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I always use my last workspace (workspace 4) for email and instant messaging. In KDE I could use the window menu (right-click on title bar) to tell KDE to move new Thunderbird and Pidgin windows to this workspace automatically when opened.

Apparently, according to this question, one could do that in Ubuntu 10.04, too, using the ‘Always on this workspace’ menu item in the window menu. However, in Ubuntu 12.04 there is no such menu item.

So, my question is this: How can I make an application open on a specific workspace in Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This can be done using devilspie, preferably with the GUI gdevilspie.

From gDevilspie in Launchpad:

Devils Pie is an application that allows you to run a particular application inside a particular workspace within your GNOME panner in a particular manor.


gDevils Pie is a graphical front-end for editing the Devils Pie configuration file. gDevils Pie also allows you to stop and start the Devils Pie daemon.


  1. Install gdevilspie with the suggested add-on devilspie from the Software Center or execute the following command in a terminal:

    sudo apt-get install gdevilspie
  2. Open gdevilspie (Alt + F2, gdevilspie, Enter).

  3. Check Start devilspie daemon automatically at login.


To automatically move a new instance of Thunderbird to workspace 4, do the following:

  1. Open gdevilspie and click Add.

  2. Enter a name (e.g., Thunderbird).

  3. Check the property window_name and enter Thunderbird in contain(s).

  4. Change to the tab Actions.

  5. Check the property Set_workspace and enter 4 in workspace.

  6. Click Save.

  7. Re(start) the daemon by clicking Stop (if running), then Start.

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Thank you for your help. – iwan_groznyj Feb 15 '13 at 16:02

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