In last article I have described why and how I use workspaces Workspace lover on my desktop. I was happy user of Ubuntu’s Unity inteface, but unfortunatelly it was abandoned by Canonical. So I had two options: Keep using Unity with persistent thought that one day it will be not supported any more. Or try to get used with Gnome 3.
I am probably getting old because I decided to stuck with Unity. Unfortunatelly Unity is second class passenger in 20.04 and therefore I often faced issues. Set keyboard shortcuts were lost, volume setting get 60 second delay, sometimes it freezed, … So I was forced to try Gnome 3.
Gnome 3 issues
I don’t care about appearance of UI that much so Gnome is fine for me. But soon I found first problems with usability:
only vertical list of workspaces is supported,
my old CTRL+ALT and CTRL+ALT+SHIFT based shortcuts was not working,
switching keyboard layout by SHIFT+ALT worked only when ALT was pressed first,
Adjusting Gnome for fitting my needs
I installed following extensions through Ubuntu Software app:
Workspace grid returns support for grid of workspaces (since 20.04 I use Workspaces Matrix)
No topleft hot corner disables opening Activities when accidentally cursor is positioned in top left corner of display
Multi monitors add-on gives control over top panel functionality and appearance
Also Gnome tweaks app is nice to have because you can see list of installed extensions and configure them. Also basic workspaces settings are available.
Keyboard shortcuts for workspaces, displays and windows
As I mentioned before I had problems with shortcuts containing keys CTRL, ALT, SHIFT. Therefore I was looking for alternative. I noticed that instead of them SUPER key (the nasty one with Windows symbol - why it is called SUPER then?) is used in default setting. OK, so here is my setting based on SUPER.
You can use dconf-editor or use command line.
Switching workspaces by SUPER+arrow keys
Switching to specific workspace SUPER+numkey
Move window among workspaces by SUPER+ALT+arrow keys
Move window to specific workspace SUPER+ALT+numkey
Positioning window among displays is done (by default) as SUPER+SHIFT+arrow keys
Positioning window on display is done by SUPER+CTRL+arrow keys
Keyboard shortcuts for multimedia
I hate different position of multimedia keys between laptop at work and desktop at home. So I prefer simple shortcuts which are available on all keyboards:
Many times I pressed SUPER+P accidentally instead of CTRL+P. Unfortunatelly that caused switchin displays layout from join to clone. It is easy to switch it back but windows positions and displays setting are lost. To disable SUPER+P:
Take a look into directory /usr/share/gnome-control-center/keybindings where you can grasp location of shortcuts in dconf. Knowing path you can list settings from command line:
some shortcuts accepts array “[‘<Super><Ctrl>Left’]” for multiple shortcuts some not “<Super>End”,
I noticed that sometimes is in settings control key called CTRL and sometimes CONTROL - have no idea what is correct
When I work on certain workspace I don’t care about others:
Replacement of indicator-multiload
I like to see simple usage statistic of CPU, RAM, network. Instead of not working indicator-multiload you can use extension system-monitor available in Ubuntu Software app.
You can use gTile extension. I use following presets for 1/3 and 2/3 positioning:
3x1 1:1 2:1,2:1 3:1
3x1 1:1 1:1,2:1 2:1,3:1 3:1
Bound to Super+/ resp Super+*
First arranges window so it uses first 2/3 of screen width, next press to last 2/3 width. Second takes first 1/3 of screen and repetitive presses moves window so it uses 2nd and 3rd 1/3 of screen.
This is usable to arrange windows of multiple communicator tools (Google Chat, Skype, Telegram, …)
I am finally happy with Ubuntu 20.04. I hope it can help also others.