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Old 12-29-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2011
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prevent windows from crossing workspaces

I'm using RHEL 5.7, which appears to be running GNOME 2.16.0.

I use a particular software package (it happens to be a graphical matlab app), and sometimes I want to run multiple instances of it. If I run them all in the same workspace, I get confused by all the clutter. So I want to run each instance in a different workspace.

Unfortunately, when running a job in this package, particular windows in the app recieve focus and then switch workspaces, which completely breaks my "put them in different workspaces" solution.

Is there a way to change some property so that the windows are not allowed to cross workspaces?
Old 01-02-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Kubuntu 11.10
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The only way I can think of would be to run separate X sessions. That is probably overkill for what you need.

I suspect what is happening is that the app launches its executable, which determines that it already has a window open, and switches to it. Unfortunately you're at the mercy of how the developer has supported multiple windows (let alone multiple virtual desktops which some people seem not even to be aware of).

I doubt there is a system setting that could prevent this - if the app decides you want to display a window it has already opened, the most the OS can do is stop switching to that window. But you still wouldn't see your document / tab.
Old 01-12-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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I found a pretty good solution at after a lot of searching:

Under Gnome:
  • check 'focus new windows' configuration (it is defined to 'smart' by default):
    • gconftool-2 --get /apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows
  • change 'focus new windows' from 'smart' to 'strict':
    • gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/focus_new_windows --type string strict


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