How To Make Gnome Shell Windows-like Using Dash To Panel

Love Gnome Shell but wish you could mix it’s modern design with something more Windows-like? If so, you may want to check out Dash to Panel. It’s a Gnome Shell modification that cam make Gnome Shell Windows-like by adding a full-featured panel inside of your Gnome Shell session.

Install Dash To Panel

Dash to Panel is a Gnome Extension, so in order for it to be used on Gnome Shell, you’ll need to install it. To get this extension, be sure to install the official Gnome Shell browser integration app. Don’t know how? Follow our guide here to get started.

To install the Dash to Panel app, click on this link here to go to the Gnome Shell extension page. If the Gnome Shell browser addon is working, look for the slider and change its position from “off” to “on”. This will quickly download Dash to Panel to Gnome, and show an installation dialog. Click the “Install” button to allow the extension to install.

Once the installation finishes, Dash to Panel should automatically enable itself. If this isn’t the case, open up the Gnome overview mode (by pressing Win on the keyboard) and search for “Tweaks”.

Note: can’t find Tweaks in your app menu? It may not be installed. Search for “gnome-tweak-tool”, or “tweaks” in Gnome Software and install it.

Open the Tweaks app and select the “Extensions” button on the side. Scroll down, look for “Dash to Panel” and click the button next to it to enable the extension.

Setting Up Dash To Panel

By default, Dash to Panel sets itself up pretty well. However, it still makes heavy use of icon-style buttons on the taskbar and relies on the “activities” button that Gnome uses. For someone in a hurry, this might not be a huge deal, but if you want to change Gnome into something more traditional, it’s a good idea to change the way applications are listed in the taskbar, and add a new menu.

To change settings for Dash to Panel, you’ll need to open up Tweaks. Launch the app by searching for it in the Gnome dash, and navigate to the “Extension” area of the app.

Under “Extensions” in Tweaks, scroll down to the Dash to Panel extension and click the gear icon next to it to reveal the settings menu.

For a traditional panel layout, click on the “Behavior” tab, and select “ungroup applications”. This will allow Dash to Panel to display the names of programs next to icons in the panel. Not interesting in keeping favorite icons in your panel? Look for “Show favorite applications” and set the slider to off.

Lastly, find “show previews on hover” and change it to “off”.

Application Menu

Now that the basics are set up for Dash to Panel, it’s time to add a new application menu. We’ll need a more traditional and reliable one than the default Gnome app drawer button. There are many menus to choose from, but by far the most configurable one out there is Arc Menu.

Once Arc Menu is installed, close the settings for Dash to Panel and re-open Tweaks. Look for “Arc Menu” under the Extensions page and click the gear icon next to it to open the menu settings.

First, in the Arc Menu settings click on “Behavior” and click the slider next to “Disable activities corner”.

Next, look for the “Appearance” tab and select it. Inside the appearance area, click the gear icon to open up the advanced icon settings.

Look for “Enable the arrow icon beside the button text” and set it to off. Then look for the menu icon menu, and change the drop-down menu from “Arc Menu Icon” to “System Icon”. Set your desired icon size, then close the Arc Menu settings.

After closing the Arc Menu settings, re-open the Dash to Panel settings in the Tweak app, click on “Behavior” in the Dash to Panel settings, look for “Show application icon” and set it to off.

Resetting Gnome

Dash to Panel is nice, as it allows users to take Gnome Shell and transform it into an entirely different desktop experience. Obviously, this is appealing, especially for those that don’t like the default way of doing things. However, if you find that using this panel isn’t for you, follow these instructions to quickly get everything back to normal.

Start off by opening Tweaks. Inside the Tweaks app, move on over to “Extensions”. In the “Extensions” area, look for Arc menu and change the slider from “ON” position to the “OFF” position. This will instantly disable the Arc menu and remove it from the panel.

Find the Dash to Panel and change “ON” to “OFF” to disable it as well. Disabling both of these extensions will return Gnome Shell to the look it had before modification.

To return to the modified desktop, turn both extensions back on. If you’d like to completely remove the extensions altogether, head over to the Gnome Extension page and click the red X button next to Arc Menu, and Dash to Panel.

Read How To Make Gnome Shell Windows-like Using Dash To Panel by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Use The Unity Desktop Environment On Ubuntu 18.04

With Ubuntu 17.10, Canonical made a big deal about dropping the Unity desktop environment in favor of Gnome Shell. For the most part, Linux fans were excited, as Unity isn’t exactly the most popular desktop environment in the community. However, not everyone was happy. As it turns out, many people do love Unity and rely on it daily. If Ubuntu Unity is still a part of your daily routine, and you’ve been putting off upgrading from 16.04, rest easy as it is possible to get the Unity desktop environment on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Note: Are you using Ubuntu 17.10? Follow the instructions in the tutorial below. The instructions outlined work for that version of Ubuntu as well.

Install Unity On Ubuntu 18.04

To install Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, you’ll need to open up a terminal window. Sadly, it’s not practical to install this desktop environment from the Ubuntu Software Center, as some system-level prompts appear that require user interaction. Open up a terminal window and use the update command to refresh Ubuntu and check for updates.

sudo apt update

Running apt update is a good idea when installing new software, as the new software you’re installing will likely be at its best when everything is up to date. After running the refresh command, you’ll notice that the terminal says Ubuntu has some updates ready to install. Install these updates by following apt update with the apt upgrade command. Be sure to add a -y to the end of the command to automatically accept the installation, otherwise, you’ll need to do it manually.

sudo apt upgrade -y

At this point, it’s safe to install the Unity desktop environment on Ubuntu 18.04 PC. To do this, enter the following command.

sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop

Running this installation isn’t like installing normal software. It’s a complete desktop environment that comes with its own configurations, and settings that need to be tweaked. For Unity, most of this is taken care of (except for the login manager).

In Ubuntu 17.10, Canonical ditched LightDM as the default login manager app, as they were no longer using Unity by default. As a result, Ubuntu 18.04 doesn’t have the Unity desktop manager. When you run the installation command for the Unity desktop on 18.04, you’ll also have the option to switch everything back over to LightDM.

Don’t worry! This isn’t absolutely required, and Ubuntu should work just fine using the Unity desktop without it. However, if you miss the Unity desktop environment and want it on 18.04, it’s also a good idea to switch from GDM to LightDM.

To switch, read the prompt window that appears in the terminal. Read the message and press enter on the “OK” button. Then, move to the next page and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight “LightDM”. Press enter to save your choice. After that, Ubuntu will switch to using LightDM by default.

When the installation completes, Ubuntu should be using the LightDM login manager, and the Ubuntu Unity desktop should be installed.

Switching To Unity

The Unity desktop is installed on your Ubuntu PC. The next step in the process is to actually start using the new desktop. If you decided to keep GDM, look for the “log out” button in Gnome Shell, click it and return to the GDM menu. Click the gear logo, highlight “Unity” and select it.

After that, select your user, enter the correct password and log into Unity. Using LightDM? Reboot your PC. When your PC finishes restarting, you’ll be ready to use Unity.

Click the logo next to the default username, highlight “Unity” and click on it. Enter your password and log in to access the Unity desktop.

Uninstalling Unity

Decided you don’t want to use Unity on Ubuntu anymore? If you’re looking to uninstall it, start out by logging out of the Unity session and back into the Gnome Shell one. Uninstalling a desktop while logged in can break things and potentially make your PC unusable.

After logging back into Gnome, open up a terminal and run the uninstall command.

sudo apt remove ubuntu-unity-desktop

Installing the Unity desktop pulls down a lot of dependent programs, so running this remove command isn’t enough. To fully get rid of everything, run:

sudo apt autoremove

Lastly, if you switched your login manager from Gnome Desktop Manager to Light Desktop Manager, you’ll need to set it back to the defaults. Do this with:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

Go through the selection menu, highlight GDM3 and press the enter key to confirm your selection. Then, reboot your Linux PC. Upon restart, you won’t see LightDM anymore, but GDM like before.

Upon login, uninstall LightDM and Unity will be removed entirely:

sudo apt uninstall lightdm --purge

After running uninstall with the purge command, all traces of LightDM will be gone from your Linux PC.

Read How To Use The Unity Desktop Environment On Ubuntu 18.04 by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Use the Ping Command to Test Your Network

The ping command sends packets of data to a specific IP address on a network, and then lets you know how long it took to transmit that data and get a response. It’s a handy tool that you can use to quickly test various points of your network. Here’s how to use it.