I know this has already been discussed in different post, (Is it possible to have a different background for each workspace?) but the solutions were for 11.04. I want to have a different wallpaper for each desktop. I have already installed compiz and the extra plugins to get the Wallpaper plugin by:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-extra

Then I select in the plugin 4 new wallpapers including a .jpg which prompts me to enable jpg plugin, which I do. Next in Advanced Settings (old Ubuntu Tweak tool) I make the setting Off for /Desktop/Have File Manager handle the desktop

The result is I have 4 desktops completely black. After playing around with multiple pictures, I managed to get my 4th desktop (lower right) to show a picture. The pictures were of different resolutions and then of the same resolution, so I am not sure why that particular one worked.

By the way if I will manage to make this work, will I still be able to use my conky?

Solutions I've tried after suggestions and still did not work:

  • new account created, made the settings => only 2 pics are rendered: top right and lower left.

  • Tried CTRL+ALT+F1, then back to CTRL+ALT+F7, still nothing

  • I confirm that .jpg and .png are enabled in compiz.


  • strange ... I followed your steps but each desktop has a different wallpaper... are you absolutely sure you are running unity3d rather than the fallback unity2d ?
    – fossfreedom
    Dec 28, 2011 at 23:01
  • Yes, positive. I have multiple solution to find out if I run 3D, and they all report correctly. I can't show you the outputs cause I am at work now (windows machine :P). One of them is making sure compiz is running: ps -ef | grep compiz | grep $USER
    – bioShark
    Dec 29, 2011 at 8:29
  • Worked for me when I followed the exact instructions from this post: ubuntuguide.net/… Looks like you installed compiz-fusion-plugins-extra. I found it a little buggy with Unity and I couldn't get EasyStroke working with it, but I was able to have a different background image for every workspace. I didn't try it with Conky, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Jan 8, 2012 at 15:27
  • FYI In the future if a question is out of date you can tack a bounty on it and select "the current answers are out of date" if you want an update on it. Jan 16, 2012 at 18:04
  • Interesting that somebody else opened a bounty for this question :)
    – bioShark
    Jan 16, 2012 at 22:04

2 Answers 2


Here how:

I didn't take any credit from them so i am copy the link here:



  • 1
    While I'm sure the links are useful, it would be even more helpful if you could compile the information from the links into your answer. Jan 20, 2012 at 20:37
  • Yeah, I was thinking the same. Anyway, all the links say the same thing and basically it's what the rest have been saying in the comments and I tried them all to no avail. As it happens it seems he has been granted by default as the one who received the bounty. I would give the bounty to @fossfreedom just for his time spent on helping me, unfortunately he has only answered in comment. If he makes an official answer, I give the bounty to him.
    – bioShark
    Jan 20, 2012 at 21:17

I think something like this solution from 10.04 will be helpful:
How to add different wallpapers in different workspaces but as shellscript?

Also good answer here:
Is there a way to have different wallpaper and different launchers/documents in different workspaces? [closed]

I agree these comments and think it can be realized by creating for example shell script, ccsm plugin, or extension for Gnome.
Many ways for experimenting with ccsm like an animations can be used, triggered from workspace change event.

Closer solution described in ubuntuforums:
[SOLVED] Different Wallpaper for each desktop in ubuntu 11.10

In pursuance to Conky configuration settings there exist variables:

Boolean, create own window for Conky or not

if own_window is yes, you may specify type normal, desktop, dock, panel or override (default: normal). Desktop windows are special windows that have no window decorations; are always visible on your desktop; do not appear in your pager or taskbar; and are sticky across all workspaces. Panel windows reserve space along a desktop edge, just like panels and taskbars, preventing maximized windows from overlapping them. The edge is chosen based on the alignment option. Override windows are not under the control of the window manager. Hints are ignored. This type of window can be useful for certain situations.

I think yes, Conky can be tuned for using with ccsm.

  • This can also be done manually by gconftool, but sorry it's still doesn't work. And still only the lower left loads up the right wallpaper. And this time I have both logged out and then even rebooted the pc to see if it makes any difference.
    – bioShark
    Jan 18, 2012 at 20:07
  • I updated my answer, though I can't try last solution because decided do not use ccsm yet ... Hope it help you
    – swift
    Jan 19, 2012 at 17:00

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