I am trying to add a new application shortcut in the command line which will load the terminal when you press Ctrl + Alt + T.

I am using the xfconf-query utility to monitor xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts and the output I get when setting my shortcut via the Keyboard GUI is: /commands/custom/<Primary><Alt>t.

XFCE4 Keyboard settings

I've been able to set other settings from the command line, for example changing the theme using the following command:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s "Adwaita"

However, I am not sure how to apply this a similar logic to my application shortcut, I just keep getting errors. Would anyone happen to have any ideas?

I tried the following command:

xfconf-query -c xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts -p '/commands/custom/<Primary><Alt>t' -s xfce4-terminal

but I got the follow error message:

Property "/commands/custom/<Primary><Alt>t" does not exist on channel "xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts". If a new property should be created, use the --create option.

Thank you in advance.

1 Answer 1


If the property doesn't exist, it's necessary to create it using the --create option (or the synonymous -n) as indicated in the error. The following worked for me...

xfconf-query -c xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts -n -t 'string' -p '/commands/custom/<Primary><Alt>t' -s xfce4-terminal

Note that it was also necessary to add the type of the value, although 'String' as found for a type in the Xfce Settings Editor wouldn't work; it had to be 'string'.

  • Thank you so much, this solved my problem. Despite there already being a shortcut entry assigned to xfce4-terminal a whole new entry needs to be made to accommodate the shortcut I want to use to load the terminal.
    – Hymcode
    Nov 23, 2021 at 16:27

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