Scripted Window Actions

Tutorial – Devilspie2

Article from Issue 205/2017
Author(s):

Stop battling your window manager to position things as you like – make scripts do all the hard work!

How many window managers (WMs) and desktop environments can you name? If you've been around the Linux or BSD scene for a while, you can probably come up with 10 or 20 – and there are even more. For new users, this sheer variety may seem perplexing. After all, a WM just lets you shove windows around on the screen, right? Why not just make a single WM to rule them all?

Well, as you know, different WMs and desktop environments target very different types of users. Some prefer minimalistic WMs with tiny window borders, driven primarily by keyboard shortcuts – whereas others want all-singing, all-dancing showcases of beauty and functionality. In any case, they all have limitations, especially in terms of automation.

Now, why would you want to automate a WM? Don't they already do some tasks automatically, like putting new windows in certain places to reduce overlap? Well, yes, but that's about it. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could create custom scripts to move, resize, minimize, or maximize windows automatically when they pop up? Or move them to specific workspaces or virtual desktops? Or even make them sticky across all desktops?

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