Sync Up The Taskbar and the Desktop in Gnome

Posted: 16 Mar 2005

The more I used Gnome, the more I found I wasn't completely satisfied with the way the desktops were set up. It seemed the actual real estate on the desktop wasn't congruent with the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.

For example, let's say I've got two applications opened on separate desktops. I will see only one application open on the actual desktop, but I will see all my applications opened on the taskbar below. This seems a bit confusing to me.

In the screenshot below, two applications are opened on the task bar, but only one application is showing on the desktop.

To me, that seems a little confusing. If I've got multiple desktops, wouldn't it make more sense if the taskbar were to sync up with the desktop?

The concept of "multiple desktops" seems to be much more useful if there are actually multiple desktops *and* multiple taskbars. This way I can be much more organized, and my taskbar is a lot less cluttered. The desktops stay separated and everyone stays happy.

Luckily, in Gnome there's an easy way to configure your desktops to behave this way.

To begin, right click in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen (in the red circle in the screenshot below) and navigate to "Preferences".

When clicked, a window will appear.

The default Gnome setting is "Show windows from all workspaces". If you want to sync up your taskbars and your desktops, change it to "Show windows from current workspace", and you'll be in business.

When you click, if you've got applications opened on mutiple desktops, the taskbar buttons will move to their appropriate desktops, and you'll be set.

Notice in the screenshot above, that my taskbar now only has one button, even though two applications are running. To access the other application, I switch to the other desktop, and it's like I really have two separate desktops.

If you want a clean slate, simply switch to a desktop that doesn't have anything running on it.

Just a simple way to get even more out of your Gnome Linux Desktop!

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