I use a lot of terminal windows (at least three, up to 5 or 6).

If I am working in one of them, and switch to another app via the unity launcher (say the web browser), and then come back to the terminal windows by clicking on the terminal icon in the Unity launcher, the window that had focus and was raised is not raised anymore and may or may not still have focus.

This is really annoying as I have to dig under all the other terminal windows I do not want to finally find and click on the one I do want.

Is there a way that Unity can remember which terminal window had focus and was raised?

Update: thanks to everyone, but as far as I'm concerned this is a bug in Unity


You can also use the Alt-` shortcut to switch between open windows of the same application. It's not exactly a solution, but it might help you get back to your terminal faster. I typically use Alt-Tab to get to the terminal application and then switch to whatever window I need.

You could also use scale function to show all your windows and then click the window that you want. By default, I believe the shortcut is Super-W, but it can be changed in the compiz settings manager under Window Management->Scale->Bindings->Initiate Window Picker for All Windows

Hope this helps!


IMHO this is a bug in Unity. The last used window in an application group should be the one raised and with focus when I come back to this group by clicking on it's button in the launcher

I won't report any more unity UI bugs, though, given the treatment that obvious UI shortcomings in Unity are given: see this one for example

I switched to terminator: problem solved

  • Hadn't seen terminator before... I like it! – jat255 Oct 31 '11 at 13:53

A solution could be put the terminal window always on top (right click on the title bar > Always on top), then roll it up.

Rolled up window example

You can enable roll up action with double click on the title bar, going to System Settings > Windows, and changing double click action from Maximize to Roll Up.

Then, you can put the rolled window on a corner, doing what you want with the other application, and when finished roll down the window.


I use Alt+Tab to get back to my terminal.

  • Thanks, but what happens if I have used a bunch of other apps before going back to the terminal? I have to hit alt-tab until my terminal is focused... No, I want to click to button in the launcher and have my terminal windows raise, and whichever one of them had focus put on top and given focus – jfoucher Sep 16 '11 at 20:32
  • You can hold alt-tab to get a visual list of windows. If all else fails, you can do ctrl-alt-arrow to change to another desktop, where you keep your terminals. – TLP Sep 16 '11 at 21:14

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