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I have an HDMI monitor which I unplug and plug back into my laptop from time to time. When I unplug the monitor, all the windows are moved onto the laptop display. However, when I plug it back in, all the windows are moved onto the 2nd display (which is on the left of the laptop display), even though I haven't moved them myself.

How can I make KDE preserve which display each window is on across unplug-and-replug?

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  • Probably not possible. After you unplug, then the previous positioning information is lost. Short of writing a custom script, I can't imagine why Plasma would save this historical information. Also, I'm not sure if this is part of your question, but I think Plasma references the location of windows relative to the top left pixel as the origin. Hence, after you plug the monitor back in, they'll stay on the left-most screen. If you prefer the windows to stay on the laptop screen, I think you can just make that screen "left". (I'm not sure if "Primary screen" has any effect here.) – Sparhawk Oct 2 '16 at 23:50
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You can save the current position of windows with:

wmctrl -lG > ~/.windowlistrc

You can restore them with:

rcfile=~/.windowlistrc

while read row; do
  IFS=" " read id g x y w h _ <<< ${row}
  if [[ ${g} == "-1" ]]; then continue; fi
  wmctrl -ir ${id} -b toggle,maximized_vert,maximized_horz
  wmctrl -ir ${id} -b remove,maximized_vert,maximized_horz
  y=$(( ${y} - 30 ))
  wmctrl -ir ${id} -e 0,${x},${y},${w},${h}
done < ${rcfile}

The restore could be much simpler, but I found I needed to toggle things on and off for windows that were arranged by the window manager after dragging near a side or top, and then expanded (by the wm) to fill half the monitor.

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