treat some hotkeys by Host OS

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treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby Sacred » 20. Oct 2017, 20:36

I want to treat some (arbitrary selected) HotKeys by Host, while keyboard captured by Guest
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby socratis » 20. Oct 2017, 20:51

This is not Twitter. You can certainly type more than 140 characters while describing what you actually want and what you're getting. So, do you want to try again? Describing in a lot more detail what it it that you're asking for? Thanks...
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby Sacred » 22. Oct 2017, 20:23

Excuse me for brevity. Excuse my English too.
I use Sysinternals Desktops and switch from one desktop to other by pressing some hotkeys.
However when VirtualBox machine is active and it capture keyboard, I can't to switch to other desktop easily.
It is require additional effort such as mouse clicks or surplus key pressing.
To solve this issue I suggest add to VirtualBox option "leave selected hotkeys to be treated by Host"
This option will allow to users define exclusion hotkeys for various needful apps.

With best regards, your user Svyatoslav Ushakov.
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby socratis » 23. Oct 2017, 07:31

There are some key combinations that have to be reserved by the system. I just gave the same answer to another user. Take a look at "Command Q / host key combo problem".
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby Sacred » 1. Nov 2017, 21:02

I guess my issue quite different from that link.
I need directly propagate some key combinations (set by preferences) from Guest up to Host with need no keyboard release by Guest,
in order to fast treat these key combinations by Host Apps. In my case it is Sysinternals desktops, running on Host.
Host and Guest are Windows 7 both.
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby socratis » 2. Nov 2017, 00:29

We can't continue this discussion talking "generally". I need to know the exact keys that you have in mind...
Do NOT send me Personal Messages (PMs) for troubleshooting, they are simply deleted.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby Sacred » 2. Nov 2017, 19:06

Now I'm using Alt+Win+F1 and Alt+Win+F2 combinations, but why can't we discuss this subject in general?
Idea is to give to users possibility define any arbitrary hotkeys as uncaptured by Guest.
Is it very difficult to achieve?
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby socratis » 2. Nov 2017, 20:22

Sacred wrote:Now I'm using Alt+Win+F1 and Alt+Win+F2 combinations, but why can't we discuss this subject in general?
And why can't you use those keys exactly? What's preventing you? They don't get passed through or what? Press HostKey (to release the keyboard) and then Alt+Win+F1/F2. Simple.

Sacred wrote:Idea is to give to users possibility define any arbitrary hotkeys as uncaptured by Guest. Is it very difficult to achieve?
Yes. The host has to always have some "safe" key combinations in case your VM gets stuck. You do *not* want one rogue VM to capture Alt-Ctrl-Del for example. Simple.

If you remember the rule that everything goes to the guest (with a couple of exceptions as mentioned before), if you want to direct them to the host, you press the HostKey once. Think of Alt-Tab. If you want to switch applications in a Win guest, you use that. If you want to switch applications in the host, you press once HostKey once and then Alt+Tab all you want.

Simple... ;)
Do NOT send me Personal Messages (PMs) for troubleshooting, they are simply deleted.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby Sacred » 2. Nov 2017, 20:33

I know it all.
I want to bypass pressing HostKey for some special combinations, in addition to Alt-Ctrl-Del.
Then Host treat it directly, without pressing HostKey first.
I need it for fast switching between virtual desktops of Host OS (Windows 7).
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby Devon » 26. Nov 2021, 19:45

Did anyone find an answer? No doubt every VBox user wants their "muscle memory" window switching gesture to always work.
The term "HotKey" is peculiar to MicroSoft — Debian, Mac, etc. users may not understand it but I know no better term.
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby scottgus1 » 26. Nov 2021, 19:53

Devon wrote:The term "HotKey" is peculiar to MicroSoft

Actually it's "HostKey" with an S, and has been used by Virtualbox for a long time, because it triggers release of the keyboard to the host instead of staying in the VM.

Devon wrote:Did anyone find an answer?

Yes, it's been said above, repeating here:

There is no way in Virtualbox to set aside a custom key combination to only work on the host instead of the VM without having to hit the Host Key first. Virtualbox has no programming to do this. A quick tap on the Host Key releases the keyboard to the host OS, and the key used for the Host Key can be customized.

You can try a post for an enhancement on the Bugtracker or crack ot the source code and try to contribute a patch that will do this.
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby Devon » 27. Nov 2021, 15:01

As the OP stated, the "tap HostKey first" workaround is unacceptable.

The code is there — MacOS HotKeys Command-H and Command-Q work at host level
with no such workaround, so additional HotKeys, e.g., Command-Tab, should be easy.

Sadly, a decade ago VirtualBox developers rejected this extremely desirable feature:
see VirtualBox ticket 10179 "Keyboard passthrough for specific keys -> no plans to fix further"

Peace
--Devon

P.S. The VirtualBox term "HostKey" is unrelated to "HotKeys" in the title.
HotKey, Key Combo, Keyboard Shortcut, etc. refer to user gestures essential to staying in flow.
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Re: treat some hotkeys by Host OS

Postby scottgus1 » 27. Nov 2021, 19:51

Devon wrote:P.S. The VirtualBox term "HostKey" is unrelated to "HotKeys" in the title.

You're quite correct, I didn't notice that!

Devon wrote:MacOS HotKeys Command-H and Command-Q work at host level

This sounds like it is because:
socratis wrote:There are some key combinations that have to be reserved by the system.

Just like Windows reserves Ctrl-Alt-Del to work on the physical PC. These key combinations get caught by the host OS before Virtualbox gets them. That's why it seems like Virtualbox is passing them through to the host. But that's not what is happening: Virtualbox never receives them in the first place.

The 'no' from the devs was actually 5 years ago, but 5 years is a long time, so a new enhancement ticket on the Bugtracker might be OK.
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