When I attach an external (D-SUB) display and set it up (with xrandr) to be on the right to the main (built-in) display, the most of new windows opened appear on the external display and some even farther to the right of it (leaving the most of their area outside the visible area).

Can I configure things the way that new windows would appear in the centre of the main (the very left) display (the same way as they do when there is no external display attached)?

PS: I use XUbuntu 11.10 with XFCE 4.8 on Dell Latitude E5500 with Intel GMA X4500HD card. My built-in display has 1440x900 resolution, my external display resolution is 1024x768 (this is another problem of mine actually, I can't configure any external display for more than 1024x768, but this is a separate question).

  • which window manager are you using?
    – g24l
    Mar 18, 2012 at 23:05
  • @g24l, I've specified I am using XFCE, means the WM is XFWM.
    – Ivan
    Mar 19, 2012 at 0:19
  • well yes, but I use XFCE with Compix, you see, and that is why I asked. How is the second screen configured? I suppose that you have one large desktop, not two separate Xscreens? right? Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks -> Placement (tab) and select smart placement? or you can play with the other options to see what suits you.
    – g24l
    Mar 19, 2012 at 11:34

2 Answers 2


wmctrl can do that. Check devilspie too (maybe). It's WM agnostic.


Generally, no. X11 doesn't work that way.

There may be ways to configure your WM to move certain windows to other desktops/screens/tags etc. If and how depends on the WM. And there are a few agents that may be able to do it for you as well (see sputnick's answer). It'll be a hack and how well it works depends on some details.

I've set up awesome to open mammoth browser (related) windows with tag 2, for example, so they don't pop up all over the place.

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