What You Said: How You Take Advantage of Virtual Desktops

By Jason Fitzpatrick on May 4th, 2012


Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite virtual desktop tips and now we’re back to highlight them. Read on to see how your fellow readers take advantage of virtual desktops.

Virtual desktops allow you to easily set up discrete workspaces by virtualizing the desktop space. Whether they have have a single monitor or multiple monitors, readers weighed in on how using virtual desktops helped them.

Metril writes:

I use Actual Window Manager. It has the ability to create grids and have virtual desktops at the same time. I usually have several PuTTY sessions open, so I give those their own virtual desktop. So, as soon as I open a session, it’s immediately organized by the session name. No need for any PuTTY managers with this.

I usually have anywhere from 10 to 30 windows opened; whether it be same program or different programs. So, it’s very helpful to have my taskbar change to reflect the virtual desktop I’m on and only reflect the immediately accessible open windows. Of course, I keep my Windows taskbar universal and have it show me everything.

Virtualization combined with a grid system is a nice combination, for sure. Katsume Blisk explains the benefit of using virtual desktops like multiple monitors:

I use them sort of like multiple monitors. I’ll keep certain things open so that I don’t have to minimize to switch documents. Alt+Tab is good if you only have 2 things, but when it’s more than that, workspaces are much better. Plus, I can multitask like others have said.

Citrus Rain expands on the idea of swapping desktops for tasks:

I use it to keep windows opened according to the tasks I am doing. I love using Gnome 3′s dynamic count of virtual desktops. Never have any I don’t need, (and added a window switcher plugin so I can switch windows faster)

Currently, I’ve been having it like this:
Desktop 1: Minecraft, Chromium(Google+, Minecraft Wiki)
Desktop 2: Bluefish, Filezilla, Chromium(Google+, site I’m working on, phpMyAdmin page I’m working on, and code lookups)
Desktop 3: Google+, Psi, Shutter

Hit up the the full comments thread to see what other applications HTG readers are using.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/4/12
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