This answer does not answer my question:.

I want to resize two or more windows automatically, so that they occupy the a share of the whole screen, side by side. That is, 2 windows that occupy 1/2, 3 that occupy 1/3 each and so on.

I can do it manually right now, but just resizing windows with the keyboard individually is time consuming. For example, ctrl + Super + arrow and left/right/up/ down for each window. However, that would force me to go window by window resizing them.

1 Answer 1


While in this answer, the question was on how to (re-) arrange application specific windows into a grid, the edited version below rearranges all "normal" windows into a grid:

#!/usr/bin/env python3
import subprocess
import getpass
import sys

#--- set your preferences below: padding between windows, margin(s)
cols = int(sys.argv[1]); rows = int(sys.argv[2]); padding = 10; left_margin = 70; top_margin = 30

get = lambda cmd: subprocess.check_output(["/bin/bash", "-c", cmd]).decode("utf-8")
def get_res():
    xr = get("xrandr").split(); pos = xr.index("current")
    return [int(xr[pos+1]), int(xr[pos+3].replace(",", "") )]

def check_window(w_id):
    w_type = get("xprop -id "+w_id)
    if " _NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE_NORMAL" in w_type:
        return True
        return False

# get resolution
res = get_res()
# define (calculate) the area to divide
area_h = res[0] - left_margin; area_v = res[1] - top_margin
# create a list of calculated coordinates
x_coords = [int(left_margin+area_h/cols*n) for n in range(cols)]
y_coords = [int(top_margin+area_v/rows*n) for n in range(rows)]
coords = sum([[(cx, cy) for cx in x_coords] for cy in y_coords], [])
# calculate the corresponding window size, given the padding, margins, columns and rows
w_size = [str(int(area_h/cols - padding)), str(int(area_v/rows - padding))]
# find windows of the application, identified by their pid
wlist = [w.split()[0] for w in get("wmctrl -lp").splitlines()]
w_list = [w for w in wlist if check_window(w) == True][:cols*rows]

# remove possibly maximization, move the windows
for n, w in enumerate(w_list):
    data = (",").join([str(item) for item in coords[n]])+","+(",").join(w_size)
    cmd1 = "wmctrl -ir "+w+" -b remove,maximized_horz"
    cmd2 = "wmctrl -ir "+w+" -b remove,maximized_vert"
    cmd3 = "wmctrl -ir "+w+" -e 0,"+data
    for cmd in [cmd1, cmd2, cmd3]:
        subprocess.Popen(["/bin/bash", "-c", cmd])

How to use

  • Make sure wmctrl is installed:

    sudo apt-get install wmctrl
  • Copy the script into an empty file, save it as rearrange_windows.py

  • In the head section of the script, set your prefered padding if you like:

    #--- set your preferences below: padding between windows, margin(s)
    cols = 3; rows = 2; padding = 10; left_margin = 70; top_margin = 30

    Due to some bugs in the use of (the combination of) Unity / wmctrl, I would leave left_margin = 70; top_margin = 30 as it is.

  • Run it by the command:

    python3 /path/to/rearrange_windows.py <cols> <rows>

    e.g. :

    python3 /path/to/rearrange_windows.py 3 2 

    to set a grid of 3 collums / 2 rows of windows.

If all works as expected, add it to a shortcut key: Choose: System Settings > "Keyboard" > "Shortcuts" > "Custom Shortcuts". Click the "+" and add the command:

 python3 /path/to/rearrange_windows.py <cols> <rows>

If you'd like to use different grids (cols/rows), just create several shortcuts with different grids.


If the number of windows exceeds the number of (possible) windows in the grid, the script grids the four "oldest" windows.


python3 /path/to/rearrange_windows.py 3 2 

enter image description here

python3 /path/to/rearrange_windows.py 2 3

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the answer, but the re-sizing does not work for me. The result is kind of unexpected, some windows are re-sized right and others not. I also like more functionality, like having a window occupying the left side, and all others the right size, for example. Or all in the same size. Different layouts would be nice bonus. Jul 11, 2015 at 14:20
  • @QuoraFeans There are indeed some differences per application on how wmctrl interprets the hight of (the top section of) the window (e.g. gedit/gnome- terminal). These differences should however be relatively small. Jul 11, 2015 at 15:03
  • Well, the results are not good at my end. Maybe I could run the key shortcuts putting the windows on a specific place through a batch file. Could I do something like this? Could I tie shortcuts like ctrl+alt+left arrow, ctrl+alt+right arrow to run together, if I have two windows? And so on for more windows. Jul 11, 2015 at 15:27

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