Seems to be a lot of confusion in KDE4 as to how to bind the Windows key on a standard keyboard to the KDE menu. Well, let’s make the solution brief:
1.) Drop to a command prompt (such as konsole).
2.) Type: xev
3.) Press the Windows key (either side, or both sides individually) and notice the number assigned to the ‘keycode’ identifier.
4.) Create (or edit) your .Xmodmap profile file. Example: vi ~/.Xmodmap
In your .Xmodmap profile, add the following, where ### is your keycode from above, and save the file:
5.) Back at the command line, activate the above by typing: xmodmap -e ‘keycode ###=F13’
6.) Right-click the KDE menu and click “Application Launcher Menu Settings” from the menu that appears.
7.) Click “Keyboard Shortcut”.
8.) Click the button with the picture of the wrench on the “Keyboard Shortcut” screen and press the Windows key. You should see F13 appear in the box.
9.) Move your mouse out of the box and click the “OK” button to close the dialog and activate the key.
10.) Press the Windows key and see the menu pop up as expected. NOTE: You can’t tap it again to close the window. Instead, you’ll need to press the ESC key or click elsewhere.
NOTE: The above is done for brevity. A good lesson to learn from this is that ‘xev’ is a useful tool, and ‘xmodmap’ is your friend. Oh, and that the KDE folks still haven’t gotten their crap entirely straight with KDE4 as of version 4.2.4 (the version in which this was tested).
There are also other ways. In fact, I did the following for my Mandriva 2009.1 + KDE 4.2:
cat << EOT >> ~/.kde4/Autostart/bindWindowsKey.sh
xmodmap ‘keycode 133=F13’;
xmodmap ‘keycode 134=F14’;
xmodmap ‘keycode 135=F15’;
Now to figure out why Plasma keeps interfering and disabling the damn thing when I restart X or relaunch the session…. maybe I’ll post back here later.