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I have already reduced the Unity launcher icons to 32 but still the space is exhausted already with my most-used programs. Basically I have to scroll often in the unity launcher bar with is annoying.

So far (Ubuntu 10.04) I had those icons as mini ones in the top panel (smaller icons and wider space) where they could fit all.

I was thinking already of sub-launchers or something the like but could not find something like the drawer was in Gnome 2.

I am using Ubuntu at home and in the office. I am a consultant and need a lot of stuff on a regular basis. To put links at the desktop does not make sense because of the many windows that I usually have open there is hardly ever a piece of the desktop looking through.

How do you - power users get keep most-used programs at reach (and I mean <= 2 clicks away)?

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I have only Nautilus, gnome-terminal and the workspace switcher in the launcher, so I can use the rest of the space for task switching. For the remaining most used I employ synapse (hitting F12 and keying 1-2 letters is OK for me). –  aquaherd Apr 2 '12 at 22:01
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5 Answers 5

the search feature in unity's dash is actually very powerful for launching applications it's easy to launch by pressing the super key (windows key on most keyboards) and then just begin typing the application's name as long as the application you want is the first result shown you can press enter and it will launch it

by example i press super and then type "ter" and the first result is terminal, and there are some other results, but i press enter and terminal opens

you can also use the mouse to click the dash button to launch it (rather than the super key) and if your desired program comes up 2nd or 3rd (or anything but first) you can just click it to launch it, rather than the first result being launched when you press enter

i personally find this handy and i only have maybe one or two icons pinned to the launcher itself and i open the rest from the dash's search so that my launcher will only really show me the applications that are currently running and not clutter with too many shortcuts

it's also handy to use the super+w shortcut to show all active windows in an expose like display

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This is how I do it. Before this it was Synapse, and before that, it was GNOME-Do. –  zpletan Apr 2 '12 at 23:50
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This is fixed in 12.04 by placing recent applications in the first part of the dash. Now, I only have applications locked to the launcher for the shortcuts since the dash actually does provide two-click access to all the frequent applications. Actually, in reality, I use search. That's faster for me than clicking on icons.

However, what you refer to as "Gnome 2" isn't actually Gnome 2. It's a program called Gnome Panel. This is still available in Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04, and can easily be used with Unity, for instance to have a bottom panel with lots of tiny icons. The drawer doesn't seem to be installed by default with Gnome Panel 3, however. But if you're going to use the panel for icons only anyway, that's probably not too important.

You'll find the gnome-panel package in the repositories; http://apt.ubuntu.com/p/gnome-panel

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Personally, I use @nyne's answer, but it sounds like you just want more launcher bars or a small launcher bar, possibly on the bottom. I recommend Docky, but many people also like Avant Window Navigator (AWN); though there are many more, those are the two "main" docks besides Unity's.

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I recommend sticking launchers of default applications like (Totem, LibreOffice Writer & Calc, Home folder, Firefox, Terminal, Software center...) And use the dash to launch your other applications, using the keyboard :

SUPER+A (Keyboard shortcut for Unity Dashboard Applications Lens)

if I decide to stick my frequently used apps in the launcher, then, 3 or 4 launchers would not be enough. Yet, if you want to break the Unity experience and see yourself not using the dashboard anyway, use DOCKY as a secondary launcher: http://wiki.go-docky.com/index.php?title=Screenshots

DOCKY

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or awn launcher –  user49523 Apr 3 '12 at 2:57
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Check out a new application: Drawers

enter image description here

http://www.iloveubuntu.net/how-easily-group-items-featuring-their-own-mini-dash-unity-launcher-drawers

http://www.iloveubuntu.net/create-bundles-files-and-folders-unity-launcher-fancy-drawers-ppa-available

you can add the ppa by doing

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ian-berke/ppa 
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install drawers

Just type Drawers into the Dash to get started. It'll create a drawer launcher in ~/.local/share/applications which you can place on the launcher/dock. Then drag and drop anything you want to it (documents, folders, applications, web-urls). Left-Clicking opens up a mini-dash with icons for each file, while right-clicking opens up a quicklist. Right clicking items in the open drawer allows you to edit their name or execution command. Left clicking launches them with their default application.

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