Is there a way to rename the 'Meta' key?

Made the switch from Windows to Linux (Kubuntu for now) a few months ago. Tried different DE’s but settled on KDE because I love it. There are just a few things that bother me. One is the fact that KDE uses ‘Meta’ for the ‘Super’ keys. I’m old; old enough to have worked with keyboards that actually had keys called ‘Meta’ and ‘Super’. It stuck and I used them ever since. It was confusing enough to call them ‘AltGr’ and ‘Win’. A few years ago I bought myself a good mechanical keyboard and had some custom keycaps made, where I have ‘Meta’, ‘Super’ and even ‘Hyper’ (remapped the ‘Menu’) printed on them.

Trying to learn the shortcuts in KDE it would be nice if I could change the name of ‘Meta’ to ‘Super’ in the interface; is that possible?

Also; what was the reason/rationale behind making this switch?

I imagine that by the time someone decided to use it to name that key, the semantic bundling of Meta/Super/Windows key had already taken place, so it wasn’t (and still isn’t) wrong to name it that. Nowadays only software with old roots retains this distinction (like xkbcommon, used as a backend for the Advanced Keyboard Layout Options in Plasma and Unity, or xev, or Emacs).

It has been documented for at least 9 years, but the naming scheme probably precedes that.

There’s an AskUbuntu post that gives some insight on the mess of modifier key naming schemes.

As far as I know one would need to change the code and documentation in most of KDE software to change it to Super consistently. A bit of a silly endeavour if you ask me, but I imagine that if someone actually did the job there wouldn’t really be any complaints.

That post you linked actually shows a keyboard not unlike one I used back in the day. I worked mostly with Lisp.
I agree it is a trivial thing to ask/want but I was hoping the name was stored in a hidden setting/option/variable in some textfile used systemwide. No such luck :pensive:

I know there is no definative standard but I know the software I used mapped the Meta to the Alt key when switching keyboards. It wasn’t until later Alt got split into Alt and AltGr (one being a modifier and the other being a level-key. Its odd enough AltGr is considered equivalent with Meta on most systems these days: Meta wasnt a levelkey. If anything AltGr should be equivalent with Front or Greek. Super was mostly used for systemcommands so its not strange it is synonymous with the win-key.
But I understand these things got lost along the way and people make individual choices.

Like I said its not a big issue, I just need to read super whenever it says meta I guess.


If it makes you feel any better, I sometimes read it as “meat” key. :meat_on_bone:

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And if it makes you feel any better, the user in me who remembers going to my school’s “Internet Cafe” definitely associates Meta with Alt based on what I needed to press to use the Pico text editor (and when I still bask in the nostalgia of using nano to edit something from a tty) :slight_smile: