[ubuntu-za] Workspaces and Devilspie

Bill Cairns cairnsww at gmail.com
Sun Sep 9 18:15:58 UTC 2012

In my innocent pre-Unity days I used to use the workspaces in Gnome
extensively and was pretty disciplined (well pretty disciplined for
me) about the way I used them: Browsers in Workspace 1; Thunderbird in
Workspace 2; System stuff in 3; Graphics in 4; Writer and other office
stuff in 6: most everything else in 5.

Unity does not seem to lend itself to that sort of discipline: it is
quite hard to get an application to run where you want to run it
(right clicking on the bar up there does not seem to work for half of
the applications) and most applications seem to run in the workspace
where you are when they come up.

Then I remembered Devilspie and decided to see if that would help. So
I installed it, together with its nice new GUI gDevilspie, and
eventually got it to work. (There is an un-documented requirement that
the configuration files have to have lower case names). It seems to
work fine under Unity.

But here is the rub: I have Xubuntu also installed on this machine. I
use it when I get frustrated with Unity and am finding that I am using
it less and less. Now I only go to Xubuntu when I want to run Gimp
which has big problems with Unity (some features just don't work and
the application crashes when closing a file).  But Devilspie and
Xubuntu just do not get along: log in to Xubuntu and all of a sudden
the screen goes wild with what looks like a serious sync error. Icons
duplicate themselves and flash around the screen; horizontal lines
flash at me. It looks just like a hardware error that I recently had
to spend some serious cash fixing. However, Unity still works fine and
when I disabled Devilspe (by changing its configuration folder from
".devilspie" to ".Devilspie") all works well - I am using it to write

Hmm. Hmm?

I am interested to know it anyone has found a better way of using
Workspaces in Unity. Or are they just last year's technology?


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