Dual monitor setup on Ubuntu 18.04; when I hit activities only the left monitor switches workspaces while the right monitor just keeps whatever is on its screen. Is there a way to make the workspace span both monitors so that when I switch from one workspace to another both monitors switch?

  • Does this work for both gnome and unity? – Ross Feb 6 at 19:09

Had the same problem. Turned out it was super easy to fix.

Install the GNOME Tweaks app. Go to "Workspaces" and set "Display handling" to "Workspaces span displays". Done!

  • nice, simple and effective ! – Lefi Tarik Oct 29 '18 at 9:23
  • You wrote "Go to Workspaces", where is that ? I don't see any menu or icon with the label "Workspaces" – Max L. Dec 12 '18 at 15:22
  • @MaxL. are you sure you are looking at the GNOME Tweaks app? "Workspaces" is one of the alternatives in the menu to the left in that application (the bottom alternative for me). – ehannes Dec 12 '18 at 18:51
  • @ehannes, I must have been brain dead ! I looked in the desktop settings dialog, but not in the gnome tweak app... It was there... – Max L. Dec 12 '18 at 19:43
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    see also askubuntu.com/a/1125322/16985 for additional fixes, e.g. Activities still showing windows from all workspaces on secondary display – törzsmókus Mar 13 at 14:04

You can change this behaviour by executing:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.mutter workspaces-only-on-primary false
  • 1
    This works on Ubuntu 18.04 – elvis.dukaj Nov 20 '18 at 14:13
  • This worked on my Budgie desktop as well. – Scotty C. Mar 26 at 18:29

Install dconf-editor

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Disable following settings:

dconf write /org/gnome/mutter/workspaces-only-on-primary false
dconf write /org/gnome/shell/overrides/workspaces-only-on-primary false
  • This is the only solution here that worked for me. – Sean Lynch Oct 11 '18 at 17:48
  • nothing worked for me – leoschet Dec 13 '18 at 15:20
  • @leoschet I suggest you reset dconf settings first. (dconf reset -f /) – Shantanu Saha Dec 18 '18 at 7:43

I recommend to you to use the Multi Monitos Add-on extension, available in GNOME Extensions, it is pretty easy to use, and also it gives you te ability to add a panel in the second monitor.

To get up and running all the gnome extensions config directly in your browser, you only need the following.

  1. Install the gnome-shell-extensions package:

    $ sudo apt install gnome-shell-extensions

  2. Install the host connector:

    $ sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

  3. Install the GNOME Shell integration extension (Chrome) or add-on (Firefox)

  4. Find and install the Multi Monitos Add-on extension.

You can install gnome-tweak-tool via sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool.

Then go to Workspaces > Display Handling > And choose Workspaces span displays

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