Caja not remembering its location on the screen

I upgraded an old Dell notebook from 15.10 to 16.04. It went very well. Congratulations to the upgrade process developers! I do have one minor issue - not sure if it is related to the upgrade or just a “feature” of 16.04 which I do not know how to handle.

The computer is dedicated to use as a jukebox in my workshop. I have converted my music CD library to .mp3 files and I use the computer to play them through some amplified speakers. I have the computer setup with a low privilege account which automatically logs in upon startup. I have Audacious media player and Caja (pointed to the head of the .mp3 file directory tree) set under preferences to load at startup. All of this works fine after the upgrade. Except…

Originally Audacious would load in a window occupying the left half of the screen and Caja would occupy the right half of the screen. Following the upgrade Audacious still loads in the left half but the Caja window opens overlapping most of the Audacious window.

Is there a way to instruct Mate where to position a window on application startup?



It’s not possible for all applications, however you’re in luck: caja has a geometry option.


caja -g 800x600+900+0

This will open a caja window that has width of 800 pixels, height of 600 pixels, Has an offset from the left side of the available screen (minus panels) of 900 pixels (X) and offset from the top of 0 pixels (Y)

Adapt values to fit your needs.


Thanks ouroumov,

That sure looks like a path to success. I wonder though if Mate does not somewhere remember where windows were positioned when the application last closed and/or the user logged out or the computer shut down.

I will tweak my startup command for Caja and go from there.


Have you tried Compiz Window Manager and under ‘Window management’ select enable ‘Place Windows’

And in ‘Place Windows’, select ‘Smart’ as the placement mode.

For me, this opens Caja on the right hand side when an app is the the left, and vise-versa.

Thanks nakanut,

Unfortunately it seems that my ancient notebook does not have the graphics power to run Compiz. I tried to switch to Compiz and the screen went sort of crazy. A few seconds later it restarted and came back in Marco.


Caja has a gsettings schema for position and size . Open dconf-editor and navigate to org.mate.caja.window-state . There you can tweak caja properties .

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Success X2 ! Thanks again folks. Both methods allowed me to start Caja in the location desired. Of course I could not take advantage of Compiz on this ancient machine but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad :grin:


Don’t forget to check the solution box for whichever one you used :slight_smile:

Looks like I can only check one solution. Both worked. I checked the second one as it is what I tried last and have left configured.


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Bummer :disappointed: I took my netbook/juke box back out to the shop and fired it up this morning. Caja opened overlapping of the Audacious window. dconf-editor showed that the offset from the left side of the screen was set back to 50 from the value of 512 which I had set.

I thought I had tested this satisfactorily last evening. However, I believe I still had the geometry specified on the startup command line. I deleted the -g option before I shut down the machine for the evening. I put the -g option back under System; Preferences; Personal; Startup Applications; Caja and now all is well.


Hi, A bit late in the day (or years), but still pertinent, since I came across this post when looking for help with ubuntu-mate 18.04.
When the problem above appeared with xenial, I didn´t bother, but stayed with trusty. Now, however, with bionic, I´ve persevered. And I´ve found a way to make Caja behave much like in trusty.
In the home folder, in .local/share/applications , there are five folders concerning Caja. When clicking “Properties” there is shown (among thisnthat) the command for the Caja in question. I appended my preferred g-settings to all five.
And :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: it works.