55

Just moved from Unity to GNOME with the update to Ubuntu 17.10. There is a HUGE amount of wasted space at the top of the screen, when an application is open.

Evolution and Firefox both have four "bars" with 90% of each empty. Unity, to its credit was able to blend / mix these horizontal bars so there was only one / two.

Four is way too much. If this is GNOME I may carry on with Unity for the next six months.

Can anybody suggest a tweak/change/fix for this?

  • 8
    There is nothing like Unity for efficient screen space utilization. ...and welcome to Gnome 3. :~) – mikewhatever Oct 20 '17 at 11:15
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    Thanks MIke...... I have a feeling that I may be going back to Unity sometime soon. I'll give it a week or so and see if I can live witht he huge amount of wasted screen space.... Cheerio. – Piloti Oct 20 '17 at 11:45
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    100% agree. THIS is the reason for me to stay with 16.04 until EOL or eventually switch to Cinnamon. The top bar in Gnome3 is so ugly and totally not useful. And I don't know why only few people complain. There are extensions to partially fix that (best is imho Unite). But like I said only partially and they always have problems with consistency. – pLumo Oct 20 '17 at 12:52
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    Unfortunately, you have discovered one of the most reviled aspects of GNOME. desktop. It has been around for quite a while. And, no one has a fix for it yet. Sticking with 17.04 for now. – Orian Oct 20 '17 at 12:52
  • I could of course also install unity7 alongside gnome-shell instead of staying with 16.04 ... But as it is an abandoned project, I'm not sure about that. – pLumo Oct 20 '17 at 13:10
36

You may try one of following GNOME Shell extensions to get rid of the title-bar of a maximised window:

  • No Title Bar (an actively maintained fork of Pixel Saver with customisation options)

    No Title Bar removes the title bar, moves the window title and buttons to the top panel.

  • Pixel Saver

    Pixel Saver is designed to save pixel by fusing activity bar and title bar in a natural way.

    Note that Pixel Saver is not actively maintained anymore, therefore has a lot of unresolved issues like this one and doesn't offer any customisation options.

Other similar extensions (including forks):


You can even go further and hide the top bar following this answer by solsTiCe from this Q&A: Auto hiding top panel in 17.10 GNOME 3.26.1.

Also, you may move the menu bar from an application window to the top-bar ("Activities bar") following this Q&A: Ubuntu 17.10 windows' menu in panel.

  • That's good to know. – Orian Oct 21 '17 at 1:17
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    Just did have a look at it, while it removes the title bar, on a multi monitor system with having only the top bar at one screen, its kinda unintuitive which window the close button etc belongs to. otherwise it works as intended – Videonauth Oct 22 '17 at 18:38
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    You can go even further and try Hide top bar to gain even more pxiels. – solsTiCe Oct 23 '17 at 16:40
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    yes. It's not perfect but it does the job! – solsTiCe Oct 23 '17 at 17:00
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    doesn't work for me with latest ubuntu 18.04 – shivshankar Apr 28 '18 at 12:15
6

I prefer the Unite GNOME Shell Extension. It manages to integrate far more application windows into the top bar than No Title Bar or Pixel Saver does.

4

I recommend going back to Unity

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop

Choose ligthdm

However I have the feeling that some information is not available in unity.

On gnome I did see many things under power setting :/

  • When I executed these commands, nothing happened. I got no prompt about choosing lightdm or anything (as this post and other articles said would happen). I logged out and in the login screen, when entering password, I hit the gear icon and it had Unity as an option. To get lightdm, I followed this answer. – Garrett May 29 at 20:22
4

In answer to the questions "what did I do....?", in the end, I went back to Unity and actually took the opportunity to start again with a fresh install of 16.04LTS; including of course Unity. Happy as a sandpiper.

  • Instead of rolling back to 16.04, you can also just switch to Unity in 18.04 (@Thorsten Niehues' answer) – Garrett May 29 at 20:22

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