Ubuntu Tip: Force new windows to start centered on the desktop

words by Brian Racer

I use a pretty generic Gnome + Compiz desktop setup in Ubuntu, but one thing that really irks me is my applications always seem to start snapped to a corner. What I really want is for them to open centered on my desktop. You can achieve this by doing a little registry modification(I’m pretty sure there is a nice GUI app to adjust these settings, but I don’t believe it is installed by default).

Press Alt+F2 and enter gconf-config. This will open up Gnome’s registry editor.

Set the following two values:
Key: /apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows Value: smart
Key: /apps/compiz/plugins/place/screen0/options/mode Value: 1

Now your applications should start up nice and centered 🙂