Is it possible to set start-up applications to initialize in certain workspaces? I'd like to not have to manually distribute my start-up applications across my numerous workspaces every time I boot up my machine. I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 .

Any Help ?


Yes , thats possible using gdevilspie ( GUI of devilspie) :

Open Terminal and type the following coommand :

sudo apt-get install gdevilspie

Now open gdevilspie with (Alt + F2, gdevilspie, Enter).

Click start daemon and automatically on login .

Example here is Skype ( you should set it to run on startup ) :

enter image description here

devilspie Here

enter image description here

enter image description here

Now restart daemon and try .

  • This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you.
    – Dodgie
    Mar 8 '14 at 2:14
  • hope it fits your needs , any time my friend
    – nux
    Mar 8 '14 at 2:15
  • This looks great, but it crashes on my 13.10, and the same happens on 13.04 too. There's also an Arch bug report. I'll see if there's a more recent version of gDevilspie than stock Ubuntu provides.
    – halfer
    Apr 13 '14 at 12:08
  • Ah,the bug tracker looks abandoned, but someone has provided a patch, and someone else reports that it works.
    – halfer
    Apr 13 '14 at 12:17
  • also run sudo apt-get install devilspie
    – once
    Mar 22 '19 at 2:54

Additionally, this can also be done with CompizConfig (and in fact, if your workspaces are generated by CompizConfig, then the devilspie solution doesn't seem to work):

CompizConfig > Window Management > Place Windows > Fixed Window Placement > Windows with Fixed Viewport

Make sure that "Place Windows" is enabled (CompizConfig > Window Management).


Install wmctrl

sudo apt install wmctrl

And create a script (in this example thunderbird on the second workspace (-t 1)):

(thunderbird &)  & sleep 5 && 
sh -c "wmctrl -i -r `wmctrl -l | grep Thunderbird` -t 1"

To know your application name on wmctrl you can view it by taping on your terminal :

wmctrl -l

And replace it with the correct name in the script.

Be carrefull with the capital letter ("Thunderbird" not "thunderbird") !!

Other example with firefox on the 3d workspace (-t 2):

(firefox &)  & sleep 5 && 
sh -c "wmctrl -i -r `wmctrl -l | grep Firefox` -t 2"

Work on Debain 10 with Cinnamon. But should work for all

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.