I'm starting to have A LOT of opened windows in my machine.

Sometimes within a project, I have e-mail/task management/personal e-mail/twitter, and a lot of different opened applications/terminals in my Linux workstation.

Nowadays I have 4 workspaces:

  • Corporate management (e-mail) and corporate messenger;
  • Work (Documents, Requisites)
  • Dev (Development, All gVim windows, terminal and Firefox for development)
  • Personal (Personal stuff: personal e-mail, delicious, twitter and so on)

Sometimes it would be interesting to have different workspaces to projects instead of this configuration I have nowadays that are classes of work (bad name, I know, but I think you got the idea).

I'm starting to think about using two monitors: one with Corporate Management, Work and Personal. The second monitor is only the development state: each workspace here is about a project being worked on instead of groups of works like before. A workspace may be implementing different classes for example.

My question is: I just want to change to a second monitor using the mouse. I want to still be able to change workspaces in the same monitor using keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts wouldn't change monitors, just worskpaces on the same monitor. All the tutorials I read (like this one) only tells how to use multiple monitors but doesn't answer my question about keyboard shortcuts.

Does Linux (Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx or Debian 5.0.5 Lenny) support this envisioned setup (Different workspaces in a way that keyboard workspace switching only works in the current monitor) ? If so, how?

I haven't tested this setup, that's why I'm asking. In this question the user says it works exactly how I want it to behave, can someone else confirm it?

  • You should check the xorg configs for this I guess but don't think its possible. (How chaotic it would be if yo u change to desk X with mouse and the hotkeys are on Y.. "This is madness"... )
    – Apache
    Jun 4 '10 at 17:12
  • So, if I have 3 monitors and 3 workspaces in each, pressing ctrl+alt+right is going to be show 9 workspaces do choose from? Jun 7 '10 at 12:11
  • I have three monitors hooked up to a geforce 7300 and 8600gts card. I am able to get them to work under Debain (wheezy), but it is not optiomal e.g. I could not move windows between screens without a significant performance drop at least the last time I tried. Also quite a few of the programs I tested misbehaves (remmina to mention one). I know it is possible (i've seen it) but I would advice that you do a bit of research to find the best working solution for you. Good luck!
    – Waxhead
    Jul 6 '13 at 10:27

This depends on your graphics card drivers... I do not know how well off you are with Linux but you should know that ATI sucks for linux, so essentially you need a distro that easily installs nVidia drivers for you (such as Ubuntu) or if you know how to do it yourself you can install the nVidia drivers... I do not know if nVidia supports multiple desktops on Linux but it's not distro specific, you need to be sure your graphics card and the drivers support multiple screens.

You should also note that Ubuntu is Debian.

  • I know Ubuntu derivates from Debian, but their package repository is different. That's why I'm asking for both. About your answer, so it all depends on provided drivers and software from my graphic card manufacturer? Jul 8 '10 at 16:00

I can't quite envision what you are asking, but I wonder if Gnome Shell (new default shell for Gnome 3) or Compiz will do what you need. Another idea is to use 2 systems with synergy http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/


This is too specific, I think I need to create this setup and try it and ask a more specific question after testing.

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