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As I need to use the fn + F8 shortcut within my virtual machine, I'd like to disable it in my host.

How do I go about disabling this particular shortcut, so that it can be used within my VM?

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Does fn-F8 mean the normal F8 key or a symbolic hotkey or media key under F8? In the latter case, see Documenting com.apple.symbolichotkeys.plist - The macosxhints Forums. – user495470 Sep 23 '11 at 13:47

Try installing KeyRemap4MacBook. It's a free and powerfull utility for keyboard customization for MacOS X.

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that doesn't allow you to get completely away from binding your F8 key to the media controls. The options in KeyRemap, all of them use F8 for something for media, there is no option that excludes F8 – WTF Apr 29 at 19:48

you can edit all your keyboard shortcuts. in system preferences->keyboard ->keyboard shortcuts.

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Special keys (like brightnes, volume and playing controls) are not configurable via the Keyboard prefpane – mspasov Jun 24 '11 at 13:14
    
fn f8 is available there on my laptop (spaces). I unchecked the use all f1,f2,f3 keys as standard functions under keyboard in system preferences, maybe that's the cause. – Tim Jun 24 '11 at 13:18

In addition to KeyRemap4MacBook, there is also DoubleCommand (free and open source).

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