How can I create a script that automatically switches windows? I'm trying to do the same thing Alt+Tab does.


Sounds like you're looking for wmctrl - see here for more examples.

Edit: Your window manager/desktop environment has to be standards compliant (EWMH). And here are more examples.

  • Nice! I'll read a bit more about that. Thx.
    – GarouDan
    Oct 18 '11 at 13:48
  • 1
    Thanks for the link to wmctrl. Unfortunately it looks like your first link is broken. Here's man wmctrl, which might help others.
    – Alex
    Feb 26 '17 at 18:17

In cases where sr_'s solution does not work, you can also try xautomation. One of the tools included in that package is xte (see manpage) - it simulates keystrokes, mouse movement and more. Here's how you can use it to simulate Alt+Tab:

xte "keydown Alt_L" "key Tab" "keyup Alt_L"
  • Thx a lot @rozcietrzewiacz. wmctrl worked fine. But looks like xautomation can't manipulate windows...can it? manpage In your link xautomation I didn't find no documenation... =/
    – GarouDan
    Oct 18 '11 at 14:44
  • It can manipulate virtually anything that you can, when you see the screen - just use one of the shipped programs. See my updated answer about Alt+Tab. Oct 18 '11 at 16:40
  • Thx so much @rozcietrzewiacz, really very powerfull this. I was needing a way to keep Shift pressed and this works perfectly! Thx.
    – GarouDan
    Oct 18 '11 at 20:00
  • is possible simulate F5 key by xte? Didn't find anything in xte or google yet. This is another question that I did.
    – GarouDan
    Oct 31 '11 at 11:54
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    @GarouDan Didn't you try? xte "key F5" works perfectly for me. Oct 31 '11 at 12:04

The answer from sr_ mentioned wmctrl, which works for me.

I installed it on Ubuntu 16.04 with sudo apt-get install wmctrl. I was able to switch window with wmctrl -a emacs24.

wcmtrl -a $WIN seems to search for windows with names that contain the string $WIN. The search is case-insensitive.

Here is man wmctrl for reference.

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