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In my daily work, I can usually divide the task at hand into two or three subtasks, for example MATLAB programming, LaTeX typesetting and Skype communication. For this, I like to keep the different subtasks in different workspaces, so I can just switch from one subtask to the next by jumping between workspaces.

When I start my computer, the first thing I do is usually to start one of the programs I need from the terminal, then move to the next workspace, start a new terminal there and start another program for another subtask. Currently, each window that starts appear in the currently active workspace. However, I don't want to wait for the program window to load before I move to the next workspace.

Is there any way I can force a program to start in the workspace that's active when I give the command to start the process, instead of in the workspace that's currently active when the window loads?

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Take a look at Devil's Pie. It can be used to perform some actions on specific windows. For example it is possible to move a Firefox window to workspace 2:

  (is (application_name) "Firefox")
    (set_workspace 2)
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