Automatically Run Three Instances of Internet Browsers on Different Virtual Workstation on Boot up - Rasberry Pi 16.04

Dear Ubuntu MATE Community,

I have got a Raspberry Pi 2 running Ubuntu Mate 16.04 on my TV. Running Mutiny desktop layout (Easy to use on TV layout).

I want the Pi 2 to boot up and open three separate instances of Firefox on three separate Virtual Workstation. This might decrease depending on what the pi can handle but I am still interested on the solution in general (PC). It does not have to be Firefox and it can be a mix match of internet browsers if required.

Instance One - Home CTV
Instance Two - Ticketing System Live Feed (Might require auto refresh solution - addons)
Instance Three - VOIP Calls System Live Feed (Might require auto refresh solution - addons)

I would like to be able to switch between workstations with easy keyboard combinations.

Is this possible on Ubuntu Mate or is it not. Or am i going about this all wrong?

Thanks for reading this Post.

Kind Regards,

Hi Paul,

couldn’t you just add the apps to “Startup Applications”?. :smiley:

There are at least two different solutions to open an App on a virtual Desktop aka Workspace:

  1. the program kstart
  2. the program wmctrl

Some syntax examples:
kstart --desktop 1 xterm -e ‘uname -a; read -p “”’
wmctrl -s 1; xterm
Which window is active ?
xprop -root _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW

Best Regards,


I have been busy with other important matters but thanks for all your feedback. Thanks to Wolfman and Peba.

Peba I have not reviewed your solution yet but I will do that before I have decide on a solution. As it might be better than the solution I have come up with.

Wolfman I have reviewed what you said and I think I can make it work but not tested it yet.

My solution is not using Virtual Workstations to resolve the issue. Instead just using one instance of the Firefox Browser. So I will put Firefox in “Startup Applications” and set the Home Page to be my Home CTV, Ticketing System, VOIP Calls System webpages.

Then enable a setting in Firefox to allow me to tab through the webpages using Ctrl+Tab. Details on this is on Firefox Forum:

I not sure a solution on refreshing but I am sure this will be easy to resolve with add-ons.

Another issue I might have is getting the browser to automatically sign me into these websites. I have in the past managed to do this using HTML code but I am not sure if it is possible with more than one website in different tabs.

HTML Code Example on resolving another issue on the Ubuntu Forums:

Nothing been tested yet but thanks for the support. I will try and review all post and keep you all updated with my progress.

Kind Regards,
Paul Serafini