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I don't really need a search driven application menu - particularly with a 'null' front page offering me email and web browser. Can I just hook in a simple application menu here in any way? (giving the effect of going straight to 'more apps')?

One of the comments below links to a list of alternative supported desktop environments - What different DE's / shells are available? which I think may be very relevant, but having been bitten before by Ubuntu changing their preferences (media player, photo manager) I'm keen to see if there are any ways to improve the customisation of the current flavour-of-the-month desktop.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I found the answer, at least party...

Adding Cardapio to the launcher gives me what I was looking for, just have to find a way to kill dash-home now.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cardapio-team/unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cardapio
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It sounds like you want something like the Applications menu from GNOME 2. In Ubuntu 11.10 (which I assume you're using), you can install GNOME Shell from the Ubuntu Software Center, then log out and select the GNOME Classic session.

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I tried gnome classic, and it seemed a bit broken. I am assuming it is not likely to see any future development. I am looking for a solution which will continue to work with 12.04, and even 13.04. Unity seems to have lots of things that I have to fix, and lots of bugs, but it seems that either I stick with it, or find a different distro. – Sean Houlihane Oct 17 '11 at 10:56
@SeanHoulihane Okay, sorry it didn't help. There are plenty of other alternatives you can try though that are also menu-based and still actively supported, such as LXDE and KDE. You can look at an available list of options here. – Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 17 '11 at 12:14

Not really. There's not a lot of "customizability" in Unity yet. You could disable from the launcher and have it run something more useful to you.

Honestly, the behavior you want sorta exists in Unity in 11.10. If you hit "tab" after "Super", you'll find a "most frequently used" set of options (it's the Applications tab in 11.04).

Like Gnome3, you can only go so far adjusting Unity at this point. I would suggest classic mode for you, if it doesn't work. You can get a dockbar on the left with one of many programs (Docky, Cairodock, Gnome-do, etc), and can use the same switcher choices (Compiz) in that mode.

Really, if you go into (you may need to install it) CompizConfig Settings Manager and check out the Unity Plugin... the controls in that plug-in are the only things you'd lose when going to Classic Mode.

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