Individual Wallpapers Per Desktop

With the use of multiple desktops, having individual wallpapers per desktop as a native function of Mate would be hugely appreciated. (It was a feature in another desktop environment, (KDE4), but was sadly dropped by developers for Plasma 5.x)

Are there any plans to implement this function?


Do you know why they dropped it?

This was the original developer comment, after which there was a massive outcry. Who knows what's happening now. I'm not going to comment further on the general demeanour or attitude as this is a Mate forum.. :slight_smile:

XFCE allow you to have different wallpapers too.

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Indeed it does, and has done for years.. :slight_smile: Hoping Mate is able to do the same via Marco/Compton.

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Good idea, i’d have loved having a different wallpaper for each workspace before i got habituated to looking at the whatsit-bar to see which one is lit up. Even something simple like a different background color can make it easier to recognize the mess of windows you have open.

Back in ubuntu-oneiric days i tweaked the greeter screen so it would tell me which of the several systems i was running at the time, and had some other goodies on it like how long since boot.

Niceities are really nice, once the basics are solid.

That is why i use "window list in top panel within showing window only on current desktop and plank/cairo-dock who allow me to show all opened windows.
By a way, Compiz and hot corners can help to quickly access to all opened windows and desktop (by enabling "expo" and "scale"

Too complex for me by far, i just look at the whatsit-bar and poke the icon for the workspace i want.

This is why we use Linux and Ubuntu MATE i guess : Adaptability :grinning:

This is the very reason I use Compiz. As Scale is currently set, all I have to do is move the cursor to the upper right hand corner to see and pick any opened window, from any desktop, including minimized windows. I find it to be a extremely quick way to pick windows.

So, just to clarify: are these different wallpapers per desktop more for aesthetic reasons or do they provide any other benefit — like mentioned above to better distinguish the various desktops I guess. Any other merits?

Yes, this is the main reason for many xfce users. But look and feel also.

Now, i mostly use Compton, but what i also love with this distro, it is the ability to change absolutely everything, including kind of "desktop paradigms" .
But, i have noticed with compiz, that i cannot always get "exposed" every minimized windows . Maybe i am mistaking but is there any setting in Compiz settings manager to custom to get those working each time ?
Anyway, i will try again. This not the main subject of this post and brokencanoe is gonna loose his subject.
thanks for sharing anyway !

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Agreed, message sent.

Seems all the search results give instructions on how to do so with the compiz wallpaper plugin. Not finding anything for Marco or Compton.

It should be possible with some scripting. And such scripts may be lurking around the web. I’m a bit rusty on my bash. Haven’t done any for 7 months but I could give it a try over the weekend.

The downsides are:

  1. You would have to disable all workspace-based keyboard shortcuts on System->Preferences->Hardware->Keyboard Shotcuts and recreate them on the same place by adding new keyboard shortcuts (could be the same key combination you used previously) and call as their command the script with a option. e.g. n, p 1, 2, etc.

  2. The different wallpapers would have to be defined somewhere. Preferably a configuration file for the script with one wallpaper relative path to the home folder, per line, representing workspaces 1, 2, 3 etc.

  3. The first point has some significance because at least on my MATE 1.16.1, manually created keyboard shortcuts not always respond when all focus was lost on the desktop. I sometimes have to click on a window or open a quick terminal window (because the desktop panels don’t work as focused windows so it doesn’t matter if I click there), in order for a focus to be re-established and manually created keyboard shortcuts start registering again. Just a FYI.

  4. You have a script messing around with your MATE configuration. Searching its contents and altering it. Things can go wrong.

  5. The script will not be able to set other configurations like position, and size of the wallpaper. This can be done by giving the script more options. But I would only do that later.

Is this interesting to anyone?


reply sent, thanks again

It’s certainly interesting, although I would not ask you to put work into this if there’s a chance it could at some point be done natively. Having different wallpapers per desktop is really useful to me because it’s easier for me to immediately see what workspace I’m on. (Visually impaired, so common backgrounds add another layer of visual checks to my work).