Is there any way I can run the Unity dashboard (or something similar, like Bolt for Gnome 3) in Gnome Fallback?


Yes there is. You can run unity-2d-shell , just type Alt+F2 then enter in unity-2d-shell and it will give you the Unity 2d launcher and dashboard. To start it on start-up How to start applications at startup?

Here is a picture of my Gnome fallback (no-effects) session using the unity dash- enter image description here

Unfortunately the dash is built into the launcher. But you can auto-hide the launcher, and turn down the reveal sensitivity so it be harder to show unless you access the dash.

I found a way to hack it so the launcher does not appear,

  1. Open the shell.qml to edit, paste this in terminal

    gksudo gedit /usr/share/unity-2d/shell/Shell.qml

  2. Find this code in the file, scroll down a bit-

    LauncherLoader {
            id: launcherLoader
            anchors.top: parent.top
            anchors.bottom: parent.bottom
            width: 65
  3. Change the width: 65 to width: 1

  4. If you had the unity-2d-shell running while making the changes, in terminal do
    killall unity-2d-shell then type Alt+F2 and enter unity-2d-shell to see the change, now the launcher is out of the way, and you can still acess the dash with the Meta (windows) key.

  • why using Gnome-fallback and Unity Dashbord ? to get the Gnome Application interface ? or for performance ? is it lighter than Unity 2D ? – Boris Aug 4 '12 at 22:02
  • 1
    @Boris currently I am using unity-2d-shell in xubuntu which is way ligher, also there are several "Issues" with unity that are not fixable like full screen windows merging with the top panel, which also makes the buttons break on certain themes, themes that would otherwise work perfectly in gnome-fallback, there are also ways of using other docks or bars with parts of the unity interface that would otherwise not be possible in just unity. – Mateo Aug 4 '12 at 22:08

You can run Unity3D or Unity2D. But if you run Gnome "classic", you'll need something different. If it's just the dashboard you're missing, and not the other features, then there are several alternatives, called "docks", that may start a battle by naming, but I'm an old soldier, so here are the ones I know about:

Avant Window Navigator (also known as AWN), is in the repository and works well with Gnome classic, with or without Compiz;

Cairo Dock, in two flavors (GLX Dock with openGL, and standard Cairo Dock);

Docky, a fairly simple dock that I haven't really used.

There are others, but if you search for either Gnome Docks, or the ones I mentioned, I'm sure you'll be led to many others.

You can also add the Cardapio menu to some of these, or use it by itself. I is a very nice menu system, with pinned items, grouped apps, and a very nice search where you can press a hotkey to trigger the menu, then type one or two keys to find the app, and usually press return. For example, if you want to run gparted, you can press the hotkey, type "gp", return. For me, if I want to run VirtualBox, Windows XP, I just need to type "XP", return and it runs.

  • 1
    No I dont need a launcher, just a dash (hopefully with the lenses). Im currently using Cairo Dock. – Evey Jun 30 '12 at 19:05

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