Lets say I have 9 workspace 3 horizontally and 3 vertically. By default ubuntu starts with the top left workspace which feels goofy. How do I set to start with the middle one?

3 Answers 3


This is a nice idea. I don't know if there is a GUI way to do this (most probably, no), but you can use, for example, the following script at start up to make Ubuntu change to the top left workspace with the middle one:


#check if xdotool is installed
if [ ! -n "$(dpkg -s xdotool 2>/dev/null | grep 'Status: install ok installed')" ]; then
    echo -e "The package 'xdotool' must to be installed before to run $(basename $0)\nUse 'sudo apt-get install xdotool' command in terminal to install it."

xdotool key Ctrl+Alt+Right
xdotool key Ctrl+Alt+Down

An adaptation of Radu's answer. This will make a keyboard shortcut to switch directly to a certain workspace using a most likely unused key (XF86LaunchB).

  1. Run this command in a terminal:

    dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/wm/keybindings/switch-to-workspace-1 "['XF86LaunchB']"

    You can replace the number at the end of switch-to-workspace-1 with the workspace number (from 1 to 12)

  2. Install xdotool Install xdotool

    sudo apt-get install xdotool
  3. Add this command to your Startup Applications:

    xdotool key XF86LaunchB

First step:

Determine (learn) how to go to specific workspace using this.

Second step:

Add the command from previous step to the startup applications (commands), as described here.

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