How can I make gnome-shell treat both monitors in the same way?

by Alex   Last Updated October 20, 2017 09:02 AM

Gnome-shell seems to like to leave one monitor as "fixed" when you switch workspaces.

Additionally, there is no preview in the Activities view of my secondary monitor.

Also, on the second monitor, where there should be either empty desktop space, or a copy of the panel, I just have a white bar.

How can I get gnome-shell to treat my secondary monitor like the primary one?

Answers 4

Regarding the fixed second monitor, there's an easy way to fix that as I have just found out. If I may quote:

  1. Download gconf-editor – this is probably available in your distribution’s package manager.
  2. Start gconf-editor – the “Run Command” menu is still available in GNOME 3 by pressing Alt-F2.
  3. In the tree on the left, navigate to /desktop/gnome/shell/windows
  4. UNCHECK the box next to workspaces_only_on_primary


Martin Matysiak
Martin Matysiak
November 04, 2011 20:55 PM

I could not find the /desktop/gnome/shell/windows key mentioned by Martin, but the source he's quoting says to run:

$ gsettings set workspaces-only-on-primary false

This fixed it instantly for me. Thanks, gregcor (the source).

December 20, 2013 06:38 AM


In later versions of Gnome, you have to open gnome-tweak-tool and, under "Workspaces", change the "Workspaces only on primary display" setting.

December 10, 2014 08:31 AM

You can do this by installing GNOME Tweaks from Ubuntu Software. After installation, it shows in apps drawer as Tweaks. The package name is actually called gnome-tweak-tool.

The option you are looking for is located in the Workspaces tab, and it is called Workspaces span displays.

September 30, 2017 22:48 PM

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