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Silly question, but hopefully some easy rep for someone. I am new to the linux/open source community, and I find it very feature rich, but often confusing.

I am trying to configure a speedy environment for research, and want to know how to initiate a program from the terminal and, if possible, to predetermine which area of the desktop it occupies from the start.

Also, I tend to use secondary monitors for extra screen real estate, if you can, please answer with respect to that.

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Launching a program from the terminal is as easy as running the executable. For example:

$ firefox &

The '&' above is optional, and it puts the process in the background, which lets you immediately run another program in the same terminal.

You can only pre-determine the screen location of the program's window if the program accepts an argument to do so. Most X programs will accept a -geometry option which can be used to set the X-location, Y-location, width, and height of the window, but there is no requirement that graphical programs accept any such parameter.

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    You can also use external programs to place windows in specific locations. – terdon Apr 10 '15 at 17:05
  • so to implement the -geometry option what must i do? i used konsole to open another instance of itself successfully btw, and for that you get the answer! :] @John – Wolfgang Steele Apr 10 '15 at 17:07
  • which programs are these for placing windows? @terdon – Wolfgang Steele Apr 10 '15 at 17:14
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    @Wolfgang - you implement the -geometery command-line argument if you're the developer of the program. As a user, you either have it available and use it or you don't. To find out if it's available, look at the program's manual page (e.g. man konsole). – John Apr 10 '15 at 17:19
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    @WolfgangSteele wmctrl is one and (probably) xdotool another. For example, with wmctrl, you can run firefox && wmctrl -r firefox -e 0,1,1,1100,1100 to launch firefox and then place it at the top left of your screen with a 1100x1100 window. There may well be better tools but that deserves a separate question of its own. – terdon Apr 10 '15 at 18:12

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