I've been using Xmonad for several hours after hearing recommendations from several people.

Currently my configuration is very basic. I mapped the modifier key to the "windows key" as suggested in several places.

As I kept using it I noticed that jumping between workspaces is done very often. However, in order to jump I need to stretch my index finger to reach for the number, while the thumb needs to be folded in order to press the "windows key". Doing that stretch & fold position for every desktop switch made my thumb quite hurt. Since I don't have a right "windows key" in my keyboard I mapped the "menu key" to be a "windows key". However, if I don't want my right hand to leave the hjkl keys then I need to fold my right thumb each time I want to switch workspaces.

I know I can remap everything I want, but I want to understand the logic behind the default settings before I start remapping keys.

I feel petty for writing this question, but people say the work with XMonad for 10 hours in a a day. How is that possible without hurting your thumbs?


Some time ago, I searched the web for Xmonad configurations and discovered a nice idea: Using the numpad to switch workspaces.

I did not remap the original keys, but added the numpad for switching and shift+num pad for moving a windows.

I also mapped numpad 0 to switch between current and last selected workspace. And numpad +/- for next/previous workspace.

  • That's actually a pretty good idea +1, especially +/- for next previous workspace. I use xmonad for years and actually never suffered from OPs problems, but I have big hands so I'm biased. – grochmal Sep 7 '16 at 22:33

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