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Is there anything I can add to a *.desktop file (used in my Launcher panel) to make the application always open maximized? In particular, I'm looking at the gnome-terminal.

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gnome-terminal has an undocumented --maximize option (and also --full-screen). You can add that to the launcher's EXEC line to have it start maximized.

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Awesome, thanks. I had tried --full-screen, but I didn't like the way it worked; not easy to move between multiple monitors, or un-maximize if I needed. –  keithjgrant May 9 '11 at 20:04
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Use gnome-terminal --full-screen in the Exec of your desktop file to start gnome-terminal full screen.

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