Unfortunately, the Unity Launcher on the left hand side of the screen takes more valuable space away than the new menu bar gives.

Is there any way to get rid of the Launcher?

Alternatives I would be satisfied with include:

  • Not having the Launcher at all
  • Having the Launcher hide automatically
  • Having applications open on top of the Launcher (not next to it)

(edit:) Note that I am specifically looking for a way to keep the global menubar, while getting rid of the Launcher.


6 Answers 6


12.04 and later

From the Gear, choose System Settings

enter image description here

Double click the Appearance icon

enter image description here

Click the behaviour tab and then toggle the autohide option...

enter image description here

You can re-reveal the menu by pushing onto the left-hand side of the window or the top corner depending upon which option is shown as per the picture.

enter image description here


It should be possible to remove unity and use netbook-launcher-efl & ubuntu-netbook-efl-default-settings instead. This is the 2D version of the old launcher, which allows applications to open over it.

  • So, I can choose to log in with the "Ubuntu Netbook Edition 2D" desktop environment, is that similar to what you are talking about? The problem with it is that it doesn't have the global menu bar. Is it possible to have both? Oct 12, 2010 at 19:09
  • It is more or less what I was thinking, yes. And I guess it should be possible to change the panel to include the global menu bar. I'll try it when I upgrade my netbook... (actually, reinstall, as 4 GB isn't enough to do an upgrade ;) )
    – JanC
    Oct 13, 2010 at 6:18
  • I have made the same guess, but I can't seem to figure out how. If you look at it, I'd appreciate if you get back to me on it :) Oct 13, 2010 at 10:40
  • I tried it on a laptop that I use for experiments instead, but that shouldn't matter; basically you have to remove ubuntu-netbook-efl-default-settings after which you get the default panels from the desktop edition and the panels can be edited. Then I removed the bottom panel and added the appmenu to the top panel (and further customized it to fit my needs, e.g. replaced the main menu by the home button). I'm not 100% satisfied yet, but it will certainly improve usability when I upgrade my netbook soon. :-)
    – JanC
    Nov 6, 2010 at 2:50
  • In theory it should also be possible to create a replacement for ubuntu-netbook-efl-default-settings instead.
    – JanC
    Nov 7, 2010 at 3:31

You can do what I did and install a third party dock (I used DockBarX, but that isn't the easiest thing to install by itself), have that replace the Unity launcher bar and then comment out the script for the Launcher and change the shell to have a width of zero.

The end result is DockBarX with the Unity menu when you press the super key, and all of the other unity things. DockBarX can be replaced with any other dock such as tint or docky or etc etc.



To do this (note: I am running Ubuntu 12.04 so the steps may vary slightly), simply input

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

and edit line 45 as "width: 0"


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

and add a " /* " at the start of line 28 (possibly earlier) and a " */ " at the end of line 223.

  • You could also install openbox if you really like minimalism and screen space.
    – Fritz
    Mar 13, 2012 at 5:10
  • @fossfreedom I was looking for this, thanks! :) Do you also happen to know how to do this in Unity 3D? Would be nice.
    – Eti
    Apr 26, 2012 at 16:48
  • 1
    I think you needed to thank Fritz :) If you dont want the launcher then perhaps gnome-classic is your answer (askubuntu.com/questions/58172/how-to-revert-to-gnome-classic). If your question is how to hide the launcher - askubuntu.com/questions/9865/…. If in doubt - ask a question with what specifically you are looking for. Hope this helps.
    – fossfreedom
    Apr 26, 2012 at 18:17
  • Oh, my appologies, didn't look well at the names. Thank you Fritz!:) Anyway, I was curious if there is a way to completely disable the launcher in Unity. Hiding it leaves some annoying issues (like when I drag something, the bar reappears) and other desktops don't offer a nice, unified, top bar with appmenu integration. :) But as I said, it was mostly out of curiosity. Right now I guess I'll stick with Unity 2D.
    – Eti
    Apr 27, 2012 at 17:48

You can effectively remove the launcher through the CompizConfig Settings Manager. You may need to install it with:

apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Open CCSM > Ubuntu Unity Plugin.

If you want to simply autohide the toolbar, select "Autohide" in the Hide Launcher select box.

Additionally, if you wish to prevent it from appearing at all when approaching the edge of the screen, click the Reveal Mode button and deselect any sides it is configured to appear on. The laucher should be removed completely unless you press the super key.

This is tested to work in Ubuntu 11.10.

  • Additionally, if you only wish to autohide, then in Precise that will be in the Appearance options under System Settings, in the Behavior tab. This works for both 3D and 2D Unity.
    – zpletan
    Mar 13, 2012 at 1:33
  • There is no way to remove the launcher through ccsm. There is only "never hide" and "auto hide". How were you able to remove it?
    – jaorizabal
    Jul 6, 2012 at 12:27
  • Looks like this changed in 12.04. There used to be a reveal mode option, but now it appears that the best you can do is autohide, with sensitivity cranked down to low.
    – Brad Koch
    Jul 6, 2012 at 14:25

I have went into the CCSM and just turned it to auto hide. This way it is only out when I scroll over it..lol. You can do it in both unity 3d and 2d. You go to Ubuntu Unity Plugin. Then to the behavior tab. Now the hide launcher and click auto hide. Poof Gone!


After upgrading all the way from 10.04, I did not like at all the look of my desktop. The solution above did not work for me.

Here is my solution: Install gnome (using apt-get or synaptic)

Go to system > startup applications > add "gnome-panel"

Completely remove "unity" package and unity related packages. This is the one with the launcher.

Log out and log in again. You are now with a gnome panel that you can configure as you wish. If you upgraded from a version where you already had a panel. It will be already configured.

NOTE: If you have multiple users on your system, make sure they add gnome-panel to their startup application before you remove unity as administrator. If not, they will be left with no panel to navigate when they log on.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .