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It's kind of annoying how some Ubuntu (GNOME, X Window System) programs start at the top left of my screen. Is there a way to make the program start in the center of the screen.

(Yeah I know it's a pretty trivial question but it is annoying ;-)

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migrated from Jul 30 '09 at 13:41

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Which window manager/desktop environment are you using? – Babu Jul 15 '09 at 2:54
up vote 10 down vote accepted

you can use x's geometry to set this.

depending on your x version it can vary.

the man page and it should explain the geometry options

xterm 80x24+nxn or similar.

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What does nxn do? – Lucas McCoy Jul 15 '09 at 2:58
n would represent the number you want to set. – egorgry Jul 15 '09 at 3:01
Thanks You So Much! – Lucas McCoy Jul 15 '09 at 3:03
Why is it so hard to find information about geometry using a man page? – Lucas McCoy Jul 15 '09 at 3:05
'man X', search for "GEOMETRY SPECIFICATIONS". – Craig Sanders Jul 15 '09 at 3:47

In gnome-terminal (ubuntu) the geometry specification is slightly different:

gnome-terminal --geometry=114x32+0+0

As ever the man pages are your friend:

man gnome-terminal
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most (probably all) window managers have configuration options that you can tweak to set where new windows are opened.

some examples:

openbox has a check-box "Center new windows when they are placed". that causes all new windows(*) to open in the centre of the screen.

sawfish is very flexible and programmable - you can set rules so that windows matching certain criteria are always centered, always opened in desktop 2, have a different frame style, and so.

i can't remember exactly what metacity is capable of...haven't used it for ages. i think it can centre windows by default.

(*) by default, that is. if they're opened with a specific geometry then that overrides the default.

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I couldn't figure out the centering problem (in X) either, so I just did some rough math on my screen dimensions to determine a close centerpoint. I needed this for my terminal window, similar to Ken above.

Here is what i have my terminal icon mapped to, which is close to center on my 1900x1200 resolution:

gnome-terminal --geometry=90x20+400+300

(That's width(columns) x hight(rows) + xoffset + y offset

To add to this, I have an alias in my .bashrc which I use when I need to open 4 terminals fast. The below will open 4 terminals, each pinned to the 4 corners, and 100 columns by 23 rows. Note that I go out of order in the calls so that the last line executed (the last terminal opened) is the upper left one, allowing me to start there.

# Open 4 terminal windows on the corners.  Upper rt, low left, low right, upper left
alias bam="     gnome-terminal --geometry=100x23-700+0; 
                gnome-terminal --geometry=100x23+0-400; 
                gnome-terminal --geometry=100x23-700-400;
                gnome-terminal --geometry=100x23+0+0;"
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