Ubuntu 18.04 Workspaces only change on primary monitor

Bug #1767564 reported by Jim Tittsler on 2018-04-28
This bug affects 12 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-shell (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

After connecting an external monitor to the laptop:

- the 4 workspaces that I could access using keyboard shortcuts seem to have been reduced to only 2
- the 'workspace' does not appear to be changeable on the external (secondary) monitor

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 18.04
Package: gnome-shell 3.28.1-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.15.0-20.21-generic 4.15.17
Uname: Linux 4.15.0-20-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.9-0ubuntu7
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
Date: Sat Apr 28 12:42:28 2018
DisplayManager: gdm3
 b'org.gnome.shell' b'command-history' redacted by apport
 b'org.gnome.desktop.interface' b'gtk-im-module' b"'gtk-im-context-simple'"
InstallationDate: Installed on 2018-04-28 (0 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver" - Release amd64 (20180426)
SourcePackage: gnome-shell
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Jim Tittsler (jwt) wrote :
Jim Tittsler (jwt) wrote :
Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
roland (roland-micite) wrote :

Can confirm, comment #2 fixed it.

tags: added: multimonitor
Bruce A. MacNaughton (brucemac) wrote :

Throwing in my two bits, I have multiple monitors - they are my desktop. When I switch desktops I expect both to switch together. I see that Jim expected each to be independent - I could live with that too, but it's not the behavior I expect.

My situation is a desktop with multiple monitors, not a laptop with an external monitor; that probably contributes to the way I look at it.

Linux 4.15.0-23-generic x86_64

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)

== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0 ==
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001CB2sv000010DEsd000011BDbc03sc00i00
vendor : NVIDIA Corporation
model : GP107GL [Quadro P600]
driver : nvidia-driver-390 - distro non-free recommended
driver : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin

David Robbe (davidrobbe) wrote :

Totally agree with Bruce!
I have two monitors. Let say I use LibreOffice on the left (primary) monitor and a reference manager on the right monitor.
When I switch workspace (let say to do some programming) I don' t expect that the reference manager keeps appearing?

This should be fixed. Or at least the possibility to have a coherence behavior of multiple monitors be an option.

Please .....

Otherwise, Ubuntu is great (I just switch from OpenSUSE in which, by the way, multiple monitors switch coherently across workspaces) !!

David Robbe (davidrobbe) wrote :

Just to follow up on this issue. I just realized that if you install gnome-tweak tool
[sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool] you can actually choose between coherent or independent behavior of your multiple monitors across workspaces.

Once installed, launch tweak and then click on workspaces. then choose " Workspaces span displays" (instead of the default choice "Workspaces on primary display only" !)

Bruce A. MacNaughton (brucemac) wrote :

Thank you!

James Currie (jameshcurrie) wrote :

David Robbe -- thanks for that. It was driving me nuts trying to figure out how to restore the behavior from 16.04!

Hernan (hmvago) wrote :

Thank you David Robbe, I have the same problem and your solution worked!.
This option should be added by default, I know a lot of people that works with a two monitors, this options should be standard.


AL (alexandre-leglise) wrote :

+1 for the thank to Bruce and for the willing to have this option as default.

Rodrigo (rodrigo-tufio) wrote :

Thank you David Robb and Bruce.

torzsmokus (torzsmokus) wrote :

the tweak works fine for the original issue.
but still, if you choose the option "Workspaces span displays", the Activities (and the hot corner) on the secondary display shows windows on all workspaces, not only the current one as expected.
should I file a new bug for this?

torzsmokus (torzsmokus) wrote :

this extension does what should be default, or at least an option

> the Activities (and the hot corner) on the secondary display shows windows on all workspaces

I had noticed that too, but it appears this bug was fixed. I cannot reproduce it in a current Ubuntu Cosmic install.

Steven Wolf (swolf1981) wrote :

It is still definitely present on 18.04. All apps open in the secondary monitor of all workspaces collapse onto the secondary monitor when the super key is pushed for the activity overview (but go back to their original workspaces when you push it again.)

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