Tools

Dash to Panel – A Cool Icon Taskbar for the GNOME Shell

Dash-to-Panel - Gnome Icon Taskbar
Written by Martins D. Okoi

Dash to Panel is a customizable open source extension for the GNOME Shell that moves the dash into GNOME’s main panel; combining app launchers and the system tray into one panel like that of KDE Plasma and Windows 7+.

Dash to Panel

Dash to Panel

Just like with Dash to Dock, there wouldn’t be a need for a separate dock as a means to access favorited and running applications especially since the AppMenu for native Gnome apps being integrated into right-click secondary menu.

Features in Dash to Panel

Dash to Panel’s main features are:

  • FOSS – Free to download for use and contribute to on GitHub.
  • Customizability – Use a variety of themes while maintaining a uniform system UI/UX.
  • Live Previews on Hover – peek at all open app windows.
  • Customizable Running Indicators – set dot positions to display on the top or bottom.
  • Launch by Number – launch windows in order of their notification count.

Dash to Panel contains a good number of other features including the options to:

  • Set main panel position (top or bottom) and height.
  • Configure clock location.
  • Remove “Show Apps” icon from the dash.
  • Add “Show Desktop” button to panel.
  • Hide App Menu and Activities buttons from the panel.
  • Isolate running apps in workspaces.
  • Customize click behaviors e.g. cycle through open windows.
  • Customize dash icons, status icons, and panel elements sizes and margins.
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The best (and easiest) way to install Dash to Panel is via the GNOME Extensions. Click the button below to install directly to your system.

Install Dash to Panel from GNOME Extensions

Are you a user of Dash to Panel? What do you think about it in comparison to Dash to Dock? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Jr. (Dillivine) Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Web designer & developer, technical writer, and programmer.

  • Eddie O’Connor

    I guess this would be great for those just coming from the Windows environment and who are in need of its familiarity. For someone like me?….who is averse to Windows….I prefer the GNome desktop as it is. I love it’s uniqueness and the fact that its totally different from the standard “Taskbar-At-The-Bottom” aesthetic. And while I do use Linux Mint, (with the MATE desktop….which is as “Windows-ish” as you can get!) I still love my Fedora Laptop and desktop with its Gnome interface. For me, its the perfect desktop, easy to use, doesn’t get in the way, and everything is laid out in a way that once you get a good sense of where everything is?…you can move around in it quickly with very little fuss. But that’s the true power of Linux, the fact that three’s something in it for everyone!! Long Live Open Source Software!!

    • Nado

      Fair enough, but would you take unique over more practical? The way I see it, we shouldn’t shun a feature or implementation because it derives from another OS such as Windows. If we followed that mindset then there would be so little iteration to improve curent designs and simply just new prototype upon prototype.

      I think we should embrace any and all features that may improve usability, no matter where they may come from. Uniqueness does not necessarily mean better, it simply means different. While I understand that some may not want all the features Windows provides, I think taking a look at what they do right and what they do wrong is a sensible approach to creating a better experience for all.

      • I agree.
        Just yesterday I read an article on medium that concluded aesthetics shouldn’t be shunned in favor of functionality (obviously). One of the features I can vouch for in an OS is Windows’ task bar and app menu. It just works and that’s why I’m never part of the “Windows look shaming”. So just as you have said, what we should do is “embrace any and all features that may improve usability, no matter where they may come from”.

        • Nado

          Thanks for your response and also the article on this great extensions! Do you happen to remember the name or link to that article at Medium? I would be interested to read it 🙂

          I only learned about this extension last week. I’ve tried a different implementations in XFCE and Mate though they either required a lot of tweaking/configuration or they always felt a little bit lacking. I also tried TaskBar https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/584/taskbar/ , but this felt similarly lacking.

          Would be nice if there were different presets/layouts that came included in Gnome by default, so perhaps you could pick one where both this and Arc Menu where enabled by default. It is not always so easy to find the right layout and most users may not even be interested in searching, so a few alternatives could be nice.

          Here is an example of what it looks like running on Fedora Rawhide after adding a menu extension to it btw. Quite easy on the eyes and intuitive.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c68e6baf5105244d97fd3337380701ee60ba456ffe7682a0dde7578b9db5ac5.png

          • You’re welcome Nado. I’m happy you liked it enough to share your views!

            With regards to the Medium article, it was focused on design. I just extrapolated its implication onto that of your comment regarding usability.
            If you would still like to look it up here is the link => https://uxdesign.cc/pretty-pixels-vs-functional-design-35170e413d67

            Dash to Panel would require a lot of tweaks to work nicely with elsewhere (as you have confirmed) because it is quite new and I don’t think there are that many contributors on its case. Because I get to test a variety of apps constantly I seldom change my default setup.

            I think TaskBar is nice and it looks good in the screenshot. I agree that it would be nice for it and extensions like it to come with preset layouts. It will save time for the users who don’t want tarry with custom tweaks. I imagine the developers haven’t gotten the time to include such a feature yet. Perhaps, they will in due time.

      • Eddie O’Connor

        Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great feature to add to Linux, but I was speaking from my own personal experience, for me…. I DO value practical, and I value uniqueness as well since I don’t have a deadline nor any other pressure to get things done on my Linux computers I feel that me choosing novelty over practicality is perfectly fine. I was not decrying or diminishing the usefulness of this… I was merely pointing out that I don’t see any reason to install something that doesn’t appeal to me….that I prefer the look….feel..and uniqueness of the Gnome desktop in its original state. And after all…..isnt the entire premise of Open source and Linux all ABOUT being able to choose whatever is best and comfortable for you, the user.

        • Yup. And I don’t think anyone is debating your point with you. I agree with you and I think everyone else would. 🙂

      • Eddie O’Connor

        Not that I want to put it in a negative light. That was not my intention…. I think it’s awesome that there are people who devote time, energy, and resources to creating great extensions and add-ons to the Linux cause. I was merely stating that I myself wouldn’t use it….only because of how I work and how how well Gnome let’s me do what I need to do flawlessly. I don’t do anything special with a Gnome install… I use it “as is” right out of the box…. I’ve been using it that way since Fedora 12!….kudos to the developers who came up with this!..

        • I can relate. GNOME is my favorite at the moment so I understand how you don’t see the need to even try something else.

          Indeed- kudos to the developers.

    • I see your point.
      I’m not averse to Windows but I appreciate the variety that is made possible by open source platforms. Some people prefer “Dash to Panel” and others “Dash to Dock”. The beauty, really, is that there is something available for everyone as you rightly said.

      I for one like Window’s implementation of a task bar which can be positioned at any of the main cardinal points. I am sure the purpose of Dash to Panel is to allow users from Windows get up and running with whatever Linux distro they choose. I hold the notion, however, that there is nothing new any of the developers have to bring to the table as far as application menus and task bars are concerned because at the end of the day all we get is just the same feature wrapped differently, made to look and feel differently. But it’s the same idea.

  • Nice! Your comment is pretty much a review of its own!

    Hehe thanks for appreciating FossMint. I do hope it gets to a wider audience, especially one that will be as interactive as you are.

    “As a long time Linux-user and curious enthusiast, I would say that Gnome has become more seamless in many regards”. True. The GNOME desktop is my favourite environment and I think it is the best because it can be made to do pretty much anything within the grasp of current technology while maintaining its beauty; and it already has a large supportive community behind it.

    As for your mistake with TaskBar and Arc Menu, don’t worry about it. I read the comments of other Dash to Panel users and I think in not too long a time from now Dash to Panel will be able to rub shoulders with Dash to Dock in both support, features, and extensibility.

    I should give those extensions a brief review anyway so that other readers will be able to make their desktop as beautiful as yours is.

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