SizeUp behaviour using Compiz

Recently I found out about SizeUp in OSX and found it really useful. Basically it gives you hot keys for window positions, such that you can maximise them vertically and attach them to the left or right of the screen. Great for placing terminal windows and browsers. This is similar to the behaviour in Windows 7 (don’t know what they call it or care, they are just copying this stuff from existing window managers and getting all the credit). You can also send a window to a corner, or maximise horizontally and attach to top/bottom.

I knew it must be possible in linux somehow. For one thing, there’s wmctrl, a command line program for scripting window positions and I found some scripts made by others in the Ubuntu forums that act similar to the way I wanted.

However, it turns out there is something already available if you’re using Compiz as your display manager.

To change to using Compiz and get the required config tool, run:

sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-extra

And then open the menu System → Preferences → Appearance. Go to the Visual Effects tab and choose “Extra”.

Then fire up the CompizConfig Settings Manager that’s also under System → Preferences. When the dialog loads, go to the filter and type “grid”. This is the module of Compiz that gives you almost the same behaviour as SizeUp (you can get the rest of the behaviour using other modules in the “Window Management” category.

Update: changed the apt-get command to also install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra as the grid plugin is no longer part of the core package.


#1   Derek Kastner on 03.08.11 at 8:18 am

When using Gnome, I use is XMonad. For someone like me who hates to touch the mouse, it is the best keyboard-driven window manager. One of the nice things about it is that it integrates with Gnome, so you can keep your task bar and have access to your application menu.

After using XMonad, even SizeUp on OS X is a drag in comparison, especially when I have more than one monitor set up.

#2   Joel on 03.08.11 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for the heads up about XMonad. I’m definitely a fan of keyboard-based solutions…

I think I’d run across XMonad many years earlier, but at the time it looked somewhat unstable and wasn’t prepared to spend lots of time hacking on X ;p Looks like it has matured a lot since then.

Leave a Comment