Move the focused window to the page on the left side of the current one and go there.

Alt + Shift + ]

Move the focused window to the page on the right side of the current one and go there.

Window movement on a single desktop:

Alt + h, j, k, l

Move windows to selected screen edge, centered: j h k l

Alt + Shift + h, j, k, l

Move windows to selected screen corner: h k j l

Window and icon list:

Alt + Tab

Shows a list of opened windows on the current page, allows you to switch between them. Last active window will be at the end of the list, previously active window will be at the top - that way quickly pressed and released Alt+Tab will switch between two last used windows.

Alt + Shift + Tab

Shows a list of iconified windows, with thumbnails. After releasing Alt selected window will show up on the current page. Escape cancels this operation.

Window resizer:

Alt + Shift + 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0

Resizes currently focused window in different ways. Try it to see what happens :)

Alt + Shift + D

Restore the original size and place again the windows.

Music player and audio mixer:

Alt + Z

Selects prevouse track in music player.

Alt + X

Starts playback in music player.

Alt + C

Pauses playback in music player.

Alt + V

Stops playback in music player.

Alt + B

Selects next track in music player.

Alt + N

Selects prevous track ignoring "Shuffle" setting in music player.

Alt + M

Selects next track ignoring "Shuffle" setting in music player.

Alt + ,

Lowers the volume by 1.5 dB.

Alt + .

Raises the volume by 1.5 dB.

Alt + Shift + ,

Lowers the volume by 10 %.

Alt + Shift + .

Raises the volume by 10 %.

Alt + / (slash)

Activates the search function of the music player (currently only XMMS with XMMS-Find)

Alt + Shift + / (slash)

Toggles sequential/random playback

Multimedia keys:

Not all the media players/mixers support all the following bindings.


Volume up by 1.5 dB steps The 1.5 dB steps are true for a 24 bits sound card and alsamixer. It is an aproximation otherwise.


Volume down by 1.5 dB steps

Ctrl + XF86AudioRaiseVolume

Player speed up

Ctrl + XF86AudioLowerVolume

Player speed down


Toggle mute. When alsamixer or aumix is selected in the mixer preferences, the Master control, with fallback to PCM, will be (un)muted, and the prefered media player will be (un)paused. When another mixer is selected, only the prefered media player will be (un)paused.

Ctrl + XF86AudioMute

Toggle mute only alsamixer or aumix.


Player frame step. Advance one frame or resume the pause.

Alt + XF86AudioPlay

Use normal speed.

Ctrl + XF86AudioPlay


Alt + XF86AudioStop

Use normal speed

Ctrl + XF86AudioStop



Play next song.


Play previous song.


Show/hide the player.

Numeric keyboard - window focus:

KP_1, KP_2, KP_3, KP_4, KP_6, KP_7, KP_8, KP_9

Change focus in the selected direction from the currently focused window.


Switch focus between two closest windows on the current page.

Numeric keyboard - window movement:

Alt + KP_1, KP_2, KP_3, KP_4, KP_5, KP_6, KP_7, KP_8, KP_9

Move currently focused window to the selected part of the screen, corresponding to the numbers on the numeric keyboard. Pressing it twice very fast moves a window instantly.

Numeric keyboard - window controls:

KP_0 or Alt + - (substract)

Raise currently focused window.

KP_. or Alt + - (substract)

Lower currently focused window.


Shade or unshade currently focused window.

Alt + KP_/

Stick or unstick currently focused window.

KP_* or Alt + = (equal)

Maximize currently focused window.

Alt + KP_* or Alt + Shift + = (equal)

Make currently focused window a full-screened window. It looses the titlebar and border and is maximized to the entire screen. Full-screened window cannot be lowered but can be iconified. Pressing Alt+KP_* on the full-screened window brings back the titlebar and border and resizes a window to it’s previous size and position.

Alt + Shift + F

Toggle all non iconic windows on the current desktop page between full screen and non fullscreen.

Alt + Shift + KP_*

Switch focus between the different full-screened windows of the current desktop page and the desktop.

Alt + KP_- or Alt + Backspace

Iconifies currently focused window (or makes a thumbnail).

Alt + Shift + KP_- or Alt + Shift + Backspace

Closes currently focused window.


Moves window to the default layer, where are "normal" windows.

Alt + KP_+

Moves window to the upper layer, where are "always on top" windows.

Alt + Shift + KP_+

Moves window to the lower layer, where are "always at botton" windows.

Other functions:

Print Screen

Makes a screenshot of the entire desktop in .jpg format and puts it in ~/.fvwm/screenshots/ directory (by default).

Alt + Home

Move mouse cursor to "home position" - top left corner of the screen.


If you want to modify some bindings, the best place is to put them into ~/.fvwm-crystal/userconfig

That file will be read at the very end of Fvwm-Crystal startup and restart. That way, your changes will not be lost after an update, and they will be read after all the other configuration settings.

In case you want to reassign an existing binding to another key, the best practice is to unassign the old key and assign the new one. As example:

Key grave A $[Mod1] -
Key grave A $[Mod1]2 -
Key Q A $[Mod1] QuakeConsole
Key Q A $[Mod1]2 QuakeConsole

will unassign Fvwm-Crystal binding (Alt + `) that launch the QuakeConsole and assign it to (Alt + Q).

To reassign another function to an existing binding, it is just to reassign the binding. As example:

Key grave A $[Mod1] MyFunction
Key grave A $[Mod1]2 MyFunction

will reassign the QuakeConsole binding (Alt + `) to MyFunction. The first binding is for use without NumLock, the second one is for use with NumLock (The 2 after $[Mod1]).

For the signification of the modifiers, read the key and mouse commands description into man fvwm, as well than the output of

when FVWM-Crystal is running.


Documentation written by Maciej Delmanowski <> and ported to asciidoc by Dominique Michel <>

FVWM-Crystal and all the scripts and other files coming with the distribution are subject to the GNU General Public License (GPL). Please refer to the COPYING file that came with FVWM-Crystal for details.


Bug reports can be sent to the fvwm-crystal-users mailing list at