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How to enable Virtual Workspaces on a Dell PC using the Ubuntu Operating System.

Summary: This article will guide you through enabling the virtual workspaces utility on your Dell PC using the Ubuntu operating system.

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Article Content



The following article provides information on how to enable workspaces on a PC using the Ubuntu Operating System.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Solution using GUI
  3. Solution using Terminal
  4. Additional Info :




This article will take you through a couple of different ways to enable the Virtual Workspaces in Ubuntu.

First I'll give a quick description of what Virtual Workspaces are and why you would want to enable them.

Virtual Workspaces

This is the name of a utility that Ubuntu has made use of for many years. Whilst Workspaces doesn't come automatically enabled anymore, it is still part of every Ubuntu Desktop Install.

This utility allows you to have multiple versions of the desktop open at the one time. One desktop may have all the applications for an ongoing project, while another desktop has applications for playing music or videos, whilst yet another has yet more applications open. These desktops are navigated using keyboard shortcuts and are a useful way of organising how you work on your system.

A similar capacity has recently been added into the latest Windows 10 operating system.

When enabled this will default to 4 windows arranged in a 3D cube. You can increase this number if needed.

SLN299511_en_US__1icon Note:

Pressing the Super+S keys will show the content of all the workspaces on one screen.

Pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Arrow keys will change the Workspace windows in the direction of the arrow used.

Pressing the Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Arrow keys will the current window to the desired workspace.

Super key is also known as the Windows key (Win key).

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Solution using GUI


If you are using the GUI windows to enable this function, then follow the instructions below :

  1. Click on the Dash and start typing Appearance.

  2. When the Appearance Icon appears on the screen double click on it.

  3. Change from the Look tab to the Behaviour tab.

  4. Look for the Checkbox marked Enable Workspaces.

  5. Check the box.

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Solution using Terminal


If you are using the Terminal Windows to enable this function, then follow the instructions below :

  1. Open a Terminal Window using the Keyboard Shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T keys.

  2. Run the following two commands to enable workspaces and set up the usual Cube configuration :

gsettings set org.compiz.core:/org/copmiz/profiles/unity/plugins/core/ hsize 2

gsettings set org.compiz.core:/org/copmiz/profiles/unity/plugins/core/ vsize 2

SLN299511_en_US__2icon Note: You can increase the number of Workspace pages by increasing the hsize and vsize from 2. Increasing to 3 would give a 3 by 3 system.

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Additional Info :


SLN299511_en_US__2icon Note :

Software support is provided by Canonical through the following methods :

Technical Support is provided by Dell :

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Article Properties

Affected Product

Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



Article Type