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 open some application and immediately switch to another workspace since it takes some time to open. When it opens, I want it to open in the workspace where I opened it, not in the workspace where I am at when it opens.

Note that I don't want it to associate an application with a viewport. Any application must be openable in any workspace.

Is this possible?

share|improve this question
Don't know a generic/Unity answer, but, for KDE, there is the kstart command that lets you open a window for your command while also telling the desktop manager more details about how to do it including initial size, position, desktop, and other things. To use this conveniently, you would have to create and use an alias or script to open things this way. A script could be activated from an icon on your desktop or from your launcher/menu system. I don't know if Unity has a similar utility. – Joe Sep 4 '13 at 21:26
Just for the heck of it, I took a look at the specs for a desktop entry… , but didn't see anything that would control which desktop to use. – Joe Sep 4 '13 at 21:27

Note: I don't know if the behaviour in workspace assignment described by you is possible. However, I see a chance that a common workaround might be almost as convenient for you.

Is it reasonable to assume that not all of the applications you use regularly take so long to start up that you feel like switching the workspace in the meantime, and that it is actually just the usual resource-hungry giants like Firefox, Eclipse, LibreOffice and similar? If so, it might be as satisfying to just add general assignments to specific workspaces for those applications.

Since Unity is a Compiz plugin, this can be done within the Compiz window management configurations (provided by package compizconfig-settings-manager)as described here, here or, more verbosely, here:

  1. use your Dash to run ccsm (Compiz settings GUI)
  2. Open Window Management > Place Windows > Fixed Window Placement
  3. Create a New entry at Windows with fixed viewport
  4. In the editing dialog, select the window class by clicking on the +-button first, and on the desired application window afterwards
  5. Specify the workspace to place said application on using Viewport coordinates

If that doesn't work for some reason, you might want to try another window matching tool like Devilspie.

share|improve this answer

I only know how to do that with KDE... I am not sure Unity can do that... If you really need that, I recomend installing KDE.

Well, you have 4 workspaces. Open in 1 of them, go to another one, and then when the program opens, go to the first one and click the icon. I dont know if that will work, but... Its just an idea.

share|improve this answer

I just try to open new app in the same way you did,and i got the same as you. You can move your opened apps in other workspace by clicking on workspace switcher and drag and drop from one workspace to another, or by right click on black window tray when your app is not maximized and send it to another workspace.

share|improve this answer

I think that this video will help you to open applications on other workspaces.

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.