As of the 11.10 release I've switched from vanilla Ubuntu to Xubuntu for a plethora of reasons. Thus far I'm loving XFCE and have nearly everything configured the way I like it. The one thing that's still got me stumped is alt + middle mouse button window resizing. How do I accomplish this in Xubuntu/XFCE?


You can use Alt + Right Button drag.

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  • 1
    Oh hey, that worked! Glad to know about this, but do you know if there's a way to rebind this to Alt + middle mouse? – PHLAK Oct 17 '11 at 17:35
  • There isn't such a feature but if you want to change the key, the xfce Settings manager will have this under 'Window manager tweaks' on Tab Accessibility, topmost entry. – aquaherd Oct 17 '11 at 17:55
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    That lets me change the Alt key to something else. I was hoping to change right click to middle click. – PHLAK Oct 17 '11 at 20:05

I think Alt+[Middle Mouse Button] is the Key binding used by default on Compiz and I don't know if there's a way to configure xfce to do that, but you can always type Alt+F8 to resize windows using the arrow keys.

Anyway if you want to install Compiz you can put sudo apt-get compiz on a terminal, and to run it from the startup copy the file /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml to your ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml directory (if it is not already there) and change the lines

<property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
  <value type="string" value="xfwm4"/>


<property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
  <value type="string" value="compiz"/>
  <value type="string" value="ccp"/>
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  • What advantages/disadvantages does compiz have over Xubuntu's default composting manager? – PHLAK Oct 17 '11 at 19:20
  • Well it depends on whether you like or not to have more eye-candy on your desktop. I use it because I can't live without the Scale Plug-in (to switch between windows) and the Hot Corners Plug-in (to activate the Scale plug-in and to Show my desktop). Another function that I find useful is the Grid Plug-in to maximize windows or use half of the screen for a window (like you can do on Windows 7). The disadvantage is that you need a non-very-old graphics card and it uses more system resources. But like I said before if all that you want is to resize windows you can always use Alt+F8. – Pablo Zubieta Oct 18 '11 at 3:00
  • I tried installing compiz-core and when I ran compiz --replace my window decorations went away. I made sure to set xfwm4 as the window manager in the CCSM as well. Any ideas what went wrong? – PHLAK Oct 19 '11 at 1:06
  • I'm afraid you can't use both xfwm4 (because it's a compositor itself). I use the default window manager entry in the CCSM, which will allow you to use metacity themes. – Pablo Zubieta Oct 19 '11 at 17:25
  • If you want a theme that matches the default greybird theme just extract the folder egtk in deviantart.com/download/83104033/…" into the folder .themes on your home folder (if .themes doesn't exist, create it). And run this on a terminal: gconftool-2 -s -t string /apps/metacity/general/theme 'egtk', gconftool-2 -s -t string /apps/metacity/general/titlebar_font 'Droid Sans Bold 10' and gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/metacity/general/titlebar_uses_system_font false. In the first command is either egtk or elementary (I'm not sure). – Pablo Zubieta Oct 19 '11 at 17:28

The following worked for me:

  1. Type xfce4-settings-manager in terminal
  2. Then click "Settings Editor"
  3. Then to the left, click "xfwm4 channel", then in the right pane change the value of "easy_click" to Alt (or &lt;alt&gt;)

Now Alt+mouse right click to move your window.

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