I am using GNOME-Classic and my window switcher is the Compiz Static Application Switcher. My problem is, when I press Alt+Tab, the switcher gives me the choice between windows of the whole workspace.

So if I have one terminal opened in the first screen, and one terminal open in the second one, I can't know which one is selected and open the bad one 50% of the time. On my older ubuntu version (10.10), I hadn't such a problem, so I think there may be a solution to avoid it.

I found in this post that this is not possible to have one workspace/screen, so there's probably something I miss somewhere else.

Edit (summary): when I do Alt+Tab in one screen, I want to only see the windows I have in that screen, not the other one.

  • You have multiple screen or workspace setup?
    – BigSack
    Dec 4, 2013 at 15:45
  • edited my answer to add your I want to only see the windows I have in that screen, not the other one. requirement.
    – Akisame
    Dec 4, 2013 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


You can change the behavior of Alt+Tab with an option in compizconfig-settings-manager that lets you group the applications together from the active viewport.

To install CCSM, run the following command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

To enable the setting click on Ubuntu Unity plugin and select Switcher tab and tick Bias Alt+Tab sorting to prefer windows on the current viewport.

Ubuntu Unity plugin

the option you should select

This will ensure that the applications from the same viewport will get grouped together in the window switcher. However, this will not remove everything that isn't on your viewport. It just groups them together making it easier to keep them apart.

If you want to completely remove the other windows from your not active viewport from your Alt+Tab menu you'll need to a different switcher like the static application switcher. You can activate the static switcher by doing the following:

start CCSM

click the Ubuntu Unity Plugin and go to the switcher tab. In this tab, you'll need to disable the hotkey to start the switcher, the hotkey to flip through the windows in the switcher and the one to switch through the windows backward.

Enable the Static Application Switcher by checking Window ManagementStatic Application SwitcherEnable Static Application Switcher

static application switcher

You should only switch between windows on your active viewport as you did on your old install.

If you do not get the static application switcher option you can try running the following command:

sudo apt-get install compiz-plugins-extra

I do have a little warning though: What are some of the issues with CCSM and why would I want to avoid it?

If this didn't work you can comment and I'll post another method.

  • Thank you, anyway I am no more able to test it as I'm back on macs (don't troll pls :p), I mark your answer ; at least it may be useful to somebody else :)
    – Alain
    Dec 5, 2013 at 8:27
  • very well, to each his own
    – Akisame
    Dec 5, 2013 at 15:05
  • 2
    +1. You deserve another +1 for the link about the dangers of compiz to the careless, but sadly I can only give you 1. and @Ninsuo, at least if it's not Ubuntu, it's not Windoze either.. :p
    – TrailRider
    Dec 9, 2013 at 22:57

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