Linux: Compiz Grid Plugin

After working on a few projects in windows, I finally moved my primary workstation back to Linux (RHEL 6.6).

Out of the box everything worked fine, only one thing was missing, the ability to place a window were I needed it. In Windows 7  you can drag a full screen window to the left or right side of the screen and Win-7 will auto-re-size to that side but only half of the screen. Moving the window to the top of the screen makes the window full screen again.

Sadly, this option is not an available default in Linux. You can drag a window to a different desktop, you can double click the header of a window to have it maximize to full screen or back to default size. I wanted some sort of ability that Win-7 had.

SOLUTION – Compiz

Compiz Grid gives you 9 options to place your window using your numeric key pad and unlike Win-7, this will work on multiple monitor setups for each monitor. That means you can have 18 small windows quickly placed in dual monitor mode! Windows only allows the far left side of the left monitor and the far right side of the right monitor.

You cannot move the window with your mouse because that would kill the ability to drag a window to another workspace (don’t worry, Linux has plenty or work-a-rounds but I’m happy with this solution). If you already have compiz installed to do the “cool” cube thing that Windows users ask to see. Then you are already ahead of the game and depending on the version of Gnome you have, this should work flawlessly. I am only going to go into details for how to do this for RHEL 6.6 with Gnome 2.28.2 but with a few pointers from your favorite LUG (Linux User Group), you should be able to do this from the command line interface (CLI) with no problem using zypper, apt-get, yum, yast or even using a GUI software installer.

There is 2 additional packages for  that need to be installed in order for this to work.
You may have to enable 3rd part packages in order to get these.

$sudo yum install :
  1. compiz-fusion.x86_64 0.8.2-8.el6
  2. compiz-fusion-extras.x86_64 0.8.2-6.el6

These are the 64 bit versions “x86” with out the “_64” is for 32 bit systems.

Once packages are installed:Grid for CCSM

  1.  open the Compiz Configuration Settings Manager (CCSM)
  2. Scroll to the bottom
  3. Enable Grid as seen in this picture

Now give any window focus and hit these combination of keys.

The numbers must be from the numeric keypad!

  •  Ctrl+Alt+7 (window goes to top left corner)
  •  Ctrl+Alt+8 (window goes to fills top or 1/3rd center)
  •  Ctrl+Alt+9 (window goes to files top right corner)
  •  Ctrl+Alt+4 (window goes to fills left side)
  • Ctrl+Alt+5 (maximize window)
  • Ctrl+Alt+6 (window goes fills right)
  •  Ctrl+Alt+1 (window goes to bottom left corner)
  • Ctrl+Alt+2 (window goes to fills bottom or 1/3rd center)
  •  Ctrl+Alt+3 (window goes to bottom right corner)

Press the same keys more than once in a row on the same window to get different sizing options. Basically the same directions in a game that you might be playing using the numeric keypad and it does not matter if number locks is on or not.

Thank you and good luck – Adam M. Erickson

About Adam M. Erickson

Geek, Dad, Life-Student, Biker & DIY Enthusiast Application Developer Attended Ferris State University Lives in Muskegon, MI
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