Ubuntu – How to determine if window is maximised or minimised from bash script

command linewindow-managerwmctrlxdotoolxprop

I have a bash script that moves my windows from the left screen to right screen in dual-screen setup. Currently the way it works is cycling through the window ids that are given by xdotool search --onlyvisible --maxdepth 2 --class "" and then moves them to the right by the screen width. It already works… unless the window in question is maximises or minimised.

So what is needed is a way to check the current status of the window. I have found an answer that provides the way to add and remove those bits, but where is the way to check if they are set already?

If it is not possible to do via xdotool, it should be possible to reuse the window id provided by the command mentioned above.

Best Answer

  • Retrieve info on the window state

    You can get the info (and a lot more) from the command:

    xprop -id <window_id>

    To get what you are specifically looking for:

    xprop -id 0x04c00010 | grep "_NET_WM_STATE(ATOM)"

    The output will look like:


    on a window that is maximized (h + v) and minimized at the same time, or just


    (or no output at all) if none of those is the case.

    More fun

    Of course, using various languages, you can use Wnck, like in the python snippet below. (snippet from window-shuffler). The snippet outputs a list, showing the window name + either True or False (minimized).

    #!/usr/bin/env python3
    import gi
    gi.require_version('Wnck', '3.0')
    from gi.repository import Wnck
    def get_winlist(scr=None, selecttype=None):
        get the window list. possible args: screen, select_type, in case it is
        already fetched elsewhere. select type is optional, to fetch only
        specific window types.
        if not scr:
            scr = Wnck.Screen.get_default()
        windows = scr.get_windows()
        if selecttype:
            windows = [w for w in windows if check_windowtype(w, selecttype)]
        return windows
    wlist = get_winlist()
    for w in wlist:
        print(w.get_name(), ",", w.is_maximized())

    Output looks like:

    Wnck.Window - Classes - Wnck 3.0 - Mozilla Firefox , True
    Postvak IN - vlijm@planet.nl - Mozilla Thunderbird , True
    Showtime , False
    settingsexample.vala - Visual Studio Code , False
    *Niet-opgeslagen document 1 - gedit , False
    desktop_weather , False
    Tilix: Standaard , False


    • xprop will handel both hex (as output from e.g. wmctrl) and decimal (as output from e.g. xdotool) id's equally e.g. either use:

      xprop -id 111371626


      xprop -id 0x06a3656a
    • Methods will not work on Wayland!