Hack and / - Automate your Desktop with wmctrl

Why move, resize and shade windows by hand when a program can do it for you?

Kyle Rankin is a director of engineering operations in the San Francisco Bay Area, the author of a number of books including DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and is a columnist for Linux Journal.


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Anonymous's picture

"I am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand." (Douglas Adams)

quake terminal

Luciano's picture


Thanks for the article! I changed it a bit so it will also open the terminal if not open yet.


        wmctrl -r 'Quake Terminal' -e '0,0,0,1279,500'
        wmctrl -r 'Quake Terminal' -b add,shaded
        wmctrl -r 'Quake Terminal' -b add,below
        touch /tmp/.quake.shaded

S1=`wmctrl -l|grep 'Quake Terminal'|wc -l`

if [ $S1 -eq '0' ]; then
    gnome-terminal --window-with-profile='Quake Terminal' --title='Quake Terminal'
    wmctrl -r 'Quake Terminal' -e '0,0,0,1279,500'
# Unshade and bring to front
if [ -f /tmp/.quake.shaded ]; then
    wmctrl -r 'Quake Terminal' -b remove,below
    wmctrl -r 'Quake Terminal' -b remove,shaded
    wmctrl -a 'Quake Terminal'
    rm /tmp/.quake.shaded
# Shade and send to back

Great article! Thanks for

Anonymous's picture

Great article! Thanks for writing it.