Ubuntu – How to tell what workspace I am in with Unity


Long time user of Ubuntu struggling to use Unity here….

I am running Unity 2D and can click on the workspace launcher icon to switch to a different workspace. However if I just walk up to a system, how can I tell by looking what workspace I am on?

Is the launcher icon supposed to change when you change workspace? Is there an indicator applet for this I can install? I am used to the old Gnome workspace switcher in the middle of the top panel!

Best Answer


This functionality is now inbuilt within 13.04 and later - the launcher workspace icon shows which workspace you are currently on:



12.10 and previous

enter image description here


To do this, first install the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:geod/ppa-geod

Update and install:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-workspaces

12.04 onwards

The PPA author does not have a preprepared package for 12.04 and later. However, you can download the same deb-package used in 11.10 and install that.

Download the v0.6.2.2 deb package

Install the prerequisite:

sudo apt-get install python-wnck

how to start

Finally add indicator-workspaces to your startup-applications (search in Dash for this) if the installation hasn't already added this:

enter image description here

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