I'm using Fedora 30 with KDE and am trying to bind (Zsh) autosuggest-execute to Ctrl+Enter for convenience. I'm trying to get it to work in gnome-terminal.

However I discovered that showkey -a always returns ^M in these three cases: Enter, Ctrl+Enter, and Shift+Enter.

I tried this method (Ctrl <Return> : "\033M" in .XCompose), but it didn't work at all as the XCompose file wasn't being read. So I decided to install ibus as it is not shipped with my KDE install with dnf groupinstall input-methods.

Running ìbus-setup gets me this warning now:

GTK+ supports to output one char only: "\033M": ! Ctrl <Return> : "\033M"

Unfortunately all enter combinations still boil down to ^M in gnome-terminal as well as xterm.

Is there a way to differentiate between those key combinations with or without ibus?

  • FWIW, the "string" in .XCompose can only be a single (possibly multi-byte) character. I don't see how that "\033M" could've ever worked.
    – user313992
    Aug 20, 2019 at 5:55

2 Answers 2


No need to install ibus, etc. All X11 apps have access to the exact keycodes and to their xkb / xim translations, and may ignore the latter.

The problem is in the terminal emulator, and with the fact that there's no standard way to represent key combos like Ctrl-Enter in the terminal. Also, each terminal emulator has (or hasn't) its own way of configuring key-bindings.

In xterm, like in any xt-based app you can easily configure it with X11 resources. For instance, this will translate Ctrl-Enter to the escape corresponding to the F33 function key (according to infocmp):

xterm -xrm '*VT100*translations: #override Ctrl<Key>Return:string("\033[20;5~")'

Then you could bind that \e[20;5~ to whatever action you want in readline's ~/.inputrc, with bind in bash, with bindkey in zsh, etc.

X11 resources are stored as the RESOURCE_MANAGER property of the root window and can be loaded there with the xrdb utility; usually, xrdb will be called from an x11 session initialization script to load the content of the ~/.Xresources file.

KDE or Gnome applications like konsole and gnome-terminal have their own way of configuring key combos to actions; I don't know if that includes the ability to write arbitrary strings to the pseudo-tty master.

  • Thanks for the info, I was able to get it half-working in konsole. Ctrl-Enter now translates to \e[20;5~, but bindkey doesn't work for some reason. I'm using bindkey '\e[20;5~' forward-word. As of now, it just outputs \e[20;5~ when pressing the combination. I was hoping to get it working in gnome-terminal as well, but Konsole may be a viable alternative.
    – rudib
    Aug 20, 2019 at 16:29
  • 1
    bindkey '\e[20;5~' forward-word works for me. Maybe konsole is sending literally \ + e instead of Esc (ascii 0x1f)? Also, if you're using vi keys in zsh, you'll have to use bindkey -a ... to do the binding in "command mode".
    – user313992
    Aug 21, 2019 at 7:56
  • Yes, that was the problem, thanks! konsole needs a capital e in order for it to be escape: \E[20;5~.
    – rudib
    Aug 21, 2019 at 11:27
  • 1
    ESC is ascii 0x1b, not 0x1f, sorry ;-)
    – user313992
    Aug 21, 2019 at 11:52

This is how to set it up in konsole:

Also see the Kde Reference for Key Bindings in Konsole.

Settings -> Edit Current Profile -> Keyboard -> (select used keyboard layout) -> Edit -> Search/Filter for Return.

Edit the following entries (left column only):

  • Change Return-Shift-NewLine to Return-Shift-Ctrl-NewLine
  • Change Return-Shift+NewLine to Return-Shift-Ctrl+NewLine

This allows to differentiate between Enter and Ctrl + Enter.

Add the following entry:

Return+Ctrl -> \E[20;5~

Now just add bindkey '\e[20;5~' autosuggest-execute or any other sink in ~/.zshrc.

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