Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I remember there used to be a setting under Compiz that set a keyboard shortcut for moving applications between physical (but combined as a single xscreen) screens, similar to moving between logical screens, like Ctrl-Alt-Shift- / / / .

Any way to do this under Unity?

share|improve this question
Possible duplicate? -… – James May 24 '12 at 18:01
That is the Compiz setting I used to use. Was hoping that there was a way to do it under pure unity. – Andrew Bolster May 25 '12 at 10:08
All Unity is is a huge, big compiz plugin. – James May 25 '12 at 11:24
After playing around with keybinds for a while, I've been liking Super+X as a next-monitor keybind. (on a 2-monitor setup, that always just flips to the other monitor.) I can quickly hit it with one hand. (super = windows-key.) super+z might be even easier to hit, but it doesn't have the "x for exchange" mnemonic going for it. – Peter Cordes Apr 16 '15 at 19:39
up vote 72 down vote accepted

As @jrg mentioned, this is still possible as Unity (Unity 3D, not the low-power 2D version) is largely built using Compiz.

You'll need to install the Compiz Config Settings Manager Yourself though. Precise steps are:-

  1. Install CompizConfig Settings Manager using apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra.
  2. Run it (just type Compiz in the dash and you'll see it).
  3. Click Window Management.
  4. Enable the Put plug-in (select the check-box).
  5. Click on Put.
  6. Configure the shortcut for Put to next Output (click the pencil icon next to the keyboard shortcut for Put to next Output.
  7. Logout and login again for the changes to take effect (from the comments!)
share|improve this answer
requires a logoff, but yes, this works great! – Andrew Bolster Oct 24 '12 at 12:13
Could anyone elaborate on point 4? I've enabled "Put" successfully, but I don't understand how/where to set a shortcut for it? – user50849 Dec 7 '12 at 13:43
When you select 'Put' the window changes and shows 3 more Tabs with settings for Put. On the Bindings tab you can then set key bindings. – Christoph Grimmer-Dietrich Feb 5 '13 at 9:54
@user50849 You have got to click on 'Put' – YatharthROCK Mar 5 '13 at 13:15
One problem (bug) with this. If you use "grid" to move (snap) a window into a corner of one screen for example, for whatever reason, when you try to move it to the other screen, it will move for a second, then bounce back to where it came from. If this window was unconstrained (not snapped to any grid boundary) then it moves fine. But if constrained at all it won't move properly. Somewhat annoying. :-/ – The111 Nov 22 '13 at 22:20

Compiz Config Settings Manager's Put plug-in works great on 13.04 and 14.04

Special hint:

  • Click on Put -> Misc. Options -> Activate "Avoid Offscreen": Avoids putting parts of the moved window to a hidden area. Very useful if someone has got monitors with different display resolutions.
share|improve this answer

This is based on my experience without the need for Compiz or any such utility.

When a window is activated (i.e. in-focus) If you press Alt + Space the top menu appears which has options like:


Once that menu appears you need to press M key on your keyboard to select the Move option

Then you can just use the arrow keys to move the windows anywhere (even across monitors)

share|improve this answer

Compiz put works great, just be carefull if grid is active (it usually is) you'll find a compatibility bug those windows that are already grit to some corner of your workspace will bounce back if you try to put them to another output.

If this happens to you don't panic, just do the following:

Before you send your window to the next output, "ungrid" it by semi-maximizing it to one side ctrl+super+lef or right and bam!, now you can send it and it wont spring back.

It works on both 12.04 and 14.04

( Now, who knows... maybe this is one of those cases where the responsible developer will protest "it's a feature not a bug!" xD )

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.