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I answered on Ask Ubuntu Quit all instances of gnome-terminal via a command but as you all can read gnome-terminal didn't seems to have a SIGcall I could use to simulate this "Close" event. So this lead me to ask, is there a way in GNOME/KDE/LXDE/{put your window/desktop manager/environment here} to simulate the "Click in close button" event? I have read different questions that could have any relation to this, but don't answer this.

What I'm looking is for a global command (if exist) to do this in different scenarios. If none exist, please explain how the "Close" button works.

Posible uses:

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I believe the related man page is, XKillClient. You can use xdotool to simulate the close button being clicked from a terminal like so.


Assuming I have a gnome-terminal open and it's name is "saml@grinchy:/home".

  1. Get the window ID

    $ xdotool search --name "saml@grinchy:/home"
  2. Send it a Alt+F4

    $ xdotool windowactivate --sync 96488188 key --clearmodifiers \
         --delay 100 alt+F4

You can put them together by embedding the first command into the second:

$ xdotool windowactivate --sync $( ...1st command...) key --clearmodifiers \
         --delay 100 alt+F4

You can save yourself by letting xdotool do both at the same time:

$ xdotool search --name "saml@grinchy:~" key alt+f4


You can adapt what I've provided to run it on windows that have the same name:

$ xdotool search --name "saml@grinchy:~"

Or on windows by other attributes. You can use xwininfo to find out more about a particular window. Run it and then just click on the window of interest:

$ xwininfo

xwininfo: Please select the window about which you
          would like information by clicking the
          mouse in that window.

xwininfo: Window id: 0x5c04d4b "saml@grinchy:~"

  Absolute upper-left X:  14
  Absolute upper-left Y:  74
  Relative upper-left X:  14
  Relative upper-left Y:  74
  Width: 941
  Height: 361
  Depth: 32
  Visual: 0x62
  Visual Class: TrueColor
  Border width: 0
  Class: InputOutput
  Colormap: 0x5c00003 (not installed)
  Bit Gravity State: NorthWestGravity
  Window Gravity State: NorthWestGravity
  Backing Store State: NotUseful
  Save Under State: no
  Map State: IsViewable
  Override Redirect State: no
  Corners:  +14+74  -485+74  -485-465  +14-465
  -geometry 132x24+14+74

Other useful tools when dealing with X11 windows are xdpyinfo & xprop. xdpyinfo can be used to find out information about the X server. So you can figure out which window has focus:

$ xdpyinfo |grep focus
focus:  window 0x5c00005, revert to Parent

xprop and xwininfo can take a -id switch so you can provide them the Window ID that you're interested in instead of having to click on it:

$ xprop -id 0x5c00001|grep -i class
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "gnome-terminal", "Gnome-terminal"


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I think we can simplify even more using xdotool search --name "saml@grinchy:~" key alt+f4, problem is that I haven't found how to do this with several windows that have the same name... –  Braiam Aug 1 '13 at 16:26
@Braiam - is there anything unique about them? When you invoke the window you can tell GNOME what you want the titles to be. –  slm Aug 1 '13 at 16:31
@Braiam - for example: wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -N "MyWindowTitle –  slm Aug 1 '13 at 16:34
@Braiam - as to putting the commands together, I'm giving you eggs, you're making the omelet 8-). Added your method to the answer too! –  slm Aug 1 '13 at 16:36
I'm trying to use the example provided here to send the key alt+F4 to all the windows (if resize can be done, why not alt+F4), but without luck. And thanks :D. –  Braiam Aug 1 '13 at 16:46

pkill(1) should be what you need.

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No, it won't simulate the "Close" event on any of my test (open a gedit, LibreOffice and the terminal, write something, send the command), if I use the --signal switch is not different of kill or killall. I'm expecting the You want to save? alert. –  Braiam Aug 1 '13 at 15:32
You're right, seems I misread your question. –  schaiba Aug 1 '13 at 15:36

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