workspace switching broken after recent updates

Bug #1627472 reported by Nick Moffitt on 2016-09-25
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

after the most recent updates, I find the only way I can switch workspaces is by clicking on the Workspace Switcher in my dock. The keyboard shortcuts for window management (maximising, moving workspaces, etc) don't work despite showing up in keyboard shortcuts. Even clicking on a dock icon for a window in another workspace no longer moves me.
I can still use other keyboard shortcuts such as opening terminals, and alt+tab still works within a workspace.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 16.04
Package: unity 7.4.0+16.04.20160906-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.4.0-24.43-generic 4.4.10
Uname: Linux 4.4.0-24-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: zfs zunicode zcommon znvpair zavl

ApportVersion: 2.20.1-0ubuntu2.1
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: No value set for `/apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins'
CompositorRunning: compiz
CompositorUnredirectDriverBlacklist: '(nouveau|Intel).*Mesa 8.0'
CompositorUnredirectFSW: true
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Sun Sep 25 11:19:00 2016
DistUpgraded: Fresh install
DistroCodename: xenial
DistroVariant: ubuntu
 Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:0a16] (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
   Subsystem: Lenovo ThinkPad X240 [17aa:2214]
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-05-29 (849 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Release amd64 (20140417)
MachineType: LENOVO 20ALCTO1WW
ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-4.4.0-24-generic.efi.signed root=/dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
SourcePackage: unity
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install) 02/06/2014
dmi.bios.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.bios.version: GIET69WW (2.19 )
dmi.board.asset.tag: Not Available 20ALCTO1WW
dmi.board.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.board.version: 0B98405 STD
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: No Asset Information
dmi.chassis.type: 10
dmi.chassis.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.chassis.version: Not Available
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnLENOVO:bvrGIET69WW(2.19):bd02/06/2014:svnLENOVO:pn20ALCTO1WW:pvrThinkPadX240:rvnLENOVO:rn20ALCTO1WW:rvr0B98405STD:cvnLENOVO:ct10:cvrNotAvailable: 20ALCTO1WW
dmi.product.version: ThinkPad X240
dmi.sys.vendor: LENOVO
version.compiz: compiz 1:
version.ia32-libs: ia32-libs N/A
version.libdrm2: libdrm2 2.4.67-1ubuntu0.16.04.2
version.libgl1-mesa-dri: libgl1-mesa-dri 11.2.0-1ubuntu2.2
version.libgl1-mesa-dri-experimental: libgl1-mesa-dri-experimental N/A
version.libgl1-mesa-glx: libgl1-mesa-glx 11.2.0-1ubuntu2.2
version.xserver-xorg-core: xserver-xorg-core 2:1.18.3-1ubuntu2.3
version.xserver-xorg-input-evdev: xserver-xorg-input-evdev 1:2.10.1-1ubuntu2
version.xserver-xorg-video-ati: xserver-xorg-video-ati 1:7.7.0-1
version.xserver-xorg-video-intel: xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.99.917+git20160325-1ubuntu1.1
version.xserver-xorg-video-nouveau: xserver-xorg-video-nouveau 1:1.0.12-1build2
xserver.bootTime: Sun Sep 25 11:06:26 2016
xserver.configfile: default

xserver.logfile: /var/log/Xorg.0.log
 product id 1079
 vendor LGD
xserver.version: 2:1.18.3-1ubuntu2.3

Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :
Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

rebooting/re-logging in does not fix this.

Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

In addition, I can no longer drag windows up to maximise. Ctrl+Super+Up works, but Ctrl+Super+Left no longer does.

Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

I keep rebooting after updates in the hopes this will be fixed, but nothing.

Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

Switching to a guest session shows there is no workspace management at all over there any longer.

Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

I upgraded to yakkety, but still nothing.

Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

Ah I found out that I needed to "enable workspaces" in the other accounts and they just work, so I may be in dconf hell here.

Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

Cleared out dconf and hacked my preferences back in, and I seem to be back in business.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Erez (erez-hadad) wrote :

Is there a quick way to reset dconf and maintain your preferences?

Erez (erez-hadad) wrote :

I found a different way to fix the damage, which seems to be easier and less destructive. In my case, the damage also includes windows being created under the unity panel, and are thus hard to grab. This is damage #2. Damage #1 is this bug - workspace switching keys broken.
I took my findings from here:
#1 -
#2 -

Here goes:
1. Install CCSM (Compiz Config Settings Manager) - from
2. Launch CCSM
3. For #1 - In the main window, right side, under "Desktop", enable "Desktop Wall"
4. For #2 - In the main window, left side, click on "Window Management". Then, on the right side, enable "Place Windows".

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Harald Nikolisin (hochglanz) wrote :

Same here. I noticed the problem after an update on 14.May - maybe it's an coincidence.
My workaround was that one described in #11

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