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I was fooling around with my dual display setup (turned on my second monitor is almost all) and a handful of programs that were running seem not to be available anymore. Thunderbird, Gvim, Tomboy

ps shows them, but I can't see them. Can't cycle to them with alt-tab. They aren't just in some other window. I'm not even sure how to start figuring out where everything went.

Ideas?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 19 '10 at 21:14

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You might try asking this question on superuser.com, as stackoverflow is more related to software development. –  Phil Mar 19 '10 at 21:10
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4 Answers 4

the wmctrl command (apt package wmctrl) interacts with most/all modern windowing systems.

It can display a list of windows, their IDs, their PIDs, and the workspaces they are located in:

`wmctrl -lp`

and can also control them: for example, wmctrl -a <WINDOW_ID> will switch to the desktop that contains a given window and activate that window.

wmctrl -R <WINDOW_ID> will bring that window to the current workspace (and raise it).

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Maybe you've setup multiple virtual desktops (there should be a desktop pager somewhere on the lower bar). Otherwise try to minimize all windows to the task bar at once (as @outsideblasts described) or with the "minimize all" button. If the windows appear on the task bar, right click and choose "move window", then try to use the keyboard to move them back in, or try "maximize" or "move to current desktop/viewport".

Update: Another idea: Have you removed the other monitor from the system settings before/after detaching it?

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Whatever shortcut is set to "minimize all windows and show desktop" can have some strange effects like this. It might be Ctrt + Shift + D, but I've changed mine and can't check. Anyway, make this keypress combination, and maybe do it again. Your windows could return to visible.

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phil ... thanks for getting me to the right place.

outsideblasts ... I finally gave up and rebooted, but next time I will try this "ctrl-shift-d" you speak of.

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