I connected my laptop to my LCD. Using the laptop display hotkey I can switch between different modes - only laptop monitor on, only LCD monitor on, both on and display the same view, both on and the desktop is stretched (divided).

But, I'm looking for something else - I would like to have two workspaces, one visible on the laptop monitor and the other on the LCD.

Is that possible?

  • This question is a duplicate of: askubuntu.com/q/5082/275 Jan 15, 2011 at 18:45
  • It is possible with compiz, but a bit tricky to set up. What graphics card do you have? That could be useful. Are you using metacity?
    – RolandiXor
    Jan 15, 2011 at 19:04
  • I use Asus eee PC 1015PEM. Don't know what metacity is...
    – David B
    Jan 15, 2011 at 19:11
  • 5
    @Marcel Stimberg: the question you referred to was not actually answered IMHO. I don't want "one big screen" where I can drag windows and maximize them so it's "like two separate displays". I want a screen per workspace. No windows dragging and other tricks.
    – David B
    Jan 15, 2011 at 19:13

5 Answers 5


If I understand the question correctly, you would like to be able to switch workspaces independently for each screen, so that for example the left screen could be on workspace 1 and the right screen on workspace 3. This is supported by some window managers, most notably XMonad, and I personally find it extremely convenient in a dual-head setup. Moreover, it's perfectly possible to integrate XMonad with GNOME without sacrificing usability.

On my home machine I currently have a much simpler setup, with the default window manager. I like to have a music player visible on one of the screens at all times, so I just pinned the player to the visible workplace in order to emulate a “separate workspace”. This doesn't really solve a problem, but might be helpful anyway.

  • I'm not sure if the original question asked this exactly, but another question that exactly matches your answer is askubuntu.com/q/126100/7808 - the answer is the same as yours, though. Aug 14, 2014 at 8:19
  • I can testify that i3 supports it, and I believe awesome does as well. Sep 4, 2014 at 1:16
  • 4
    +1 because this contains the most relevant answer of today. But it is still really frustrating that none of the standard desktops (KDE, Gnome, etc) supports this really simple feature.
    – kalj
    Oct 24, 2016 at 14:58

It is possible to archive something similar using nVidia (prop) driver (Ge-Force graphics cards). It is called "TwinView". I only tried it once. You may want to read more here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=221174

I was not able to achieve the same result using an ATI graphics card.

  • 1
    When I use twin view on my Asus eee pc 1201n I get one screen with the desktop and another with the desktop background ONLY. and if you look at the workspaces so are they only stretched out! They have put together the resolutions for both screens. I have a similar question. NOT a duplicate. askubuntu.com/questions/27527/…
    – Alvar
    Mar 7, 2011 at 22:13

In Gnome

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool
sudo gnome-tweaks

in the workspaces tab under "display handling" select "workspaces span displays" which means all the screens to act together. (when you switch on one, others will switch to that workspace as well)

you can select whether all the screens act together or individually to switch between workspaces press ALT + CTRL +UP_ARROW/DOWN_ARROW.

  • 3
    Incorrect, the user requested separate workspace for each screen Sep 5, 2019 at 9:12
  • 1
    It may be "Incorrect", but that is what I was looking for: Ubuntu workspace switching for all screens.
    – Tinmarino
    Oct 27, 2021 at 11:53
  • 2
    Looks like this package has been replaced by gnome-tweaks.
    – natka_m
    Jul 22, 2022 at 11:31

I guess what we (or at least I) really want is to get the top & bottom panels on both monitors and have the bottom panel's application tabs only on the corresponding monitor.

Looks like it's not there yet but we can vote for it on ubuntu brainstorm.


This guy has a working xorg.conf for multiple cards multiple desktops using a displaylink usb adapter: http://mulchman.org/blog/?tag=displaylink

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