I'm running xfce4 on debian. I'd like to assign keyboard shortcuts for the home and end keys (specifically, to move the cursor to the beginning and end of a line).

In the settings manager there is a gui interface for assigning keyboard shortcuts to commands. However, how could I set a keyboard shortcut (e.g. ctrl+a or ctrl+e) for another key (home or end)?


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This could be an answer, but my original intention was to provide useful hints for you.

If I read correctly, you are trying to bind a single key to several keys presses. In your given example, you want to remap End to Ctrl+E (this is easier to understand).

Known approach: xmodmap and xbindkeys

The classic approach is to check your keycode using xev and use X tool like xmodmap to remap the keys, as explained in this answer on askubuntu.com. But this doesn't allow you to remap several keys, mentioned in the answer for this question.

The other approach is to use xbindkeys to grab the keys and xvkbd to send keys, whose answer was given to this post. However, this approach also has its own caveat which cause focus to lose, as mentioned by someone in the comment.

Actually, there is similar question being asked, to remap several key presses to another several key presses (which is one level harder than your request). Unfortunately, the answer has clearly mentioned that you can't achieve that with xmodmap and suggesting to use xbindkeys instead.

Alternative approach: xdotool

Some time ago, I was still using a two-button mouse (I know, quite old piece of hardware) and trying to emulate the mouse middle-click. Then, I discovered xdotool which was able to emulate mouse clicks, as well as keyboard key presses.

My suggestion is, use xdotool to emulate keyboard key press for End (this will give you a string of command). Then use this command to assign a custom shorcut Ctrl+E in Xfce4, which is found under Settings Manager > Keyboard > Application Shortcuts.

To build the command using xdotool, you can refer to the documentation. I haven't used this tool for some time, so I can't give exact answer to your question. In my opinion, using xdotool with Xfce4 Application Shortcuts is the best solution you can try on Debian Xfce.

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