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Workspace Window Placement Hack: Choose which apps open in which workspaces!

In response to my post on workspaces, several of you expressed a desire to have applications automatically open to a particular virtual desktop. Well this is not a hack that requires future dreams and hopes, you can do it right now!


I’ve actually had Evolution open to the bottom right of my 4 workspaces for some time now, and quite honestly, I have no idea where I heard that this could be done, so I cannot unfortunately give credit to whatever person in the Ubuntu Forums or some other blog mentioned how to do this. But lets get to it!

The first thing you’re going to need is the CompizConfig Settings Manager. I can’t think of any circumstance of why you wouldn’t have this already, but if you do not have it, pop in compizconfig to the Software Center and install it.


Next, run it! Navigate like so:

System>Preferences>CompizConfig Settings Manager

Now scroll down a bunch! To the section labeled Window Management, at the very bottom.
Check “Place Windows” to activate that plugin, then click on it to change some settings. Go to the second tab.

The entry we are interested in is the ‘Windows with fixed viewport’ (yes, thats right, viewport. desktop, viewport, workspace, apparently no ones worried about inconsistent naming anymore).

Click on ‘new’ under “Windows with Fixed Viewport”
In this dialog, we see two sliders. These set the X and Y position that the assigned window will show up at. So for the bottom right, I’d set x to 2 and y to 2. Then click the + button to add the window.

This gives you another little dialog (you can see all three, compiz, the first and the second dialog). If you push the ‘grab’ it gives you a little crosshair deal, which you can use to grab your app!
Now, you can still grab and move your app around at will. But you need to remember that if you set something like a file browser or Firefox to a particular workspace, it will always show up there. Ok? So don’t forget and blame me when you start losing windows!

Have any other workspace/virtual desktop hacks? Tell us in the comments!