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Is virgo the smallest virtual desktop manager ever?

16 July 2015, Mike Williams

virgoWhen you’re regularly trying out new software, it’s important to look for anything odd or unusual, any sign that a program might not be what it seems.

The Windows “virtual desktop manager” virgo seemed like a great example. A 3.7KB download? Which unpacked to a single 8KB executable? There had to be something wrong here. Surely?

Well, no. And apologies to the developer, because virgo is entirely legitimate, a real, open source virtual desktop manager for Windows, crammed into the most lightweight of frames.

Virgo’s interface is basic, as you’d expect. It adds a tiny icon to your system tray, showing the current desktop number, and that’s it.


Virgo is open source, and so simple you might be able to tweak the code yourself. (No, really.)

The program supports four desktops, and you can switch between them by pressing Alt+1…4.

Moving the current window from one desktop to another is as easy as pressing Ctrl+ the new desktop number.

There’s no way to change these hotkeys, but if they conflict with something else then you can turn them off for a while by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S. Use the same hotkey later to turn them back on.

That is the complete feature set, but virgo’s simplicity – and the fact that it’s open source – means anyone with the smallest amount of coding experience can tweak it for themselves. If you can guess what this line from its code means, for instance…

#define NUM_DESKTOPS 4

…Then you can probably also figure out how to make it support 8 desktops, instead.

Virgo is available now for Windows XP and up.

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