Blog Post

How to Enable Aero Snap Window Sizing in Ubuntu

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!


Here’s a handy Ubuntu tweak that simulates one of my favorite Windows 7 features: Aero Snap. This is the user interface feature that automatically resizes application windows when you drag an app to edge of your workspace. Drag a window to the top and it snaps into a maximized view. Move an app to the left or right edge and it automatically resizes to take up half of your space. It’s one of those features that I originally thought I wouldn’t use, but I find that I hit a several times a day when using Windows 7. Like registry bloat, it grows on you. ;)

Besides having a killer name, OMG! UBUNTU! has the specifics on how to enable this feature in Ubuntu. The directions look pretty straight-forward — you essentially need to enable Compiz and then tweak a few commands in the Compiz Config Settings Manager. The downsides? Lifehacker says you won’t be able to drag windows into other workspaces, which sort of makes sense since you’d be dragging beyond the edge of your primary workspace. And windows might get fluky on a secondary monitor. Neither of these would keep me from making the mod, but I don’t have Ubuntu on anything at the moment. My poor netbook is already dealing with a triple-boot environment with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Moblin. Adding Ubuntu would probably blow up the device. ;)

5 Responses to “How to Enable Aero Snap Window Sizing in Ubuntu”

  1. Rodrigo Hernandez

    Also on CCSM “Grid” does it as well. Much simpler but I believe it only has key commands. Setting them to “SUPER+ARROWKEY” would make it easier.

  2. stuart

    I had this running for a few days and then my desktop seemed to split in half vertically. On the left side, it seemed to have artifacts of any windows that I had open which covered that area, and also if I put my mouse over Cairo Dock at the bottom of my desktop, there is artifacts of the dock icons and it’s little animations. Any ideas what the problem is?

  3. Ricardo Frances

    Why not install it to a USB from the CD? You only need to move a slider to create a persistent USB, you get to keep all changes you make to it (including installed apps) and it’s kind of fun to have (geek rep and all that).