I can’t get used to the new Unity system. I’d like to move the left Unity panel to the bottom of screen (like Windows 7 – more similar is better).
But I can't find a way. Is it possible?
There is now an unofficial Compiz Plugin that allows you to move the Unity 3D (not Unity 2D) launcher from the left to the bottom.
warning please see this Q&A as to potential stability issues using CCSM
12.04 and newer
As of 12.04 you can not move the launcher, and there’s no official support for that.
I interpret that as a stand that a consistent design must be experienced as a Unity (pun intended), or it won't work at all.
While I personally disagree with Mark’s/Canonical’s decision not to provide a way to move the launcher (please read my final note on this), I do understand the design choice: it truly makes sense for it to be on the side and not at the bottom. Most users today have a widescreen monitor, and virtually all monitors for sale, specially for end-user consumer market, are widescreen too. That means the vast majority of users have lots of extra horizontal space (mostly underused), while vertical space is premium.
Most apps and websites do not use your whole screen width (check the large vertical background bars in both sides of screen of Ask Ubuntu, for example). But they do use the full vertical length (actually, they scroll 3, 5, 10 times your screen height). Meaning lots and lots of scrolling. And then you subtract title bar, menu bar, favorites bar, tabs bar, etc., all of them sucking up your precious vertical space. So adding the launcher on top/bottom would make things even worse, while there’s plenty of extra, “idle” horizontal space.
There is an ongoing, strong movement in app development, specially browsers, towards reducing the number of bars and merging them together. Think about how Firefox changed in this regard in the last few years. So it makes sense for an OS to do the same.
True, Windows’ panel is a well-crafted one… but the design choice of Unity to put it at side and not the bottom is a wise one, once you get used to it. And it’s worth doing so. Your mouse wheel will say thanks ;)
That said, some important notes:
(image edited from Ubuntu Vibes)
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