Custom Workspace Navigation in Pop!_OS

I’ve been using Pop!_OS for a while, and I really like the built-in window tiling and workspaces experience. However, I wanted to customize it to limit the number of workspaces to 4 and be able to navigate them quickly as I would with i3.

It turns out this is incredibly easy to do with a bit of configuration in the terminal. You can find the configuration listed below here on GitHub.

Configuration Walkthrough

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter dynamic-workspaces false

By default, Pop!_OS can create dynamic workspaces as needed. I want a fixed amount that I can quickly recall via shortcut, so the first step is to turn off dynamic workspaces.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences num-workspaces 4

Next, I set the amount of workspaces I want. This can easily be changed at any time, but for now I’m using just 4. I’ve never had the need to use more than that.

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.keybindings switch-to-application-1 "[]"
gsettings set org.gnome.shell.keybindings switch-to-application-2 "[]"
gsettings set org.gnome.shell.keybindings switch-to-application-3 "[]"
gsettings set org.gnome.shell.keybindings switch-to-application-4 "[]"

Here we clear the keybindings for switching to applications because we instead want to switch to workspaces. This will ensure there’s no conflicts with our workspace shortcuts.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-1 "['<Super>1']"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-2 "['<Super>2']"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-3 "['<Super>3']"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-4 "['<Super>4']"

Summary

Finally, we set the keybinding for switching to workspaces 1-4 using Super + 1-4.

That’s it! I hope you found this helpful. If you want to see more content like this, follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Take care.
Stay awesome.

2 thoughts on “Custom Workspace Navigation in Pop!_OS”

  1. This is cool. I used Pop OS but I use i3 for my workspaces. It’s great when I’m not connected to an external monitor. I couldn’t get Pop OS to work with i3. Is it any better now?

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    1. I haven’t tried i3 on Pop!_OS yet. It seems to work really well for people on Ubuntu. I hope I can get the key benefits from i3 into Workspaces to keep as close to a vanilla Pop!_OS install as possible. I’m enjoying this configuration so far, so we’ll see how it goes!

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