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.
sudo service lightdm restart. Rerun
ccsmto enable the new plugin
warning please see this Q&A as to potential stability issues using CCSM
As of 12.04 you can not move the launcher, and there’s no official support for that.
I think the report actually meant that the launcher should be movable to other edges of the screen. I’m afraid that won’t work with our broader design goals, so we won’t implement that. We want the launcher always close to the Ubuntu button.
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:
I am just expressing Mark’s/Canonical’s statements and point of view. While I do understand the design choice, and I do agree with a side launcher, I certainly do not agree with the decision of not being able to move it. But I’m just a messenger. Don’t shoot the messenger.
There are unofficial, third-party packages that allow you to move the launcher. This other answer covers that in great depth.
You can, at least, have some control over the launcher in a multi-monitor setup:
(image edited from Ubuntu Vibes)
I think the report actually meant that the launcher should be movable to other edges of the screen. I'm afraid that won't work with our broader design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always close to the Ubuntu button.
As an alternative, you can use Cairo-Dock :
Cairo-Dock is a pretty, fast and customizable desktop interface. You can see it as a good alternative/addition to Unity, Gnome-Shell, Xfce-panel, KDE-panel, etc After 6 months of hard work, a new version of Cairo-Dock is available (Source: http://www.glx-dock.org/).
This is a screenshot of my Cinnamon desktop (as you can see the launcer is at the bottom):
As you can see, Linux is full about choices!
If you are using Ubuntu 16.04 you can run the following command in terminal to move the unity launcher to the bottom:
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Bottom
If you want it in the default location (left of the screen), run:
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Left
You can also use Unity Tweak Tool to move the launcher to the bottom.
First install Unity Tweak Tool with the following line from a terminal (ctrl+alt+t)
sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool
after that you can open it from dash or command line.
You will be greeted by the following window where you need to access the Starter (called Launcher in english) tab (see arrow):
In the starter tab then you will see the option to move the Launcher to the bottom (see arrow in following picture):