Possible Duplicate:
How can I set a launcher to start an application in a specific desktop

Background: I have just installed two 24" monitors, but this question is about the behavior of each monitor. The aspect ratio of these monitors is much wider than I need, and I would prefer to be able to have four programs open at once, without having to resize each frame.

Question: Can I configure Ubuntu so that an applications open to 1/2 of the screen width by default, and use 1/2 of the screen for 'full screen mode'?

I would prefer a solution that does not depend on Unity, although any solution would be welcome.

Current setup:

enter image description here

Desired Setup: (except that programs are not using full screen in this example)

enter image description here

System Details

  • Dell Optiplex 755
  • Graphics Card: Radeon HD 2400 XT
  • OS: Ubuntu and Xubuntu 11.10
  • Software: AMD Catalyst Control Center

marked as duplicate by Oli Dec 21 '11 at 13:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


I don't know about full screen, but you can certainly maximise to half a screen.

In either Unity or Gnome, simply drag the window to the left or right edge of either screen, and you should see an orange indicator covering half the screen (the colour probably depends on your theme). When you see that, release the mouse button, and the window should automatically fill half the screen.

Hope that helps

  • that helps, but it would be even better if windows would open at that size by default. – David LeBauer Dec 17 '11 at 21:41

Ubuntu Unity uses compiz so install CCSM, try to search for "compiz settings" in software center.

You can write compiz rules in CCSM, just find the appropriate plugin and learn how to write custom windows/application rules. This way you can tell compiz to give the exact location and size of a program opening. I have done it to start gthumb maximized. Open CCSM, go to window managment section, click on place windows, click tab fixed window placement, click on the right new button, the last part you have to figure out your self, I can only say learn experiment and you are there. It can be a little tricky but in no way impossible.

Good luck :-)


(You mentioned you didn't prefer Unity but were looking for any solution so I'll just post it here and let you decide.)

I too have dual monitors and I set up my windows to be side-side by on each one. Unity has keyboard shortcuts configured to tile windows side by side out of the box that makes this quite easy, since it's only 4 keystrokes to set the entire thing up I haven't investigated automating it.

Hitting Ctrl-Alt-Numpad 4 (has to be the 4 on the number pad on your keyboard) will automatically tile the window to left half of the monitor your mouse is currently on. Similarly Ctrl-Alt-Numpad 6 will tile the window on the right side of the screen.

So what I do when I want to set up 4 windows on 2 screens is launch the app, then tile it to where I want to be, then do the 2nd app, then move the next two windows I launch to the other screen, place them, and then I'm good to go.

If you want to be even more ninja you can keep tiling windows on halves of screens, as middle clicking on a title will "send the window back" behind the one behind it, so you can do 8 (or more apps) with 2 visible on each screen and then alt-tab or middle click to send the window back to get the one behind it visible.

If you want to tile with the mouse you can drag a window to the left or right edge and Unity will prompt you to resize the window on the side of that screen, however this can get tricky with multiple monitors as there's no hard edge so you have to kind of move towards the edge until it triggers the resize, which is why I prefer the keyboard to do this quickly.

(Note that this works "up and down" too if you want to tile windows vertically, Ctrl-Alt-Numpad 8 and Ctrl-Alt-Numpad 2 if you want to play with it)

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