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Window snapping via wmctrl in Ubuntu
window-snapping-via-wmctrl
ubuntu
ubuntu, wmctrl, bash

Xubuntu 13.04 which I'm using makes it easy to snap windows via mouse. But there are no keyboard shortcuts for it! Luckily, there's wmctrl which we'll use to create our own.

We'll need wmctrl installed, avaiable from the standard repositories.

sudo apt-get install wmctrl

We'll use a script for the switching. Place it somewhere in your home directory (I did so in ~/scripts/bin/wmctrl_snap_window) and make sure that it's executable - for my path:

chmod +x petr ~/scripts/bin/wmctrl_snap_window

Here's the script we'll use, you don't have to understand it in order to use it (I might explain the bits if you're interested in the comments bellow):

#!/bin/bash
size=`wmctrl -d | head -n 1 | grep -Eho '[0-9]{4}x[0-9]{3,4}' | tail -1`
width=`echo $size | cut -d'x' -f 1`
half=$(( $width/2 ))

wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b remove,maximized_horz,shaded &

if [[ $1 == 'left' ]]
  then
    wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert -e 0,0,24,$half,-1 &
  else
    wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -b add,maximized_vert -e 0,$half,24,$half,-1 &
fi

exit 0

To invoke the script, just call it with an (optional) argument left or right (default) to snap the window to left/right half of the screen:

. ~/scripts/bin/wmctrl_snap_window left

or:

. ~/scripts/bin/wmctrl_snap_window right

With xbindkeys installed it's easy to assign shortcuts, like so:

"~/scripts/bin/wmctrl_snap_window left"
  Mod4 + Left

"~/scripts/bin/wmctrl_snap_window right"
  Mod4 + Right

That's it. I've also created a wmctrl script which resizes the active window by a percentage introducing a bit of tiling window managers' functionality to XFCE. Might write about them later.