My gnome-shell seems to have only one workspace. I cannot switch to another workspace by using the Ctrl+Alt+Down/Up combination and using the Super Key always shows me one workspace only. If I attempt to open a program in a new workspace using the middle mousebutton i can observe there being 2 workspaces briefly but then the program gets moved to the upper one and the second one disappears. I have already tried to use static workspaces using gnome-tweak-tool. This gives me multiple workspaces, but they all show the exact same content. They are not independent from eachother. Furthermore I have found executing

compiz --replace
gnome-shell --replace

Gives me a gnome-shell with working workspaces.

Edit: Actually the workspace feature just disappeared as I opened a program. So scrap the part about it working.

  • Not happening to me; do you have any extension enabled? – Rmano May 19 '14 at 20:53
  • gnome-tweak-tool says no extensions installed. I have already tried reinstalling gnome-shell twice to no avail. Its always the same. – Zillolo May 19 '14 at 20:54
  • I wonder if trying to run compiz --replace may have interfered with gnome-shell and mutter proper configuration. I don't know what effect that would have if you tried it. Note that gnome-shell only works with the mutter window manager, it will not work with compiz. – Michael Miller May 19 '14 at 22:25

I have fixed this problem, by disabling the option "Workspaces on primary display only" in the Gnome Tweak Tool.

Everything works again as expected.

  • having the same problem, this solved my problem – ubugnu Sep 30 '14 at 10:02
  • That seems to have worked for me, after restarting gnome shell. However, I like the feature of only having workspace on the primary display. Is there any other fix? – Thayne Feb 12 '15 at 19:42
  • I have yet to find a fix for this. I know of no workarounds Im afraid. – Zillolo Feb 12 '15 at 19:47
  • same here :-S .... Gnome 3.22.., this solve the issue. – warfares Oct 18 '16 at 21:35

I had the same problem when I switched to graphics driver nvidia-331. When I switched back to X.Org (nouveau) driver or to nvidia-331-updates, the workspaces again works correctly.


Since you are running compiz, you need to enable the workspaces using the compiz session manager. See the answer on the link below:


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