Is it possible to have a different background for each workspace?


Ubuntu 11.04

I know this is possible with compiz. Do you have/use compiz? if so (install and) open compizconfig-settings-manager and look under the wallpaper plugin.

If I recall, adding multiple wallpapers would set them in order (ie. the first image selected goes to workspace one, the second image goes to workspace two). You might need to muck about in the settings to get compiz to render your wallpaper.

Open the Terminal and type this command:

sudo apt-get install compiz compiz-core compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins

Then navigate to :

system -> preferences -> compizconfig in settings manager.

Type "wallpaper" in the search, click the wallpaper plugin, enable it on the left, select your wall papers.

I believe you may need to change more settings in the gnome compatibility options or something like that, but I can't recall...

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I know this has been answered before but that solution doesn't work on Ubuntu MATE. Anyway to achieve this on MATE?

Output of wmctrl -d:

$ wmctrl -d 0 * DG: 1366x768 VP: 0,0 WA: 0,25 1366x719 Workspace 1 1 - DG: 1366x768 VP: N/A WA: 0,25 1366x719 Workspace 2 2 - DG: 1366x768 VP: N/A WA: 0,25 1366x719 Workspace 3 3 - DG: 1366x768 VP: N/A WA: 0,25 1366x719 Workspace 4

Output of $ echo $DESKTOP_SESSION:

$ echo $DESKTOP_SESSION mate

Original solution that I tried and that didn't work for me:
Is it possible to have a different background for each workspace?

Although I could not test it, due to the fact that I don't have Mate avaialble atm, looking at the output of wmctrl -d, and given the fact that wallpapers on Mate are obviously set with the same gsettings command, I see no reason why it should not work.

The script

The script below is an edited version of this one, and kind of an exerpt of the one I pushed to Launchpad. As it is, that...

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Different backgrounds are nice -- but

can we do this with Linux Mint?

Notice that the desktop contents also change ... not only the wallpaper.

I started a thread on this over on the Mint Desktops forum, because -- if Mint can handle this -- I would be surprised if all editions can do it, because of the different workspace environments on each.

Hope someone sees the other thread and responds, because I'd like to stay with Mint. But, thanks for the heads-up about PCLinuxOS! I didn't know that ... you mean it's already built-in??

[edit] I see with PCLinuxOS, to change with the desktop, the icons have to be 'attached' to something called a 'Clip' and if so, can't be left anywhere on the desktop, as in the above video with Ubuntu. Can anyone get this working in Linux Mint!!...

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For each page on which you want to change the background-image, enter in Page Header Code Injection:

body { background-image: url("URL-TO-YOUR-IMAGE") !important; background-repeat: no-repeat !important; }

If your image is full page size, use no-repeat. If the image is less than full page size, you will have to repeat it to fill the page. In which case you will use one of repeat, repeat-x or repeat-y. For an explanation of how these values work and when to use one or the other, see MDN’s background-repeat Article.

If after you’ve entered this code the new background does not appear, you will have to enter one or both of the following:

#outerWrapper { opacity: 0; } #bgOverlay { opacity: 0; }

Put it/them below the body { … } rule set but before the tag.

For an explanation of why, see @silvabokis’ answer to my question Why using body tag selector to change background image did not work.

Let me know how this works for...

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I am sure you have always used to think if it is possible to have different wallpapers on different workspaces in Ubuntu using GNOME. Isn’t it? Don’t worry I have a tip for you, and it is very simple too.

Assumptions: You have Ubuntu 8.04 running. (Though it should work with 7.10 as well. But I haven’t tried it.) You have installed CCSM. Check under System ->Preferences if Advanced Desktop Effect Setting is there. For better results you have Avant Window Navigator installed. (Else you won’t be able to use any shortcut on your desktop.)

If you have set up all that then it should be pretty easy for you. Just follow the following steps:

Go under System> Preferences > Advanced Desktop Settings Select Desktop Cube >Appearance > Background images Click New under background images and add all the images you want as background. Alt + F2 to launch the Run Terminal. Enter gconf-editor and hit Run. Go under apps > nautilus > preference Deselect ‘Show Desktop’.


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This neat little script automatically sets the background for each workspace that you switch to. There is a slight lag while it does it, but it is way better than the polling method in the python script posted on the #! forums A way to have per desktop or random wallpapers in Openbox.

I've just found the code I've been looking for for years - how to monitor xprop desktop changes via a background process!

xprop -root -spy _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP



EDIT: Beware an xprop memory leak

As noted by @xaos52:


You need to have `feh` installed.

I know it isn't technically a daemon, but I've called it `wallpapersd` cos I think it sounds cool
[EDIT: updated script here: Post #6

#!/bin/bash # # Script to enable different wallpapers on each workspace and monitor. # Written by damo November 2015 # # When first run, the script writes...
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I performed a clean installation of Fedora Core 6 a couple days ago. Seems to be working fine so far, but I want each of the 4 workspaces to have its own desktop background/wallpaper.

Right-clicking on the desktop brings a pop-up, and at the bottom it says "Change Desktop Background". When I select that option and choose a background, all 4 workspaces get the new background.

Earlier versions of Gnome (from previous Fedora Core installations) had a checkbox option "Apply changes only to this workspace", or something like that. I can't seem to find that option anywhere in this new Fedora Core 6 installation.


(Note: I won't have access to this FC6 Linux machine again until mid-next week, so it'll be a few days before I can try your...

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Different backgrounds per workplace can be done via this little script (found here
was for Mint 13, but works still on 17.1, thanks to garalou!):


desktop_dir="/home/username/.cinnamon/backgrounds/" # full path to "username"'s image folder;


setdesktop() {
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri "file://$desktop_dir$1"
xprop -root -spy _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP | (
while read -r; do
setdesktop ${desktop_img[$desk]}

BUT it would be much nicer if you could also have different sets of icons per workplace,
e.g. links to manuals, sources and dev tools for your developer workplace,
music, videos and audio...

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There are a number of reasons why Mac OS X’s Spaces feature hasn’t taken the Mac-using world by storm. But one of the most frequent criticisms I hear is a simple one: You can’t assign a different Desktop background to each Spaces workspace. It’s an obviously useful feature—the more visually distinct each workspace is, the more mentally distinct your workspaces become, making Spaces easier to integrate into your workflow.

Back in 2008, I covered a then-promising utility, Hyperspaces, that includes just such a tweak to Spaces (along with many other features); since then, Hyperspaces has improved significantly, and is worth a look if you use Spaces. I’ve also come across, but not tested, SpaceSuit. But today’s Hint describes a way to get a different-desktop feature in a way that’s both frugal with system resources and free.

This system tweak, SpaceStation, is a clever combination of an OS X launch agent and a background process that updates your Desktop image whenever...

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Getting started with xmonad

This is a guided tour of the core features of the xmonad window manager, allowing you to gain an understanding of the motivation, and use of a tiling window manager, and learn how to achieve the kind of screen configuration you want, simply and easily.

Starting xmonad

We'll assume you've been able to build xmonad from hackage (or from your package system). If not, seeing the build instructions. You can then start xmonad directly from your .xsession or .xinitrc file, by executing it as so:

# .xsession xrdb -merge .Xresources xpmroot ~/background.xpm & $HOME/bin/xmonad

Note the use of xpmroot to set a background image.

Opening clients

When you start xmonad, without launching clients, you'll be presented with an empty screen:

Let's start some clients, to fill the screen. xmonad uses the mod1 key (alt) by default, and we can start by...

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