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Thread: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2013
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    After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    As much as others have hated Unity, I've greatly preferred it for the past few years. I am currently running 16.04 on a 17" i7 laptop and planning on finally upgrading to an ssd for my main drive soon.

    I tend to only use one workspace, chrome with dozens of tabs open, and audio and graphic programs and will more often use windows in a virtual machine than actually boot into it. My screen is generous in size, but I still end up maximizing the programs I use most and appreciate every vertical pixel I have.

    I like how Unity integrates the program titles into the same top bar as my notifications. It seems like every other desktop uses vertical space a bit more inefficiently and I'd like to figure out what to do when Unity is dead, as this is my primary computer for work and play. Cairo is my preferred dock, because it is invisible unless I mouse over a specific zone in the bottom middle and has a look and feel that I like, so I don't really care about other docks. I use the super key quite a bit for searching for programs, but almost never the HUD. Switching programs is usually done by alt-tabbing though sometimes mousing the dock. I don't want to see what programs i have open until I need to see them.

    Perhaps I am not taking advantage of certain features which would make me more productive, but my first concern is that I am not distracted by the desktop.

    I liked how one guy managed to get kde plasma to look quite a bit like unity, but ive been using gtk apps for long enough that i dont know if I want to risk switching to kde. it is difficult to find screenshots of desktops with maximized programs as it seems like most like to show off windowed programs and widgets.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    Any of the DEs that allow you to move the panel to the left hand side and add a launcher for the apps you need most often could do that or you could get rid of the panel entirely and use a dock such as cairo-dock, plank, docky, etc etc.

    It will not behave like unity, of course, in many respects, but can certainly be made to look very similar and use the vertical space most economically.

    My experience of most DEs is pretty limited but I know Xubuntu with xfce can be made to look very like unity, if that is your wish, and I imagine Lubuntu with LXDE, budgie, and kde also could do that.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 16.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  3. #3
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    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    The thing is, I like having a top panel for a quick glance at the weather, time, memory used, status of things like whether my wifi works, etc - I just want it to integrate with whatever program I am using at that moment

  4. #4
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    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    Why not delay changing desktops until 16.04, your current version, is no longer supported? That will happen in April 2021!

  5. #5
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    Quote Originally Posted by Re4mRpR View Post
    The thing is, I like having a top panel for a quick glance at the weather, time, memory used, status of things like whether my wifi works, etc - I just want it to integrate with whatever program I am using at that moment
    There's always Conky for that.
    "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

  6. #6
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    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    Why not delay changing desktops until 16.04, your current version, is no longer supported? That will happen in April 2021!
    Because I am switching to an ssd and will already be spending a fair amount of time getting that working like the setup I have now.

  7. #7
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    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buntu Bunny View Post
    There's always Conky for that.
    All the screenshots I see of conky show it displayed on the actual desktop, which I never look at, I need all that info in the actual panel

  8. #8
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    I use gnome shell extension 'no title bar' which moves the title and window controls into the top panel. You don't get global menu but it's better than nothing! I also have 'hide activities button' extension.

    Screenshot from 2017-10-12 17-17-10.jpg

  9. #9
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    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    I think that what you're looking for is the MATE desktop, which is an improved version of GNOME 2.3, which was the default Ubuntu desktop some 10 years ago. It has 2 panels, a top menu with drop-down menus, a dock which takes very little space, the clock, weather, and other indicators you want there. The bottom panel is typical, with tabs for each window.

    Ubuntu MATE is a pretty awesome distro, and it's lightweight and works very well on even old PCs. Boot up a DVD or USB and see if you like it.

    I drink my Ubuntu black, no sugar.
    Ubuntu user 28819

  10. #10
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    Oct 2013
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    Re: After Unity, which desktop is best for maximizing vertical space?

    A bit of a radical change, but I think I am going to try out opensuse tumbleweed. I looked more into kde plasma, and like its potential, and then got curious. usb stick is done, see how it goes. if that isnt for me, maybe kubuntu

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