Informal survey: multiple desktops

Peter Alcibiades palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Wed May 2 17:32:24 EDT 2018


Yes, I use them and so do the people for whom I have installed Linux.  

My own use is with Fluxbox on Debian.  I have six or more depending, and
generally start up each app on a new desktop.  Fluxbox also allows you to
put open apps into tabs on one desktop, which is useful if working on
multiple sources of data while writing a document citing them or drawing on
them, and I use that when its useful.  The other nice thing with Fluxbox is
that dragging a window off screen moves it to the next desktop.  So since
all my applications are on shortcuts I often just open in one desktop and
drag.

Others, I now install Debian with MATE, that being the closest thing to the
last good version of Gnome before the Gnome people lost their senses.   MATE
is brilliant, and if you have not tried it, do. Never a single question
after the first introduction about how to do things in it.  It just gets out
of the way. I don't like a conventional desktop which is why I use Fluxbox
myself, but if people want one or are used to one, MATE is the way to go for
them.

The first indicator that someone moving from Windows has integrated Linux is
that they start using multiple desktops spontaneously.  I have set up four,
explain how to make more if you want, and encourage them to also do one per
app, leaving the mail client and browser open all the time, for instance,
and working on documents on another desktop, and that is what they do. 

I set it up with the windows in the bottom panel in a row, so its easy to
glance and see where you are.

 The thing that makes them do it is when they see that the desktop you
temporarily leave stays exactly the same when you leave it and then come
back to it, and when they see you don't any longer have to find windows one
behind the other.  

I am careful to make sure they understand how to move a window from one desk
to another, tell which is where with the icons.  You have to take the time
and let people practice, but once they have got it, they wonder how they
managed without it.



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