What's the official name for that area on the top of the screen, similar to the Mac Menu Bar, where you see icons representing running apps?
Its a PANEL. And you might have asked about the Notification Area applet of the top panel. Or maybe the Indicator applet
Righ-click on some of its icons: if they all have the same options "About", "Remove from Panel", "Move" and "Lock" (or "Unlock"), its the
If each icon has its own options, its the
And Ive said "a" panel and not "the" panel, because in Ubuntu/Gnome you can have several panels. Each panel have several applets.
Ubuntu (Desktop) comes with 2 panels: one at the top, and one at the bottom.
The top one has, by thefault, these applets:
- The Gnome/Ubuntu main menu - Menu, Places and System
- Some default launchers (like Firefox and Help).
- The Notification Area, that shows icons of some running apps (like Skype)
- The Indicator Applet, that also shows icons, not of apps, but more like system indications, like wi-fi, battery, volume, etc
- The Clock
- The User Menu (Login, Logoff, Switch User, Shutdown, etc)
The bottom one, for reference, has
- The "Show Desktop" icon
- The Window List, that shows the windows of running apps
When you ask about "running apps", you could be asking about the Notification Area, the Indicator Applet, or the Window List. All of them are, in a way, "icons of running apps".
In Gnome "notification area"; generally (from KDE) "system tray" (shortly "systray").