The title says it all. I usually have a console window on my Desktop 1; I would like to be able to launch from there any application specifying on which Desktop the application window should appear. For example, from my console window on Desktop 1. I would like to launch thunderbird in such a way that its window opens on Desktop 2. Is this possible? (I'm running kubuntu 9.04)

  • Do you mean you have two monitors and want to launch to the second one, or you have two workspaces(virtual desktops) and would like to launch to the other one? Jun 21, 2011 at 12:11
  • I have a single monitor, and I would like to launch on any of my four workspaces (virtual desktops)
    – MarcoS
    Jun 21, 2011 at 12:56

3 Answers 3


Here are a few options.

Devil's Pie

Here's an old tutorial.


You can make a script to move to the desired workspace and then launch your app (source):

wmctrl -s 1
firefox --new-tab $@ &

Or you could launch your app and then move it. I think something like this would work:

thunderbird &
wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -t 1
# if thunderbird takes a while to launch, you may need to find the window yourself:
#wmctrl -r `wmctrl -l | grep [t]hunderbird | cut -f1` -t 1

Compiz Place plugin

You can enable and configure this if you install compizconfig-settings-manager Install compizconfig-settings-manager.

Allows you to set fixed positions for windows with specific titles.

FYI, previously I used wmctrl in Gnome. Some of its features don't work for me in 11.04 w/ Unity, but should be good in 9.04. Not sure about KDE though.


Install wmctrl

sudo apt install wmctrl

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

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):

wmctrl -i -r `wmctrl -l | grep Firefox` -t 2

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


I am now using xmonad: I can easily move windows to any screen/desktop using keyboard.

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