How to set up a 2x2 grid on Ubuntu 18.04 by/and manually installing a GNOME extension

9 minutes
5 months, 2 weeks ago
<h2><b>Contents</b></h2><div><p>1. Creating a 2x2 or multi-grid workspaces in Ubuntu 18.04</p><p>2. Manually installing a GNOME extension <br></p></div><h2><b>ELI5</b><br></h2><p>By default new versions of Ubuntu after 16.04 support only linear, vertical workspaces i.e. you can only switch b/w workspaces in a to and fro direction by Alt+Ctrl+ Up/Down keys.<br></p><p>This tutorial is about how you can get a multi-grid (2x2, 3X3, 2X3 ..nXn) workspaces in Ubuntu 18.04 or any Ubuntu version using GNOME.</p><h2><b>Introduction<br></b></h2><p><b>What is GNOME?</b></p><p>[GNOME](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME) stands for GNU Network Object Model Environment (or at least it used to) and it is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and a set of computer desktop applications for Linux users. <br></p><p>Up until Ubuntu 16.04 Unity user interface was used to create the Ubuntu GUI. It's important to mention that Unity wasn't a set of desktop applications unlike GNOME but was designed to use existing applications as one. <br></p><h2><b>Let's get started</b></h2><div><p>By default when you start working on Ubuntu 18.04 you're greeted with 1D, vertical workspaces. They look sleek but those of us used to the multi-grid workspaces these don't do the trick.</p><p><img src="https://res.cloudinary.com/downenz6b/image/upload/c_scale,w_800/v1538219279/tutorial/how-to-set-up-a-2x2-grid-on-ubuntu-1804-byand-manually-installing-a-gnome-extension/UI_Now.png"></p><h3><b>Step 1: Installing GNOME Tweak Too</b>l</h3><p>Go to the ```Applications Dock``` &gt; ```Ubuntu Softwares```</p><p>In the top panel, search for ```GNOME Tweaks```; this tool comes in very handy when you wish to tweak the GUI components in Ubuntu.</p><p><img src="https://res.cloudinary.com/downenz6b/image/upload/v1538219298/tutorial/how-to-set-up-a-2x2-grid-on-ubuntu-1804-byand-manually-installing-a-gnome-extension/gnome-tweak-tool.png"></p><p>Once installed, launch it/open it.</p><p>Although there's a lot that you can do with the GNOME Tweak tool, we're for now concerned with the ```Extensions``` section of it. It's the third from the top. Make sure you have extensions enabled.</p><h3><b>Step 2: Installing the Workspaces Grid extension</b></h3><p>A. The official project that we're going to use here is [Zakkak's Workspace-Grid](https://github.com/zakkak/workspace-grid) project.</p><p>You can install the code from [here](https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/484/workspace-grid/)</p><p>B. It is, however, important to know your shell version for this. To know your shell version,</p><p>Go to ```System Settings``` (dropdown on top-right corner) &gt; ```Details``` <br></p><p><img src="https://res.cloudinary.com/downenz6b/image/upload/q_50/v1538219405/tutorial/how-to-set-up-a-2x2-grid-on-ubuntu-1804-byand-manually-installing-a-gnome-extension/shell.png"></p><p>You can view your GNOME shell version against ```GNOME```. Mine is 3.28.2</p><p><img src="https://res.cloudinary.com/downenz6b/image/upload/v1538219290/tutorial/how-to-set-up-a-2x2-grid-on-ubuntu-1804-byand-manually-installing-a-gnome-extension/gnome.png"></p><h3><b>Step 3: Getting the UUID<br></b></h3><p>A. Once downloaded, extract the zip file named ```workspace-grid@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com.v27.shell-extension.zip```</p><p>B. The extracted file must be located in a single directory. From the extracted files, we need the ```uuid``` value that can be from the ```metadata.json``` file. <br></p><p>For me it's ```workspace-grid@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com```</p><p>C. Now, rename the folder where the extracted files are contained to the ```uuid``` value name i.e. ```workspace-grid@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com```</p><h3><b>Step 4: Installing the extension</b></h3><p>A. Move the directory ```workspace-grid@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com``` to ```~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/``` by</p><pre>$ mv workspace-grid@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<br></pre><p>B. Once there, restart the shell. This can be done by <br></p><p>```Alt + F2 ``` &gt; ```r ``` &gt; ```Enter```</p><p>C. Go to the GNOME Tweak tool, in the extensions section, you'll now see a new section for ```Workspace Grid```</p><p><img src="https://res.cloudinary.com/downenz6b/image/upload/v1538220547/tutorial/how-to-set-up-a-2x2-grid-on-ubuntu-1804-byand-manually-installing-a-gnome-extension/extensions.png"></p><p>Switch it on, and now you'll have a workspace grid ready. You can transverse it using Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down/Right/Left keys.</p><p>You can customize the no. of workspace grids you want by clicking on the cog wheel and selecting your desired dimensions.</p><p>I chose 3X3 grid and this is how it looks.</p><p><img src="http://res.cloudinary.com/downenz6b/image/upload/c_scale,w_800/v1538219587/tutorial/how-to-set-up-a-2x2-grid-on-ubuntu-1804-byand-manually-installing-a-gnome-extension/grid.png"></p><h2><b>Conclusion</b></h2><p>This is how you can change the linear workspace into a grid workspace on Ubutnu 18.04 by manually installing the GNOME extension.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><br></div>

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