Elementary Os Workspaces

Hi, so I am a complete noob to linux, I have installed elementary os juno, and just have a question about workspaces.

At first I really liked the idea of them, but they don’t seem to work how I would expect, and with no frame of reference im not sure if it’s an elementary specific thing or just my thoughts on how they’d work being wrong.

So the specific issue I have is I might have Firefox open on a workspace, then I start a new workspace, and open up Firefox. I thought it would open a completely separate instance, but it just loads up another tab on Firefox in the other workspace. The dock also seems to follow the workspaces round and not be separate for each workspace.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

I cannot help you with the Firefox behavior because I do not use Elementary but I know you can adjust settings for the dock, it is called Plank. There must be an option to change the default behavior to show only apps that are open on each workspace instead of showing them all.
As I do not use this desktop I am not sure where to find the preferences for it but I think there are somewhere in the ‘Elementary Control Center’ or maybe even a right click on the dock.

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Interesting, I’ll check it out, thanks!

Workspaces work differently depending on the DE so for example in GNOME and KDE Plasma they work quite differently from elementary as well.

In the case of Firefox, this is a default behavior of Firefox because having multiple instances is not a recommended option due to the fact that it wouldn’t solve any issue that you couldn’t do with a separate window instead.

So if you want to have a separate instance then you will need to right click the icon and there might be a New Instance option. I dont use elementaryOS to know for sure but it is an option in KDE Plasma to do that so it should be available in elementary as well.

However, with that said, I would recommend looking into Container Tabs in Firefox because those are WAY MORE useful than having a total other instance which requires another profile be created.

I created a video about my 7 Reasons that Firefox is my favorite browser with Container Tabs being #1 and here is the link directly to that portion of the video

With that said, I think workspaces are very useful but for different types of tasks with different applications loaded rather than having the same app loaded on multiple workspaces.


Thanks very much, that’s really informative. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me with the Firefox thing, it was more that I was just playing around and thought I’d try and keep my activities separate, which is how I think I’d find workspaces useful for me.

So I was thinking on one workspace, I’m trying to teach myself python, so I’d have pycharm and a browser open, then another workspace I might have some general stuff open, like a music player and some random browsing, that sort of thing, so that was my main reason for having a separate instance of the browser open.

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Ah yes, turns out it was just as simple as opening the browser in a new window on one workspace, then dragging it into the new workspace as @astronautsupplier suggested. Then it seems separated as i’d expected.

Thanks Again!