I would like to know how to send or move a window from one monitor to another with a shortcut key under Ubuntu 12.04 and nvidia 8600 GT without proprietary nvidia drivers.

Now, I know I can configure keyboard shortcuts under the "system settings" and "keyboard" but move a window from one monitor to another is not one of the options. Specifically, I'm not interested in moving from one workspace to another, nor do I want to move among multiple windows of the same program. I want to take my gvim (or firefox) window and have it go from the left to right monitor (or vice versa) without having to use the mouse.

There must be a good way to do this, does anyone know?

Thank you, your help is very much appreciated!


NOTE: I'm avoiding using the proprietary (and ill-reputed) drivers for my nvidia 8600 GT. I did that under my first install of 12.04 and lost the ability to rotate the screens (I use both in portrait view) and couldn't get it back again, which forced me to reinstall 12.04. At this point I'm far enough along in setting things up nicely I don't want to have to reinstall again.

3 Answers 3


If you're using Compiz (used with Unity 3D), there is a nifty plugin that does exactly that, and also moves windows to different parts of the monitor, if desired.

I only know how to set it from CCSM (CompizConfig Settings Manager). You can install CCSM and the compiz plugins by running

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins

The CCSM plugin is called "Put", and is in the "Window Management" section of CCSM.

CCSM Window Management Page

Enable the "Put" plugin by checking it. Next click the "Put" plugin. You can set a shortcut key in the "bindings" tab for "Put to Next Output". By default, it's disabled, but is easy to set. In this example we've set "Put to Next Output" to Super+Right and "Put to Previous Output" to Super+Left.

CCSM Put Binding Tab

If you are not familiar with CCSM, you can get it from the standard repository, but be warned... it can be dangerous to play around with certain settings that you don't understand, so be careful. I've used it a lot over many versions, and can't live without it, but it allows you to chop off your foot if you're not paying attention. don't be too afraid, but don't think it will protect you from yourself.

More info on Compiz: http://wiki.compiz.org/

  • 1
    Hi there. I'm using 12.04 with Unity and Compiz (with "Put" enabled) and it seems to work.
    – Jack Kelly
    Jul 17, 2012 at 7:57
  • 4
    It appears that "put" isn't installed in Ubuntu 12.10. To add it, install the "compiz-plugins" package. However, I can't get "put" to work on 12.10.
    – Jack Kelly
    Oct 10, 2012 at 8:34
  • 8
    Sorry, my mistake: "put" does work on 12.10; it's just that you need to reboot after enabling it. So, to summarise, to install "put" on 12.10: first install CCSM and "compiz-plugins", then enable "put" as described by Marty, then reboot.
    – Jack Kelly
    Oct 10, 2012 at 8:43
  • 1
    I don't have 12.10, but I think you can restart Compiz without needing to reboot (compiz --replace). Oct 10, 2012 at 19:11
  • 1
    This still works in 13.10. I just restarted compiz like you said. Thanks.
    – isaaclw
    Jan 1, 2014 at 18:15

I want to take my gvim (or firefox) window and have it go from the left to right >monitor (or vice versa) without having to use the mouse.

A bit late to this discussion, I'm afraid, which I found when trying to do exactly this, but I eventually worked out a no-install no-config solution (for Ubuntu 14:10 at least)

  1. Restore the window, if it is currently Maximised, with Ctrl-Super-DownArrow
  2. Alt-Spacebar to the frame menu, then 'm' to Move
  3. Use arrow keys to move the entire window from one monitor to the other
  4. Hit Enter to stop keyboard dragging - you can have strange side effects later if you skip this step!
  5. Ctrl-Super-UpArrow if you want to maximise again
  • This answer is lacking the shortcut. Jun 20, 2016 at 22:21
  • Well, it's certainly not a single shortcut key. But OP explains "I want to take my gvim (or firefox) window and have it go from the left to right monitor (or vice versa) without having to use the mouse", and this answer does precisely that. Jun 21, 2016 at 16:09

This bash script can do this too, https://github.com/jc00ke/move-to-next-monitor

install dependencies

sudo apt-get install xdotool wmctrl


wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jc00ke/move-to-next-monitor/master/move-to-next-monitor
chmod +x move-to-next-monitor
mv move-to-next-monitor /usr/bin

and then set a shortcut for it

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