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On my laptop at work, I use an external monitor, but when I'm away from my desk I just use the laptop monitor.

On OSX I used to use Stay but I'm struggling to get the same functionality on Ubuntu.

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Compiz Place Windows Plugin may be useful for you but not essentially the same as "Stay" for OSX. Anyway, there are a few other plugins that will allow you to have more control on the position, placement mode and other window features.

From the site:

The Place Windows plugin provides some basic window placement algorithms, to place windows at a natural and sensible place when created.


Window Placement Rules

Finally, the place plugin allows you to place matched windows on a certain area of the screen, or a certain viewport every time.

A screenshot is provided here for you to see the "Fixed Window Placement" tab inside of the Place Windows Plugin.

enter image description here

Good luck!

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You're right, the Place Windows plugin isn't quite what I want, and while there are a few plugins that move windows etc, there's none that remember where they were based on which monitor is attached. – Stuart Grimshaw Jan 17 '12 at 9:41
Weird case that yours. Since my Place Windows Plugin is doing a great work on my dual monitor setup. All that I did was to let know the plugin on which coordinates will my windows be placed using a "x, y" styled reference. In the extended desktop, the windows will go to the given coordinates each time they are opened. I don't know how are you using your desktop configuration but this is working pretty fine for me. – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Jan 19 '12 at 16:44
I'm not bothered about when the window opens, it's when I attach or detach a monitor. When I'm on the laptop alone, it doesn't matter, there is only 1 screen, but when I attach a monitor, I want some windows to move automatically to the new screen. – Stuart Grimshaw Jan 19 '12 at 20:46

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