Tweak the Number of Workspaces in Unity [Ubuntu]

Tweak the Number of Workspaces in Unity [Linux]

Workspaces come in handy when you are working on different tasks in parallel. They not only make it easy for you to immediately switch between tasks but also help you keep your computer-related work organized in general.

By default, Ubuntu offers only four workspaces (arranged in a two-by-two grid).


This is more than enough in most cases, but depending on your needs, you may want to increase or decrease this number. The good thing is that it is possible although not as straightforward as heading to ‘System Settings …’ and changing the value from there.

In this article we will discuss a couple of tools – “CompizConfig Settings Manager” and “Unity-Tweak-Tool” – that you can use to tweak the number of workspaces in Unity.

For Ubuntu 13.04 -14.10 users

If you are using Ubuntu 13.04, 14.10, or any version in between, you can play with the number of workspaces using the “Unity-Tweak-Tool.” You can easily download and install this tool through Ubuntu Software Center.


Once installed successfully, you can launch the Unity-Tweak-Tool from Unity Dash.


Here’s the tool’s UI.


Head to “Workspace Settings” which is the second option in the “Window Manager” row. This should bring up the following settings.


Needless to say, just increase/decrease the value of the “Horizontal workspaces” and “Vertical workspaces” options to achieve what you want. For example, here’s my workspace grid after I increased both values to 4.


In addition to tweaking the number of workspaces in Unity, you can also change workspace color and the key combination that starts workspace switcher.

For users of Ubuntu 15.04 and later

If you’re using Ubuntu 15.04 or up, the “CompizConfig Settings Manager” should be your best bet. You can easily download and install the tool using the following command:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

After you’ve installed the tool successfully, it can be launched from Unity Dash.


When the tool is launched for the first time, a warning appears that essentially tells you to be careful about whatever you do to your system using this tool.


Once you understand the risk and are willing to move ahead, hit the “OK” button, and the following window appears.


Click the “General Options” button present in the “General” section.


This should bring up a window containing several tabs – head to the “Desktop Size” tab.


That’s it. The only options that you’ll now see are to increase or decrease the number of workspaces.

Other important info

If you’re using Ubuntu 12.04, you can tweak the number of workspaces on your system by using the “MyUnity” tool – read more about it here.

After you’re done with changing the number of workspaces according to your needs, you may also want to customize Unity Launcher for different workspaces. You can do this by using a tool called “Unity LauncherSwitcher” – more about it here.


Chances are that in most cases you’ll be more than satisfied with the default number of workspaces in Unity. But, you never know, a situation might arise where that number needs to be changed, making it good to know the solution beforehand. You just need to install the tool that works for your system, and the rest is easy.

Himanshu Arora
Himanshu Arora

Himanshu Arora is a freelance technical writer by profession but a software programmer and Linux researcher at heart. He covers software tutorials, reviews, tips/tricks, and more. Some of his articles have been featured on IBM developerworks, ComputerWorld, and in Linux Journal.

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