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I want to auto-start unity-launcher in a stand alone session without loading the top panel with it, like in this picture:

unity-launcher only

So how to do this?

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surely this is virtually identical to your question you've already asked?… – fossfreedom Apr 6 '12 at 23:30

That setup is actually using the Unity 2D launcher. The Unity launcher and top panel are tied together in a Compiz plugin and can not be used separately. Luckily, the 2D launcher aims to be nearly identical to the normal one.

In order to use the Unity 2D launcher with a different panel, you need to create a custom session which you will load a login time.

First you need to create a desktop file that LightDM will read. Open your new file with a terminal using:

gksu gedit /usr/share/xsessions/custom-session.desktop

Then add this text:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Custom Session
Comment=This is my custom desktop

This will add a new login option to the login screen. It will run the contents of /usr/local/bin/custom-session Now create that file:

gksu gedit /usr/local/bin/custom-session


if test -z "$DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS"; then
eval `dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session`
compiz --replace ccp & wmpid=$!
sleep 1
if [ -f ~/.custom-session ]; then
source ~/.custom-session &
xterm &
wait $wmpid

This will launch a compiz and run the contents of ~/.custom-session which will define the other programs you want to have started. But first, lets make this executable:

sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/custom-session

Now we'll create ~/.custom-session:

gedit ~/.custom-session

Now we'll add the programs that need to run on login:

gnome-settings-daemon &
unity-2d-panel &
nautilus -n &
nm-applet &

You'll also need to add what ever program you want to provide the top panel to that file.

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I have already made new session from this link and my question is about how to only start unity-launcher only without panel – Black Block Apr 7 '12 at 7:13

You can add the unity launcher to any desktop environment! Currently I am using it with Xubuntu.

enter image description here

unity-2d-launcher changed to unity-2d-shell. Key Alt+F2 and type unity-2d-shell .

To launch it at session startup run gnome-session-properties and click "Add" then name it something like "unity" and then add unity-2d-shell to command box, then click "add" then close, log out or restart to see if it takes effect.

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Why i didn't think of this before ?

I have replaced unity-2d-panel & with unity-2d-launcher & and it works,

But how to replace it with unity-3d launcher (I thinks it can't happen as @andrewsomething says

The Unity launcher and top panel are tied together in a Compiz plugin and can not be used separately

then how to control unity 2d-launcher in this session?

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Please add more details for being this as an answer. such as where did you actually do, and also remove the question. if you think, the answer is not completed yet, try to get the answer of the remaining unsolved question and then write an answer. thanks – Anwar Shah Jul 21 '12 at 16:40

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