Multiple Desktops -- How do you use them?

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Multiple Desktops -- How do you use them?

Postby GMouse » 2007-04-27 15:30

One of the nice-to-have features of Linux systems is that they come with multiple, virtual desktops. I like this feature, but find that I generally only end up using only one, sometimes two, as I'm in the habit of only having a couple of things going at once and closing programs when I finish with them. So, I thought I'd poll you guys (and gals) to share how YOU use them.
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Postby thamarok » 2007-04-27 15:31

I always remove the extra desktops and stick to one only, I hate that feature; not very useful for me.

Postby chrismortimore » 2007-04-27 15:36

Depends how much I'm using really.

If I have stuff processing away in the background (compiling programs, downloading with bittorrent, encoding a vid, that kind of thing), and I'm busy working away on something else (like a report), I'll shove the stuff processing on a different desktop so I can switch over quickly and see what it's all up to.

If I'm on MSN, Yahoo, IRC, and so on, and I get a lot of windows open, then I'll move those to another desktop as well.

If I have two windows that I constantly need to flick between (such as a report, and a website that I'm referencing), I'll put them on separate desktops, because it's easier to switch desktop for me than to cycle windows.

So, mostly just for decluttering. I usually only have two going, but I have cranked it up to like 14 at one point though. I had a lot of projects on the go then and I had a different desktop for each. That was fun.
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Postby Bulkley » 2007-04-27 15:40

I use three.

3. Games
2. Word processing
1. everything else
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Postby drl » 2007-04-27 15:59


I use six: Main, Tbird, PIM, Evo, Browser, Komodo. The ones that see most of the use are Main, where I usually have a few terminal windows open, including a few logged into other boxes; Tbird for email, and Browser, where I run Firefox with a number of tabs. Komodo is for the general development that isn't done in terminals.

This is under Xandros. I set up the KDE sequence so that it starts these applications in these desktops. I don't boot often (currently up 57 days), but I like to have everything set up for me. In addition, I have GKrellm on Desktop Main, and xosview on every desktop.

On all the machines that I use, I attempt to have the main Panel on the top of the screen: Mac, Linux, Windows. This helps me with menu selections -- I always move the mouse "up". Whenever possible, it's hidden to give me more real estate.

I've been using this scheme for about 2 years, with minor tweaks every now and then ... cheers, drl

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Postby Pobega » 2007-04-27 17:38

I use four desktops on Window Maker;

One for instant messaging.
One for browsing the internet.
One for loads of terminal emulators.
One random.

It's nice to use all of my programs maximized, it's a lot more comfortable for me.
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Postby Vergil » 2007-04-27 20:22

I use 3.

Internet (web browsing stuff mostly)
Papers (pdfs, gedit+latex plugin)
Email (pine, webmails)
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Postby e1even1 » 2007-04-27 20:27

1)browser and media player(s)
2)custom full screen kdesysguard display
3)inkscape and 'ad hoc' desktop setups
4)virtual machines
5)word processing and office type apps
6)file manager, konsole, synaptic, new stuff, etc.

helps me stay organized and improves productivity. wouldn't want to be without it.

alternative to point/click desktop switching, hold down Ctrl and use Tab key to select a virtual desktop.

also a particular application may be displayed on all virtual desktops.
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Postby Burnside » 2007-04-27 20:30

I rarely need more then two, but I keep four around for the odd situation when I need them. Fluxbox's window tabbing feature keeps these situations few and far between, but they do still happen. ;)

What for? I like to spread my windows out is all. I keep sources on one or two desktops when I'm wrting a paper. I find it's easier then trying to click back and forth on the taksbar. YMMV of course.
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Postby ghostdawg » 2007-04-27 21:15

I use 4:

one for main stuff
one for running setiathome
one for girlfriend to use
one for top to run in

But if I do some compiling or something heavy, I switch to another one.
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Postby Dargor » 2007-04-27 21:53

I have only ever used one, but they do sound useful in this situation. I'll have to give it a go next time.
chrismortimore wrote:If I have two windows that I constantly need to flick between (such as a report, and a website that I'm referencing), I'll put them on separate desktops, because it's easier to switch desktop for me than to cycle windows.
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Postby hash » 2007-04-28 02:05

I have four on a e17 setup. Two for each monitor..
Two iconboxes, one for each monitor (and its two desktops)

A mouse wheel move on the desktop switches spaces,also have a key map to switch across all four (Alt + 4 arrows).

xclock (digital display, 0 border) runs on all in a corner on top.

One for opera and gaim.
One for xemacs.
One for rdesktop (sigh, our servers are still on M$), at times spanning across both monitors.
and one for terms/ remote shells

Since I dont have a task bar ..(I *need* the full screen), I find this easier for me. (Have set up e17 to maximize to almost full screen, just a pixel on the sides to mouse wheel around.
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Postby Red-guy » 2007-04-28 03:06

At home I use two for the surfing...the other for compiling/tweaking of my system.

At work I use four though...three with a different web browser (my company is web operated) so that way as each generates a pop-up window, it doesn't affect the other web browser windows..and the fourth is for the e-mail. :-)
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Postby Lavene » 2007-04-28 04:33

I use four at most but only when doing Python stuff:

1. Browser/ e-mail/ misc
2. Terminals/ shells/ IRC client (sporadically)
3. Qt designer/ assistant
4. Editor/ file manager/ Browser (for online documentation)

I also have the panel set to only display the apps running on that specific desktop so it does not get over crowded.
I always keep things that way even if I don't need all four. Like if I don't need to run Qt Designer I leave #3 empty and still use #4 four my editor.

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Postby Jackiebrown » 2007-04-28 05:20

One. Like thamork this is usually one of the first things I turn off.

It's frustrating enough going to work and having to work without tabs (a lot of our apps are web based.)

I don't want to get use to another feature that I can't maximize at a place where maximization of my time really matters.
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