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Selecting text SHIFT+HOME and SHIFT+END

All Windows users, whether a power-user or an average-user, will natively select a line of text in Windows by using SHIFT+HOME and SHIFT+END.

Linux Mint Xfce supports this keyboard combination, but not by default.  The user needs to choose the option.  The command to do so is:

setxkbmap -option numpad:microsoft
(source)

But this works only for the current user's current session.

There are two choices for setting this option:

  1. run the option command automatically on log in of each user on the machine;
  2. run the option command automatically upon machine startup.
It makes perfect sense for Linux Mint to assume the option as off.  Not all Linux Mint users will be Windows users migrating to Linux Mint: others will migrate from other Unix-based or Linux-based environments, so defaulting the option to on out-of-the-box would probably drive them nuts.

Option 1: user settings via graphical interface (Xfce)

Mint/Start > "Session and Startup" > "Application Autostart" > "Add" > ...


Do for the current user, then repeat for every other user on the same machine.

Linux Mint Cinnamon provides the support within its GUI, described here.  This option is not available in Linux Mint Xfce "Sylvia".

Option 1: user settings via command line prompt

For each user, the location of commands on startup  is
~/.config/autostart (source)

Sub-option A - from CLI via GUI (uses an understandable text editor (xed))

cd ~/.config/autostart
xed KeyboardWinTextSelect.desktop

In the resulting GUI text editor, paste:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Version=0.9.4
Type=Application
Name=KeyboardWinTextSelect
Comment=To enable SHIFT+HOME and SHIFT+END to select text
Exec=setxkbmap -option numpad:microsoft
OnlyShowIn=XFCE;
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Hidden=false


Then save & close the file.

Sub-option B - stays in CLI (uses an incomprehensible text editor (vi))

cd ~/.config/autostart
vi KeyboardWinTextSelect.desktop

Learn how to use vi.  Enjoy the pain.

Type up the paste text as above, save the file, exit vi.  Hope it works first time.  Good luck with all of that.

If it fails, delete the file and start again from scratch, using sub-option 2 above.

Option 2: machine settings via command line prompt

This option is untested so is theoretical only!

According to the Linux Mint Forum, the location of commands to be run on machine start-up is
 /etc/init.d/rc.local

Thus, from within the admin user's account:
gksudo xed /etc/init.d/rc.local 

Then, above "exit 0", paste the command:
setxkbmap -option numpad:microsoft

Save & exit.

Supporting discussion about the function of /etc/init.d is here and here.

Completion date

April 2018.

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