With Compiz in Unity, I could press Ctrl+Alt+6 to place a window on the right-half of the screen, Ctrl+Alt+4 to place it on the left half, Ctrl+Alt+7 to place it in the top left quarter of the screen, and so on. Is there something similar in Gnome-Shell?

  • note: Numbers mentioned are on the NumPad.
    – int_ua
    Nov 30, 2011 at 17:31

5 Answers 5


Install gconf-editor.

sudo apt-get install gconf-editor

Now, run gconf-editor ( Alt+F2 gconf-editor)

Go to apps/metacity/window_keybindings and edit the move_to_center / move_to_corner entries to your liking. (see screenshot:)

enter image description here

  • How do you denote NumPad keys when entering in key combinations in the "Value" column?
    – apdnu
    Nov 30, 2011 at 20:28
  • Never mind, I see that KP means keypad, and that you have the obvious layout above.
    – apdnu
    Nov 30, 2011 at 20:34
  • 1
    How do you denote Keypad's 5 key? Apr 20, 2012 at 20:02
  • 1
    @drozzy to denote Keypad's 5 key use KP_5.
    – martin
    Apr 24, 2012 at 9:50
  • 5
    In Gnome 3.6, use dconf-editor. The relevant options are in org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings.
    – jakar
    Dec 9, 2012 at 6:57

You can use Ctrl + Super + any of the arrow keys.

  • Sure? On GNOME Shell 3.28.3 (18.04) by default only: Ctrl+super+up == maximize, Ctrl+super+down == restore, Dec 31, 2018 at 3:17

Try the Put Windows GNOME Shell extension, which claims to be a fully customizable replacement for the Compiz Put plugin.


In Ubuntu you can still use Compiz Config (or, alternatively, gconf-editor) to set up the keys the same way you do in Unity.

But, unfortunately, it does not work as expected. It does move the window where you asked it to, but then (at least, for some windows) they will jump back to the original position.

For example, in gconf-editor open apps/metacity/window_keybindings and add some shortcut for move_to_side_e, e.g. type in


Now open Files (Nautilus) and press this key combination. The window will move to the right side. Now double click any folder to enter it: the window will jump back to the position it was...

I am not sure whether it is a bug or the fact that Gnome-Shell does not support Compiz anymore, but hope that the feature will be supported sooner or later. This Compiz plugin and Place Windows (the one that opens new windows such that they occupy open space on the desktop) are, probably, the only, or at least the most important, plugins I still miss from the Gnome 2 and Compiz...

  • Except that gconf-editor always crashes after you set about 5 keys.... Apr 20, 2012 at 20:11
  • Not in my case, though. Unity crashes all the time when you modify something in ccsm, that is the fact. gconf-editor works fine here, even when I modify may keys at once (and I do modify many when reinstall the system).
    – Vadim
    Apr 20, 2012 at 20:16
  • Cool.. i'm just giving Bluetile a try... but alas, it is failing to compile on my system. Apr 20, 2012 at 20:20

Ubuntu 18.04+ (with GNOME) supports placing windows using the keyboard out of the box, but the shortcuts are disabled by default.

To set the shortcuts (also known as keybindings), you can use gsettings on the command line or use the dconf-editor app.

For example, to set the keybinding for moving the window to the lower left corner:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-corner-sw "['<Control><Super>j']"

See all the available keybindings:

$ gsettings list-recursively org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings | grep move-to | sort

org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-center ['<Control><Super>i']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-corner-nw ['<Control><Super>7']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-corner-ne ['<Control><Super>9']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-corner-sw ['<Control><Super>j']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-corner-se ['<Control><Super>l']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-side-e ['<Control><Super>o']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-side-n ['<Control><Super>8']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-side-s ['<Control><Super>k']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-side-w ['<Control><Super>u']

org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-monitor-up ['<Super><Shift>Up']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-monitor-down ['<Super><Shift>Down']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-monitor-left ['<Super><Shift>Left']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-monitor-right ['<Super><Shift>Right']

org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-1 ['<Super><Shift>Home']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-2 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-3 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-4 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-5 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-6 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-7 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-8 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-9 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-10 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-11 @as []
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-12 @as []

org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-up ['<Super><Shift>Page_Up', '<Control><Shift><Alt>Up']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-down ['<Super><Shift>Page_Down', '<Control><Shift><Alt>Down']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-left ['<Control><Shift><Alt>Left']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-right ['<Control><Shift><Alt>Right']
org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings move-to-workspace-last ['<Super><Shift>End']
  • 1
    Nice, but won't resize the window to use a section of the screen. Aug 24, 2020 at 1:34

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