I know this has been asked to death, but I can't get it to work. I'm trying to have multiple wallpapers (one different wallpaper per workspace) and I've done the whole Compiz wallpaper plugin set the images and then use Advanced Settings to have File Manager handle the desktop. And I still only get the one wallpaper I have set in system preferences.

Also it's worth mentioning that I'm using GNOME Shell, not Unity.

  • @8vius - ok - are you using gnome-classic or are you using gnome-shell? If you are using gnome-classic - are you running compiz (compiz --replace &) ?
    – fossfreedom
    Jul 17, 2012 at 14:25
  • I'm using gnome-shell
    – 8vius
    Jul 17, 2012 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


I'm using GNOME Shell

GNOME Shell uses Mutter not Compiz for its window manager & effects.

Thus this Q&A will not apply to you:

GNOME Shell does not accept Compiz effects - nor can you use Compiz as an alternative to mutter.

GNOME Shell workspaces are by design "static" with a single wallpaper serving all workspaces.

There are some potential ideas to give subtle variations in workspaces:

A YouTube video gives a mock-up of what this could look like:

enter image description here

The video talks about subtle variations in the workspace colours/overlays - not outright different wallpapers.

As you can see - these are ideas - whether this will turn into reality is speculation.


As commented by Anwar Shah (if you want photos or images as a slideshow on your desktop) the easiest thing I find is to open the files you'd like in Shotwell which comes as default on Ubuntu 12.04, then select the ones you'd like as wallpapers and then click on File -> and the Set as desktop Slideshow (or Ctrl+B) hope this helps if it was what you meant. As commented by others you may want to refine your question to make it easier to answer.


If anyone still wondering there is a neat Gnome plugin called Walkpaper. Just install it, open it's preferences, select wallpaper for each workspace and voila, you have different wallpaper on every workspace.

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