Is there any Alt+Tab module for gnome that make it behave more like it is in Windows 7?

Edit: By how it behaves more like Windows 7, I mean when you press Alt+Tab you can also, when you have those keys pressed in, navigate through the windows with the arrow keys

  • 1
    Compiz takes anything you've ever dreamed of other operating system and lets you tear it down and reconstruct it to your own will. Play with it, look on forums, change it. It's easy: take a function of any kind and search it on google. e.g. aero snap ubuntu wham: done :)
    – Pitto
    Mar 25, 2011 at 15:47
  • I'm pretty sure ubuntu comes with compiz by default
    – hasen
    Mar 25, 2011 at 18:04
  • except for askubuntu.com/questions/37335/…
    – type
    Dec 4, 2011 at 10:18

6 Answers 6


You can customise window switching using CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM) install compizconfig-settings-manager.

If you launch CCSM, you will find the relevant options (highlighted) in the 'Window Management' section. The 'Switcher' options are all a variation on the traditional Alt+Tab behaviour but they are much more customisable and you can use any keyboard shortcut you want.

ccsm main window

You can enable them by ticking the checkbox next to the option. Click on the option to configure it. To get Alt+Tab behaviour you need to set the keyboard shortcut for the 'Next Window' action to Alt+Tab.

Options for shift switcher

To set the keyboard shortcut, click the button to the right of 'Next Window' and follow the dialog to grab the key combination that can be Alt+Tab, Super+Tab or any other combination you prefer.

Edit Next Window Dialog

You may use any number of these window switchers but you must use different keyboard shortcuts so that they don't conflict.

As for:

make it behave more like it is in Windows 7

I have never used this operating system so I don't know how it behaves. I assume it is a window switcher with eye candy - this is what these Compiz Plugins provide.

Note: you need to run Compiz (desktop effects) for this solution to work. This requires the appropriate drivers and a sufficient graphics card to work.


With Compiz (the the well known window manager with composition), you may use any key/mouse combination (not only alt-tab> to switch between windows (there are many plugins included with Compiz that may change the behavior).

To install Compiz (supposing that your video card is compiz-capable):

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager

Once installed, goto "System" -> "Preferences" -> "CompizConfig Settings Manager", and start playing with it!


I think that

behave like Windows7

means to allow browsing through available windows (after Alt+Tab is pressed) using arrow-keys, Page Up, Page Down, Home, End, mouse etc.

I have tried to solve this but the only compiz module (compiz=window manager in Gnome) which supports this feature is the shift switcher (maybe ring switcher supports it to).

It seems that the traditional window switchers (flat overview of windows composed in a table, without animations) such as Static App. Switcher or App. Switcher don't support this behavior.

To set up those switchers in Gnome (compiz), use CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM) (might be necessary to install it). For details about CCSM see the answer of dv3500ea.

On the other hand, you could try kde4 which supports this feature.

Or you can use Gnome-Shell install gnome-shell which also supports this app-switching behavior.


I'm not a fan of compiz, so I have another solution that has worked fine for me for years. It's a little app called "Super Switcher".

Make sure you get the .6 version, errors will occur on the .5 version.

It works great on laptops. All you have to do is hold the Super down and or . To move a window between desktops, Shift + Super + or .

So easy.


I searched and searched for an answer to a similar question and wasn't satisfied with anything I found until I came across this on this blog. Simply execute these commands in a shell:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-applications "[]"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-applications-backward "[]"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-windows "['<Alt>Tab', '<Super>Tab']"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-windows-backward  "['<Alt><Shift>Tab', '<Super><Shift>Tab']"

The result is that you will be able to switch between all windows (including those from the same app) with alt+tab (and alt+shift+tab) much like in Windows.


Try compiz-settings-manager... there you have some options to chage between windows.... don't know if you'll think it behaves like Windows 7, but give it a try and customize it to your like.

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