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I realize Ubuntu uses Unity as its shell but this question is specific to gnome shell running on top of Ubuntu:

Is there any way to use the 'aero snap' functionality in gnome shell to pin windows to the right or left side of the screen using ONLY KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS? I've searched everywhere for this but there doesn't seem to big a single application providing this somewhat basic functionality.

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I think this can be done with CCSM. Let me test it really quickly and I'll get back to you. Is this GNOME 3? – Ryan McClure Apr 25 '12 at 10:16
If you are using GNOME3, you can use CCSM to do it. Let me know if you are using GNOME3 and I'll give you a step-by-step as an answer. – Ryan McClure Apr 25 '12 at 10:18
@RyanMcClure - gnome-shell does not use compiz and CCSM. – fossfreedom Apr 25 '12 at 12:50

In Ubuntu 13.10(probably 11.04 and above) the shortcuts would be:

Ctrl + Super + Up: Maximize

Ctrl + Super + Down: Restore/Minimize

Ctrl + Super + Left: Snap window left

Ctrl + Super + Right: Snap window right

If you hold down the Super key, you can get a list of these, and other, keyboard shortcuts.

PS. Super key aka WindowsKey key in Windows keyboard. learn more

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Maybe the following keyboard shortcut can help you:

  • Super key(Windows key) + ↑(Up key) : Maximize window
  • Super key(Windows key) + ↓(Down key) : umaximize window
  • Super key(Windows key) + ←(Left key) : Move widow to the half left screen
  • Super key(Windows key) + →(Right key) :Move window to the half right screen

the latter two key shortcuts maybe satisfy your need. Good luck!

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Where are these located? I can't seem to find them in keyboard shortcuts: – Ehtesh Choudhury Dec 27 '13 at 3:00
These work for me in Cinnamon as well. They don't work in Unity, however (you need to add Control) to all of them. No idea if this works in gnome shell or not. – TM. Dec 10 '14 at 22:16

try this gnome extension:

worked for me on Ubuntu 11.10 + GNOME Shell

Note that you might need to configure your key bindings by running gconf-editor /apps/metacity/window_keybindings

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I know this is an old post, but just in case it pops for someone using a newer version:

You can use numbers for the corresponding area of the screen:

  • Ctrl + Alt + 9 = top right (25%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 8 = top half screen (50%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 7 = top left (25%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 6 = right half screen (50%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 5 = (100%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 4 = left half screen (50%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 3 = bottom right (25%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 2 = bottom half screen (50%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 1 = bottom left (25%)
  • Ctrl + Alt + 0 = minimized

Works on Ubuntu 14.04, not sure for older versions.

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