I just can't find how to get a workspace grid using Gnome 3. It just stays vertical, width of 1 and unlimited height...

Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks.


It's not possible to do this, it would be better for you to ask this of a GNOME developer via their mailing list, and if you know how to code in javascript you could possibly write an extension for it.


There are two extension to achieve the desired behavior:

The former seems to be more popular (and still seems to receive updates) while the latter is more actively developed.

  • That extension seems to have been replaced by Workspace Matrix. – Kevin Aug 22 '19 at 18:47
  • @Kevin thanks for the info. Looks like the grid extension still receives updates. Sometimes things are just done. :) I added the matrix extension to the list. – mniess Sep 9 '19 at 9:37
  • Thumbs up for Workspace Matrix. Still getting updated and works like a charm. – Immanuel Weihnachten Dec 28 '20 at 13:22

The Frippery Bottom Panel exension sets a horizontal layout for workspaces. When it is active, you need to use ctrl+alt+left and ctrl+alt+right to switch workspaces, instead of ctrl+alt+up and ctrl+alt+down.

At the time of writing, however, it doesn't change the layout of the workspaces in the activity view, where the workspaces are still stacked vertically, and where you need to use the old ctrl+alt+up and ctrl+alt+down keys.

Also, it adds a bottom panel which you can't remove without disabling the whole extension. On this bottom panel, there are buttons to quickly access each workspace, but they don't show a miniature of the windows on that workspace, like we used to have in gnome 2.

The extension is only 1128 lines of rather straightforward javascript, so I might derive a quick and dirty "horizontal workspace layout" extension in a few days if I find some time.

  • Any chance you actually did that? :-) – Ajax Oct 7 '15 at 7:45
  • @Ajax: Sorry, I never got around to do it in the end. – Suzanne Soy Oct 8 '15 at 8:46

I modified the Frippery Bottom Panel extension to only have horizontal workspace switching and removed all other functionality. it works for me, here is a link:

Modified Frippery Bottom Panel on GoogleDrive

to install just put the directory into '~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions', then restart Gnome via Alt+F2 and enter 'r', or just logout and login again. in metadata.json i set listed shell versions are 3.6 to 3.18, latest works.

right now this just puts the globally defined number of workspaces into a horizontal row. a grid (horizontal+vertical) would actually be possible as well, but you need to modify the script to change the dimensions.

@Georges Duperon, unfortunately i cant comment yet.

btw. what is a good place to put shared dirty hacks, dont want to use github for it.. ?

  • thanks for taking the time to make this! I tried it, but the shortcuts are not completely working for me. When I press ctrl+alt+arrow it shows the workspace switcher with the corresponding direction (up, down, left, right) but it doesn't actually change the workspace. however, changing from the workspace menu works. Thank you! unless you're completely agains github, you can use gists for sharing dirty hacks. – Ciprian Tomoiagă Dec 3 '15 at 12:42

Another option would be Workspaces to Dock extension.

In the extension configurations, simply set the position of the dock as top or bottom of the screen and check the box "Use horizontal switching when the dock is positioned horizontally".


Another gnome-shell-extension can be found on

or on Gitlab

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