Is it possible that I could have a permanent CLI or Terminal in one of the workspaces in Ubuntu 14.04, such that the Terminal/CLI would start on boot and could not be closed.

I need to use the terminal a lot, and though opening it in maximized mode works fine, I would like to have it sticked on some workspace permanently.

  • would automatically (re)open a terminal window if it is closed (in the workspace) do? – Jacob Vlijm Oct 6 '14 at 6:04
  • You can definitely set things up to have a terminal open where you want it every time you log in. I do it in KDE and I have seen how to do it in Gnome. I don't do Unity, so I can't tell you exactly how it works there. AFAIK, there isn't really anything like a terminal which can't be closed. It depends on what you want to use it for. Check out the screen program. It can hold onto multiple local and remote sessions even when you close the application and open it later. – Joe Oct 7 '14 at 3:14
  • @JacobVlijm That would work well. – Registered User Oct 7 '14 at 12:44
  • I posted it as an answer :) – Jacob Vlijm Oct 7 '14 at 12:54

There are few things..

1-- It will be a lot easier and faster if you use quake as suggested above.

2-- Even if you want to fix your terminal at some other workspace permanently, you can do it through CCSM(Compiz) => window management=> Place window=> Fixed window parchment=> Fixed Window Viewport

enter image description here

You can choose the workspace by changing 'X Viewport position and Y Viewport Position'

Next you would like to add terminal in the start-up applications. So that you don't have to start it by yourself This can be done easily through

In Dash --search Startup applications => Add
enter image description here

This i think, suffices your requirements.

Sources:Open application in specific workspace How to launch terminal on login

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  • I think this is what he was looking for. Good job. :) – Dan Johansen Oct 7 '14 at 12:05

Not exactly the answer, but you can install GUAKE terminal in ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install guake

Pressing F12 toggles on/off mode. Faster than switching the workspaces. :)

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Permanently have one or more applications run on specific viewport(s)

For the sport of it: to keep one or more applications running on one or more specified viewports, you can use the script below. It runs in the background and works as you describe, but you can add multiple applications to keep running on different viewports.

Although the script looks a bit extensive, most of it only runs one time, to collect data about your viewport(s) span, viewport columns & rows, screen resolution and such. It is not part of the loop.

If you close the application window you specified for the viewport, it opens a new window of the application on the targeted viewport.

How to use:

First: install wmctrl:

sudo apt-get install wmctrl

Then just copy the script into an empty file, set the application(s) you need to run (in one or more tuples in a list, see example in the head section of the script) and the targeted viewport(s) you need it to run on (and keep available). Save it as keep_running.py and make it executable.

run it by the command:


optionally, you can add it to your startup applications.

The script:

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import subprocess
import time

# list applications and targeted viewports
applications = [("gnome-terminal", 4), ("gedit", 3)]

def get_value(command):
    return subprocess.check_output(
        ["/bin/bash", "-c", command]).decode('utf-8').strip()

def screendata():
    getres = get_value("xrandr").split(); idf = getres.index("current")
    screen_res = (int(getres[idf+1]), int(getres[idf+3].replace(",", "")))
    wsp_info = get_value("wmctrl -d").strip()
    scr_data = [item.split("x") for item in wsp_info.split(" ") if "x" in item][0]
    VP_hor = int(scr_data[0])/int(screen_res[0])
    VP_vert = int(scr_data[1])/int(screen_res[1])
    ranges_hor = [i*screen_res[0] for i in range(int(VP_hor))]
    ranges_vert = [i*screen_res[1] for i in range(int(VP_hor))]
    w_positions = [(int(ranges_hor[i]), int(ranges_vert[i2]))\
                   for i2 in range(len(ranges_vert)) for i in range(len(ranges_hor))]
    return {"resolution": screen_res, "horizontal": ranges_hor,
            "vertical": ranges_vert, "columns": int(VP_hor),
            "window_positions": w_positions}

def get_viewport(abs_h, abs_v): #calculates viewport from absolute coords
    hor = screen_data["horizontal"]
    vert = screen_data["vertical"]
    hor_position = len([n for n in hor if int(abs_h) >= n])
    vert_position = len([n for n in vert if int(abs_v) >= n])
    return int(hor_position+(vert_position-1)*screen_data["columns"])

def window_position(rel_h, rel_v): #calculates viewport from coords, relative to current viewport
    wsp_info = get_value("wmctrl -d").strip().split()
    vp_coords = eval(wsp_info[wsp_info.index("VP:"):][1])
    abs_h = rel_h+vp_coords[0]
    abs_v = rel_v+vp_coords[1]
    return get_viewport(abs_h, abs_v)

def pid_appinfo(pid):
    get_app = "ps -p "+pid+" -o comm="
    return get_value(get_app)

def check_windows():
        wlist = get_value("wmctrl -l -p -G")
    except Exception:
        # retry; when switching viewports while the command runs, it raises an error
        wlist = get_value("wmctrl -l -p -G")
    wdata = [l.split()[2:5] for l in wlist.split("\n")]
    app_windows = []
    for item in wdata:
        if item[0] != "0":
                if pid_appinfo(item[0]) == application\
                    and window_position(int(item[1]), int(item[2])) == target_viewport:
            except Exception:
    if len(app_windows) == 0:
        targeted_viewport = str(screen_data["window_positions"][target_viewport-1])\
        subprocess.call(["wmctrl", "-o", targeted_viewport])

screen_data = screendata()

while True:
    for item in applications:
        application = item[0]; target_viewport = item[1]

This script is also on gist.gisthub

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What about setting the desktop as you like it. Then do a shutdown but select the Save Session check box option if available. May work?

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  • Usually a logout should be enough. It's a desktop session which is part of user land. Answers are more helpful when they include more detail. I don't do Unity, so I don't know the exact details myself. – Joe Oct 7 '14 at 3:02

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