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How do I change my desktop so it looks like this again I haven’t used Ubuntu in awhile and found it annoying having this massive bar on the left taking up my screen space.

I liked Ubuntu because it was slim and simple. Anyway Its not the theme I’m after its the placement and functionality of the bars.

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Please specify the Ubuntu version you're using. You should probably use older Ubuntu version like Ubuntu 10.04 LTS if you don't like the Unity interface. – saji89 Oct 11 '12 at 7:21

In order to install the Gnome Classic Desktop as you see in the picture:

  1. Open Software Center
  2. Edit -> Software Sources
  3. Make sure the check box with (universe) is checked.
  4. Close the dialog and let it update if it needs to
  5. Search the Software Center for gnome-session-fallbackInstall gnome-session-fallback and install it
  6. Log out, hit the Ubuntu logo next to your username and select "Gnome Classic".
  7. After login you'll be at the original Gnome desktop.
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The left side bar is part of Ubuntu Unity interface. It can't be removed, unless you switch to another desktop environment. You should probably use older Ubuntu version like Ubuntu 10.04 LTS if you don't like the `Unity interface.
The other options are:

  1. Use one of the different Ubuntu flavours, such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu or Lubuntu. You can install their desktops on top of Ubuntu, and then choose your preference at the login screen.
  2. Use a different distribution, such as Linux Mint.


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+1 - I'm using Xubuntu since some time now (2 years maybe) to replace Unity and it is working very well using an interface very similar to Gnome 2. I used the gnome-session-fallback in the beginning but found it not working very well and incomplete. Kubuntu and Lubuntu are different from gnome 2. I'm not saying they are bad but if you want something similar to the picture above, Xubuntu is the closest I found (and with many advantages as a bonus). – laurent Oct 11 '12 at 14:06

The Unity launcher bar can be set to auto-hide. Just go to system settings, appearance, behaviour tab, auto-hide the launcher = On

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