n67
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Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:06 pm

Does the current version of the Raspbian GUI support the idea of multiple desktops - i.e, I'm used to Linux GUIs having multiple (usually 4) desktops that you switch around to via either a keystroke or a menu option. I'm pretty sure this used to work in Raspbian, but I can't find it now.

The idea is that if you have more windows open than conveniently fit on a single screen/desktop, you can move them to other desktops and not have as much clutter.

Note also that this feature can be a PITA - and usually is (as I explain below) - but now and again, I could actually use it. And it seems to be missing now.

Noted: It can be a PITA when you hit some random keystroke and all of your windows disappear and then you have to figure out how to get back to the main desktop (where all your windows are).
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ShiftPlusOne
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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:13 pm

You can add a desktop pager to the panel and increase the number of available desktops either by using obconf or by editing the openbox config file by hand.

jamesh
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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:11 pm

ShiftPlusOne wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:13 pm
You can add a desktop pager to the panel and increase the number of available desktops either by using obconf or by editing the openbox config file by hand.
On LXDE, right clicking on the DesktopPager icon gives the option to increase the number of desktops. But it's blanked out on RPDT, any idea why?
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ShiftPlusOne
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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:15 pm

That option seems to be unavailable if obconf is not installed.

jamesh
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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:26 pm

ShiftPlusOne wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:15 pm
That option seems to be unavailable if obconf is not installed.
Confirmed, installing obconf and the option works fine.
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n67
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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:45 pm

jamesh wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:26 pm
ShiftPlusOne wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:15 pm
That option seems to be unavailable if obconf is not installed.
Confirmed, installing obconf and the option works fine.
OK, so I added "Desktop Pager" to my panel (menu bar) and that worked. Then I saw that "Desktop Pager Settings" was greyed out (as is noted upthread). So, I did "apt-get install obconf" and, as if by magic, it is no longer greyed out. However, clicking it is a no-op. I assume it is supposed to bring up some kind of config menu/tool, right?

Is a reboot necessary in order for it to work right?

Also, I noticed that when I have the "Desktop Pager" thing in the menu bar, there also appear icons for some (but not all) of my open windows up there. What is up with that? Dragging them around doesn't seem to do anything useful.
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n67
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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:13 pm

OK, I got this figured out now.

The trick is to run "obconf" directly (from the Terminal window). Then you can bump up the Desktops count and name them, and then it works. And I figured out how to drag windows from desktop to desktop (that was the critical piece).

I do notice, though, that the desktop names set via "obconf" don't seem to stick. It is random, but I keep having to reset (some of) the desktop names. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't. This seems to be a problem where the changes you make in "onconf" don't get immediately reflected out to the running GUI. Presumably, this will all fix out after a reboot. But I don't want to reboot...
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tcornall
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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:54 pm

Ha! At first I thought Buster had 'busted' multiple desktops because although I could see that I had 4 desktops when I ran obconf -> Desktops (either from a terminal or after adding it to preferences menu via menu editor) there was no pager in the taskbar and trying to move a window to another desktop only gave me a choice of 1 not 4. So I added a pager widget via right-click on taskbar-> panel settings->add. But there was still only one pager showing. It wasn't until I went back to obconf->desktops and hit the + button to add a 5th desktop that suddenly 5 pagers showed on the taskbar, then hit '-' and one disappeared leaving 4 as initially expected. Looks like a initial settings bug to me. Anyway, now I have 4 desktops and can move windows between them and am happy-ish. Still, that's an hour of my life I'll never get back...

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Re: Multiple desktops in current Raspbian GUI?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:24 am

tcornall wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:54 pm
Ha! At first I thought Buster had 'busted' multiple desktops because although I could see that I had 4 desktops when I ran obconf -> Desktops (either from a terminal or after adding it to preferences menu via menu editor) there was no pager in the taskbar and trying to move a window to another desktop only gave me a choice of 1 not 4. So I added a pager widget via right-click on taskbar-> panel settings->add. But there was still only one pager showing. It wasn't until I went back to obconf->desktops and hit the + button to add a 5th desktop that suddenly 5 pagers showed on the taskbar, then hit '-' and one disappeared leaving 4 as initially expected. Looks like a initial settings bug to me. Anyway, now I have 4 desktops and can move windows between them and am happy-ish. Still, that's an hour of my life I'll never get back...
This is an ongoing bug that happened in Stretch and probably Jessie or before.

Another annoyance is when obconf is used to set multiple desktops then ALL of the keyboard shortcuts stop working.
[CTRL] [Alt] t
[Alt] [F4]
[Win logo key] etc etc all stop working
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

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