Workspace grid (2D) and switcher 0.3

UUID: workspace-grid@hernejj
Score: 14

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Workspace grid (2D) and switcher
2D workspace grid and switcher for the Cinnamon Desktop Environment

Author:   Jason J. Herne  (

This is a Cinnamon applet that implements a 2D workspace grid and provides a
workspace switcher that understands multiple rows.  In addition, the standard
keyboard shortcuts for workspace up/down navigation are modified to actually
switch workspaces instead of bringing up the Cinnamon Workspace Expo and


This applet has been tested to be compatible with the following Linux distributions and versions of Cinnamon:

  • Linux Mint 13 - Cinnamon 1.4.0
  • Linux Mint 16 - Cinnamon 2.0.14
  • Ubuntu 12.04  - Cinnamon 1.6.7
  • Ubuntu 12.10  - Cinnamon 1.6.7
  • Ubuntu 13.04 - Cinnamon 1.6.7 & 1.8.2
  • Ubuntu 13.10 - Cinnamon 2.0.6
  • Fedora 17 - Cinnamon 1.6.7
  • Fedora 18 - Cinnamon 1.6.7
  • Fedora 19 - Cinnamon 1.9.1

Feel free to test with different versions and let me know if it works or not.  Also, if you find a bug (or have a suggestion) please report it either at or send me an e-mail.

1. Place the "workspace-grid@hernejj" folder in the
   ".local/share/cinnamon/applets" folder in your home directory.

2. Start the "Cinnamon Settings" program, go to the Applets section and look
   for the entry named "Workspace grid (2D) and switcher".  Check the checkbox
   to the left of this entry to enable this applet.

Setting the Number of Workspaces
This applet allows you to configure the number or rows and columns in your
workspace grid.  Just right click on the applet and a dialog will appear.
Enter the number of columns and rows you want and press the enter key.

You can navigate between your workspaces using the standard system keyboard
shortcuts.  By default they are as listed:

  • switch-to-workspace-up      Ctrl+Alt+Up_Arrow
  • switch-to-workspace-down    Ctrl+Alt+Down_Arrow
  • switch-to-workspace-left    Ctrl+Alt+Left_Arrow
  • switch-to-workspace-right   Ctrl+Alt+Right_Arrow  

You can also click on the workspace or the row indicator lines within the
switcher to navigate directly to a specific workspace or row.

You can also place your mouse over the switcher and use the scroll wheel to
navigate forward and backward in the workspace grid.

Change Log


  • Bugfix: Removed css junk that was messing up bottom panel style.
  • Bugfix: Allow applet to properly resize with bottom panel.


  • Added key binding support for Linux Mint 13 & Cinnamon 1.4.0.
  • Added some debug logging to assist with future incompatibility problems.


  • Initial release.

About The Author



  1. wedeluxe says:

    2 days ago

    This applet really is great work! Abusing the "switch"-bindings is a severe usability bug in Cinnamon. Have you already reported this one to the bug tracker?

  2. hernejj says:

    1 week ago

    Geoffm, yes this is indeed anoying :) Cinnamon actually hard codes expo and scale bindings to 'switch-desktop-up' and 'switch-desktop-down'. I am able to repurpose those indings but when you manually set different key combinations yourself using Cinnamon preferences (or gnome preferences) you are actually just switching the bindings for 'switch-desktop-up' and 'switch-desktop-down'. Cinnamon really needs to stop abusing the 'switch...' bindings and just create their own.

  3. geoffm says:

    1 week ago

    On my system (LM16 cinnamon 2.0.14) this applet causes the keyboard shortcuts for Expo and Scale to stop working.

  4. hernejj says:

    4 months ago

    jimbudler, Thanks for the report :).

  5. jimbudler says:

    5 months ago

    Still works with ubuntu 13.10 and Cinnamon 2.0.6

  6. hernejj says:

    7 months ago

    Serged, If I understand correctly you are asking for a preview to be displayed on switch? If so, that is do-able. I'll consider it for future releases.

  7. Serged says:

    7 months ago

    When a true worksapce switcher whith a "preview" of workspaces? As in the old Gnome 2 ?

  8. rickrich says:

    9 months ago

    Bought a new machine. Loaded Fedora 19 on it. Still have the trouble where columns only take from 1 to 6. I need one row and eight columns!!!!!

  9. hernejj says:

    11 months ago

    jadekraut, yep, knwon issues with the row indicator bars not always drawing correctly. I have a temporary fix checked into git with a much better solution coming with the next release of Cinnamon. I'll try to get the temp fix rolled up into a release soon. In the mean time if anyone wants to resolve this issue please just restart Cinnamon: Alt+F2, type 'r' without the quotes and hit enter.

  10. jadekraut says:

    11 months ago

    Using LM 14, Cinnamon 1.6.7, single panel at the top: icon on the panel only reflects columns, never rows. Using Hot corner (which I prefer to turn off), I can see that changing the number of rows does indeed change the number of workspaces, but the number of rows is never reflected in the icon. For example, 2 columns, 3 rows does indeed create 6 worskspaces, but the icon only shows 2. 3 columns, 2 rows does indeed create 6 workspaces, but the icon only shows 3. It always, only, reflects the columns. (I only need 2 workspaces, it's just that I was hoping to have 1 column with 2 rows, in order to take up less space on the panel.) Thanks for your work!

  11. hernejj says:

    11 months ago

    rickrich, do you have a need for more than 6x6?? I figured that was a safe bet for a maximum. In the "height" dimension adding more than 6 makes it quite difficult to distinguish between the indicator bars that tell you which row you are on. As far as moving it goes, I turn on panel edit mode and I have no trouble moving it.

  12. rickrich says:

    1 year ago

    1) I edited the souce and changed 6 to 8 in TWO places (need a one constant up front!) 2) I used edit in dconf-editor the value of org.cinnamon.enabled-applets with the help of a text editor. Since I use the classic layout (top+bottom panel) I also had to specify "panel2" by hand when editing the value because the applets, for the life of them, don't seem to indulge me when I drag them between panels.

  13. rickrich says:

    1 year ago

    Hmm, works nice, but: 1) cols 1 to 6 works, cols greater than 6 don't. 2) can't move it from the top panel to the bottom panel in Cinnamons Classic View. All applets can be moved except this one!

  14. Seadart says:

    1 year ago

    Update - It has suddenly started working!! I had already re-started the system and that had not helped. Tried for the umpteenth time and suddenly the screen cleared, the workspaces updated to 4 and all is good.

  15. Seadart says:

    1 year ago

    Cinnamon 64. Workspace grid and switcher does not work. On attempt to change number of workspaces whole system freezes; can only crash out!!!! Ugly!!

  16. MrMitch says:

    1 year ago

    one of the best applets, i wish it was the default behavior of the stock workspace applet

  17. hernejj says:

    1 year ago

    bondhuPaul, yes this is indeed anoying :) Cinnamon actually hard codes expo and scale bindings to 'switch-desktop-up' and 'switch-desktop-down'. I am able to repurpose those indings but when you manually set different key combinations yourself using Cinnamon preferences (or gnome preferences) you are actually just switching the bindings for 'switch-desktop-up' and 'switch-desktop-down'. Cinnamon really needs to stop abusing the 'switch...' bindings and just create their own. perhaps I'll whip up a patch to fix this and propose it to Clem.

  18. bondhuPaul says:

    1 year ago

    Sorry for the late reply. It works but, still getting in the way of Expo and Scale. Whatever I fix my expo-scale key binding to be grid-workspace grabs that for moving to up-down workspaces.

  19. hernejj says:

    1 year ago

    bondhuPaul, it works for me in Fedora 18 running Cinnamon 1.6.7.

  20. hernejj says:

    1 year ago

    Ok bondhuPaul, I've fixed it in Cinnamon 13 so I think you should be good to go. I'm still waiting for Fedora 18 to finish installing so I can test in your actual environment. Let me know how it works for you. If it fails, please some how capture and report the debugging output that can be found by pressing Alt+F2 then typing lg in the command line that pops up then hitting enter. Click the "Error" tab and look for any line that starts with "debug ... workspace-grid@hernejj". You can log it to a file with Cinnamon 1.6. using the Cinnamon Settings application, under the General section there is an option titled "Log LookingGlass output to ~/.cinnamon/glass.log (Requires Cinnamon Restart)". Sorry I do not have an easier method for capturing this data.

  21. hernejj says:

    1 year ago

    bondhuPaul, never mind :) I was able to reproduce this bug directly on Linux Mint 13 which is based on ubuntu 12.04. I, myself, have been running Ubuntu 12.10. The exact method used to register keybindings appears to have changed. Hang in there and I'll find a solution. I'm downloading a Fedora-18 ISO so I can test it there too. Thanks for reporting this!! it is likely that many users will run into this problem if not fixed.

  22. hernejj says:

    1 year ago

    bondhuPaul, what is the problem you are seeing? After you enable the applet your ctrl+alt+up and ctrl+alt+down keys are still bringing up expo and scale and NOT switching your desktop row?

  23. bondhuPaul says:

    1 year ago

    Hello hernejj. Its cinnamon version 1.6.7. in Fedora 18.

  24. hernejj says:

    1 year ago

    Hi bondhuPaul, what version of Cinnamon are you running? (from termainal, execute command cinnamon --version)

  25. bondhuPaul says:

    1 year ago

    It seems 'changing row' is bound with 'expo and scale applet'. Is it the case or am I facing some aberration? Since its only the initial version, I'n sure it'll get better. Thanks.