The Workspace Switcher icon on Ubuntu Unity’s Launcher is a waste of space if you’re used to using keyboard shortcuts.
Workspace Switcher is un-customizable, it’s hard coded to unity and cannot be removed without hacking source code.

Option 1:

Thanks to TualatriX, the developer of ubuntu-tweak who modified the code and added it into his personal PPA:

I’m not good at compiling codes and even not willing to spend time on it. So I tried this in Ubuntu 12.04 daily build. Installed (packages here):


Missing dependencies can be fixed by Synaptic.

Option 2:

If you’d like modifying the code and rebuild unity by yourself, follow the steps from askubuntu:

Make sure you have the package dpkg-dev installed

sudo apt-get install dpkg-dev

To modify the code and compile it your self you need to do the following

mkdir ~/code
cd ~/code
mkdir build
cd build
sudo apt-get source unity
cd unity*

Open plugins/unityshell/src/LauncherController.cpp with your favorite text editor, ie:

gksudo nano plugins/unityshell/src/LauncherController.cpp

Locate the lines

_num_workspaces = WindowManager::Default()->WorkspaceCount();
if (_num_workspaces > 1)

Change them to

/*_num_workspaces = WindowManager::Default()->WorkspaceCount();
if (_num_workspaces > 1)

Build the package

sudo apt-get build-dep unity
sudo debuild -us -uc

Wait for it to finish and install when done

cd ..
sudo dpkg -i unity*.deb libunity*.deb netbook*.deb