Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

The title says it all. I usually have a console window on my Desktop 1; I would like to be able to launch from there any application specifying on which Desktop the application window should appear. For example, from my console window on Desktop 1. I would like to launch thunderbird in such a way that its window opens on Desktop 2. Is this possible? (I'm running kubuntu 9.04)

share|improve this question
Do you mean you have two monitors and want to launch to the second one, or you have two workspaces(virtual desktops) and would like to launch to the other one? – Dirk Hartzer Waldeck Jun 21 '11 at 12:11
I have a single monitor, and I would like to launch on any of my four workspaces (virtual desktops) – MarcoS Jun 21 '11 at 12:56
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Here are a few options.

Devil's Pie

Here's an old tutorial.


You can make a script to move to the desired workspace and then launch your app (source):

wmctrl -s 1
firefox --new-tab $@ &

Or you could launch your app and then move it. I think something like this would work:

thunderbird &
wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -t 1
# if thunderbird takes a while to launch, you may need to find the window yourself:
#wmctrl -r `wmctrl -l | grep [t]hunderbird | cut -f1` -t 1

Compiz Place plugin

You can enable and configure this if you install compizconfig-settings-manager Install compizconfig-settings-manager.

Allows you to set fixed positions for windows with specific titles.

FYI, previously I used wmctrl in Gnome. Some of its features don't work for me in 11.04 w/ Unity, but should be good in 9.04. Not sure about KDE though.

share|improve this answer

I am now using xmonad: I can easily move windows to any screen/desktop using keyboard.

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.