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I recently upgraded my 11.04 to 11.10 and Unity took me by surprise. I quickly switched to 'GNOME' through the login screen, but I'm faced with some difficulties customizing it. Right click doesn't do anything when I click either the task bar, or the application launcher at the top. I don't seem to have any application launcher except for the dropdown 'Applications' menu.

I am using ubuntu in a virtualbox environment, so prefer a 2d theme. How can I do the following:

  • Combine launcher and task bar into a single bar at the bottom of the screen
  • Double task bar size (and preferably also icons)
  • Provide a launcher on the task bar

(Essentially, I'm looking for a Windows 7 style task bar if something like that exists?)

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I think the Unity launcher is the most similar thing I've ever found to Windows 7 taskbar.. But if you look at my answer, you'll see that it's perfectly possible to use the same desktop as in earlier versions of Ubuntu. Some applets may not have been ported yet, though, but the default ones are available. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Dec 21 '11 at 20:33
This should be split up into your individual questions, as some things you ask already have answers on the site. – Jorge Castro Dec 21 '11 at 22:52

GNOME has also changed it's interface in Ubuntu 11.10. The new interface for GNOME 3 is called "GNOME Shell". Unfortunately it is nowhere near as customizable as GNOME 2.

You can install GNOME Extensions to try and restore some of the more "traditional" functionality:

The extension "Frippery Bottom Panel" for example, would give you a task bar listing your applications:

Otherwise I suggest trying XFCE, which is much more similar to the old GNOME.

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That is not true. The old shell is still available. This is Gnome 3 in Ubuntu 11.10, for instance: As you can see, it's just as customizable as it's ever been. You don't have to choose between Gnome Shell and Unity. You can use the same shell as we've always used before. It's called Gnome Panel and has been upgraded to Gnome 3. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Dec 21 '11 at 20:23
How do you explain this answer (from a Ubuntu developer no less):… Unless you're using GNOME 3 fallback mode, I haven't tried it. – xort372 Dec 21 '11 at 20:28
What Gnome calls "Fallback" is actually just the normal shell we've used for years in Ubuntu, upgraded to Gnome 3. Remember that the shell is a very small part of Gnome. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Dec 21 '11 at 20:30

That is a common misconception. In reality, there's no radical changes in the panels with Gnome 3. It's just that you now have to hold the alt-key when you right-click. That will display the same menu, allowing you to add/remove panels and applets. To move a panel applet, you press alt+super+middleclick and drag. (I think super is a bug. It should only require alt). Another change is that applets are now grouped on either the left, center or right part of the panel. Also, the system menu has been moved to the user menu on the right side of the screen because we now have gnome-control-center, which removes the need to have a special menu with all the settings.

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