An i3-Style Workspace Switcher for GNOME Shell

If you’re after an i3-style workspaces bar in GNOME Shell you need to check out the latest version of the Space Bar extension.

Inspired by (now defunct) Workspaces Bar, Space Bar replaces the Activities label in GNOME Shell’s top panel with an applet that shows numbers.

Each number is an available workspace, and the numbers appear/disappear based on how many workspaces you create. There’s a “+” at the end to add new workspaces.

Switching between workspaces is easy: just click on any workspace number/name (yup, you can rename workspaces) to jump to it; or scroll your mouse wheel over the top panel to change workspace (this behaviour can be limited to scrolling on the applet only):

An i3-Style Workspace Switcher for GNOME Shell
Space Bar in action with renamed workspaces

You rename any workspace in Space Bar. First switch to the space you want to relabel, then right-click on its number in the panel applet. This will open a pop-up menu with an entry field you can type in (and emoji is supported, FYI):

An i3-Style Workspace Switcher for GNOME Shell
Rename workspaces to suit your needs

Between the positioning and appearance options it’s easy to create a workspace switcher that fits in your tastes. The settings most will want to play with are background and text color for active workspaces, and the border radius of the highlight:

An i3-Style Workspace Switcher for GNOME Shell

You can click the “+” icon at the end of the workspace applet to create a new workspace or, if you’re happy doing that from the main overview, disable this button for a more flush, fitted appearance in the top bar.

This perfectly-formed GNOME extensions comes with clutch of features fine-tuned for those who favor workspace-heavy workflows, including:

  • Supports static and dynamic workspaces
  • Works with multi-monitor setups
  • Add, remove, and rename workspaces
  • Rearrange workspaces using drag and drop
  • Scroll between workspaces using mouse wheel
  • Customise style of workspace applet
  • Set position (and order) of workspace applet

The Space Bar extension supports GNOME 42, 43, and (yay) the latest GNOME 44 release.

• Get Space Bar on GNOME extensions

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