default location of new windows

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Wed Feb 24 08:34:44 GMT 2010

John Stile posted on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 12:28:08 -0800 as excerpted:

> I use kde-4.3.3 with an Nvidia twin view dual monitor setup. Is there a
> way to adjust the default location for new dialogs globally, such that
> they appear in the center of the right or left monitors (and not square
> in the middle)?  Like some kind of default x,y offset for all dialogs.

There's several ways to set that up.

FWIW I'm running dual 1920x1200, but stacked, for 1920x2400, here, using a 
Radeon hd4650 with the freedomware drivers, xorg randr positioning, and 
Linux kernel KMS.  I don't do servantware (see the sig), so no nVidia here.

Also, I'm now running kde 4.4.0, the latest (on Gentoo FWIW), and it has 
improved things quite a bit from 4.3 in terms of multi-monitor xinerama 
mode handling.  However, sans a few bugs and some little detail, 4.3 
should be reasonably similar.  And a few of these depend on whether 
xinerama support was compiled in when the binaries were built.  On Gentoo, 
that's exposed as a USE flag for individual site admins to decide whether 
to enable or not.  Of course, the binary distros will have had to pre-
choose one or the other for you.  Most will probably choose to enable the 
xinerama mode support, however, since it's not going to be that much 
bigger a binary, and there's enough folks that use it to make that choice 
a good one.

First, take a look at "the application formerly known as kcontrol" (taking 
a hint from "the artist formerly known as Prince", since "system settings" 
is simply too generic to be a proper description, especially when it 
controls kde config, not the system in general), computer admin, display, 
multiple monitors.  There should be several checkboxes here that control 
whether various aspects of the UI treat the multiple monitors as a single 
combined area or as multiple separate ones, in terms of window placement, 
maximize support, etc.  There's also a dropdown letting you choose which 
display to put unmanaged windows on.  FWIW, I have all five of the 
checkboxes checked, and the dropdown set to "display containing the 

That may just do what you want right there, but there's additional multi-
monitor related controls elsewhere.  Under look and feel, window behavior, 
window behavior, on the focus tab, consider the "separate screen focus" 
and "active screen follows mouse" checkboxes.  FWIW, I have them unchecked 
and checked, respectively.  And on the advanced tab, consider "placement". 
FWIW, I use "smart".  You can use the what's-this help to get a 
description of what each of the choices there does.  While you're there, 
consider "hide utility windows for inactive applications" as well, as 
that's a pretty important GUI setting, tho not directly multi-monitor 
related.  FWIW, I have that unchecked.

If that still doesn't do what you want, you can program individual windows 
to their own settings, either from kcontrol, window behavior, window 
specific, or accessing that same dialog thru the system menu on the title 
bar of each app.  For a general case dialog window (and possibly utility 
window) solution, you'd create a new entry, leaving the usual window class 
role and title (first two tabs) at don't care, only setting window type 
(dialog and possibly utility).  Then on the geometry tab, you can select 
force or apply initially for position and possibly size (or see the max 
and min size options on the workarounds tab), and set absolute values, as 
an x,y coordinate pair, pixels from the top left corner (which is 0,0), 
comma separated.  Another alternative might be to set placement, forcing 
it to for example, "on main window", if you want the dialogs to always 
appear over top their parent windows.

You'd then move this new specific entry down the list, below any other 
settings, since it's a default.  That way, other specific window setting 
will overrule it if desired.  FWIW, I had a problem with a few apps 
maximizing by default, so I setup a "general initial no-max" default, 
which I keep at the bottom of the list, so I can set specific windows to 
max and have those entries above the default no-max rule, overriding it.

(Do be aware, however, that "apply initially" in particular, doesn't 
always work as expected, especially when matching on title.  This is 
apparently because some windows are created first, then change their 
values.  It's often done so fast that you have no idea that there's 
another window name or whatever, as all you see is the one, but as the 
window initially does have a different value, and is then changed to what 
you see, it won't match with an apply initially, and you'll have to use 
the force option to get it to take.  Unfortunately, force means force, and 
if you for instance set size and position, kde/kwin won't let you move or 
resize that window even if you want to.  In ordered to do so, you'd have 
to change the window specific setting, say to "apply initially", 
temporarily, apply, do your work, then reset it to force when you're done, 
so it'll force it the next time.)

Get those all setup as you want, and you'll find things work much better 
for you.  They certainly did here. kde really does give users quite a lot 
of flexibility in this regard. =:^)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:
More info:

More information about the kde mailing list