Guake Terminal – Dual Monitor Edits

For a long time my favorite Terminal program has been Guake. It is “a drop-down terminal for GNOME Desktop Environment.” It is always available and hidden when not in use. Simply press a button and it pops out from top of the screen, press again and it goes away.

To install Guake simply  sudo apt-get install guake

The only problem I’ve had with it is on my desktop machine when two monitors are plugged in. Guake always defaults to the left monitor. It does a great job of determining the size of ‘monitor 1’, which in my case is a much smaller extra one to the side. To get Guake on my right-side monitor I had to tweak the source code. Here’s how you can do the same:

  1. Make a copy of theGuake program and put it in yourbin folder. I renamed mine toguake-dualmon but you can call it whatever you want.
  2. Edit the copy in your preferred editor.
  3. Find the method definition  def get_final_window_rect(self):
  4. First we will correctly position the terminal on the right monitor. Add one line at the end, between window_rect.y = 0  and  return window_rect . The window_rect.x and window_rect.y variables tell theGuake window where to be located. Set window_rect.x to be the width of your left monitor and window_rect.y will depend on how offset the monitors are. I had to play with the ‘y’ setting to get it just right or the text starts off the top of the screen.
  5.  Now Guake will be positioned on your right monitor, but it will still be the size of the left one. In my case it was sized at 1280, and I needed it to be 1920. Divide your right monitor’s width by the left monitor’s width (ie. 1920/1280 = 150). Still within  get_final_window_rect(self): you will find the line width = 100 . This setting is a percentage of your left monitor, so set it to the answer you got by dividing one width into the other. In my case it was:
  6. That’s it! Just make sure to always run your copy of the program, or better yet add it to your autostart so it runs automatically!

Here’s the new get_final_window_rect() method looks like with edited lines highlighted:

Have any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “Guake Terminal – Dual Monitor Edits

  1. Thank you! I modified the answer to make it always use my laptop screen by adding a method to the file and calling it in get_final_window_rect()

    def find_builtin_monitor(self, screen):
    always try to position window on
    small monitor
    monitors = screen.get_n_monitors()
    if monitors < 2:
    return (0, 0)

    max_width = gtk.gdk.screen_width()
    max_height = gtk.gdk.screen_height()
    preffered = (1600, 900)

    for mon in range(monitors):
    tmp_rect = screen.get_monitor_geometry(mon)
    if (tmp_rect.width, tmp_rect.height) == preffered:
    return(mon, max_height – tmp_rect.height)

    return (0, 0)

    Then I use this function to :
    monitor, yoffset = self.find_builtin_monitor(screen)
    window_rect = screen.get_monitor_geometry(monitor)

    window_rect.y = 0 + yoffset

    I am using Y offset as my laptop screen is no 2 ( below ) big monitor.

    1. Nice edits! Thanks for sharing!
      When I first posted this I was new to Python, but now I’ve been learning Python Gtk. Your method inspires me to make more edits to Guake! If I come up with anything I will reply again and probably make a new post about it.

    2. Just ran into this myself because my external monitor is above my laptop and has a smaller x dimension (not 16×9!) the display extends off the edge of my monitor.

      This is actually a lot easier if your laptop monitor is your primary monitor. There is a combination of a subtle bug and an unnecessary assignment in the source code (both of which I will submit if I get around to it) that make it not work as intended.

      In the get_final_window_rect func:
      the line:
      if width < total_width:
      should really be:
      if window_rect.width < total_width:
      because width is hardcoded to 100 (%), in the code the alignment statements would ALWAYS be run (unless you had a very low resolution monitor!), but in reality they should NEVER be run (because it's hardcoded to never be < full width)!

      Anyway, you can fix them up too, by making them adjust the x position returned from get_monitor_geometry rather than setting it absolutely. If at some point in the future you can configure the width % and alignment, it will work then.

      The other thing you need to do is remove the window_rect.y = 0 statement. There is no reason I can think of to even have it. The .y is already correctly set to the monitor's 0 position relative to the screen size by the xxx_geometry() call.

      The amended function works to always keep it on your primary display (as intended by the comments in the code):

      def get_final_window_rect(self):
      """Gets the final size of the main window of guake. The height
      is the window_height property, width is window_width and the
      horizontal alignment is given by window_alignment.
      screen = self.window.get_screen()
      height = self.client.get_int(KEY('/general/window_height'))
      width = 100
      halignment = self.client.get_int(KEY('/general/window_halignment'))

      # get the rectangle just from the first/default monitor in the
      # future we might create a field to select which monitor you
      # wanna use
      window_rect = screen.get_monitor_geometry(0)
      total_width = window_rect.width
      window_rect.height = window_rect.height * height / 100
      window_rect.width = window_rect.width * width / 100

      # This is never going to happen with hardcoded width=100(%) above
      if window_rect.width < total_width:
      if halignment == ALIGN_CENTER:
      window_rect.x += (total_width – window_rect.width) / 2
      elif halignment == ALIGN_LEFT:
      window_rect.x += 0
      elif halignment == ALIGN_RIGHT:
      window_rect.x += total_width – window_rect.width

      return window_rect

      In re: to putting it on a non-primary display… If you have a desktop machine and want to hardcode that it should always be on a certain display you can just change the param to the get_monitory_geometry() to the # of the display. It seems like simply changing the param to (1) would work for the original article's intent.

      That's not flexible enough for a laptop with frequent configuration changes, so maybe play around with which display to put it on based on the result of get_n_monitors(). For me, the default primary option works — once the code does what was intended!

      1. Well nevermind. The latest on github has a bunch of revisions that fix this bug and gives several options for multiple monitors. I recommend you update and you’ll have it too!

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