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What is the Number of Desktops setting for in CompizConfigSettingsManager > General Options > Desktop Size?

There are options for Horizontal/Vertical Virtual Size which change the size of your desktop, but Number of Desktops doesn't seem to do anything.

Example: Number of desktops can be seen here

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

It does nothing.

This bug report has two quotes from Travis Watkins explaining what's going on.

In compiz in hardy you cannot have multiple desktops anymore. Viewports are the only option.

Desktops have less features and are really broken. Unfortunately no one cares to fix these bugs upstream and we have no reason to as we use viewports.

Kudos to Rinzwind for finding the bug report.

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If that was the case, would it have been included in the rewrite of compiz? Hardy is Very old, the fact that it was not working back then doesn't mean anything. – Chriskin May 8 '11 at 2:34
I didn't know compiz was rewritten, but my guess is that compiz config settings manager wasn't rewritten since it just needs to change gconf. – idbrii May 8 '11 at 5:46

its like the concept of workspace... 1 desktop (workspace) of 2x2 viewports, 2 desktops of 2x2 viewports etc

if you check the output of "wmctrl -d" you will understand

example i now have 1 desktop with 3x3 viewport

0  * DG: 17280x3240  VP: 0,0  WA: 0,0 5760x1080  N/A

if i change number of desktops to 2, i will have:

0  * DG: 17280x3240  VP: 0,0  WA: 0,0 5760x1080  N/A

1  * DG: 17280x3240  VP: 0,0  WA: 0,0 5760x1080  N/A

the compiz expo/wall/cube will change viewports only though, to switch desktop (workspace) you will need another workspace switcher.. but more desktops consume more resources and I find viewports on 1 desktop enough

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The Compiz wiki has information on this.

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That info exactly straight forward for an average Joe (including me) - care to clarify in layman's terms? – Oxwivi May 5 '11 at 19:12
Doesn't it control the number of "cubes" you can switch between? – Alan May 5 '11 at 20:07
Personally, I've never had any use for it, and have always just left it at 1. If it does control the number of cubes, I don't know how to switch between them, making it useless (at least for me). – Kevin May 5 '11 at 21:47
@Alan You can switch between multiple cubes!? o.O How do you do that? – idbrii May 6 '11 at 19:35
I've never tried it before, but I would assume that's what the number of desktops aka number of virtual desktops would do. But that's just me guessing, take it with a grain of salt. I too have never been able to find a clear definition of what it does. – Alan May 6 '11 at 20:16

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