Panels in Ubuntu 12.10 Gnome Classic

Hello fellows,

during the last two day I spent my leisure time to set up the current Ubuntu 12.10 on my laptop. I used Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for quite a long time, but now I backed up all my files and installed the latest version. I liked Ubuntu 10.04 a lot, the Gnome 2 Desktop was very handy and the nice graphic features were awesome. I had the 3D cube to manage my four workspaces and the wobbly window effect, so basically the nice things you can easily set up and use with Compiz.

The latest version of Ubuntu comes along with desktop manager Unity, which I don’t like very much. All the known features are gone and it is more clumsy to handle.

Here I would like to write about what I did to get the Gnome 2 feeling I am used to from Ubuntu 10.04 back to Ubuntu 12.10.

So, the installation of Ubuntu 12.10 is quite straight forward and very similar to the previous installations of older versions. Now I would like to describe how you can get the look and feel of Gnome 2 on Ubuntu 10.04:

First, you should install some packages to get the new Gnome 3 shell on your system:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell ubuntu-gnome-desktop ubuntu-gnome-default-settings

With that, you now have the possibility to select the shell you wanna use on the login screen. I have not selected Gnome 3 shell as default shell during installation, because I like the Untiy greeter screen very much. For login, I selected Gnome Shell Classic which gives you the well known panels at the top and the bottom of the screen.

At the top panel there is the Applications and Places menu, as well as on the right side the icons for network, sound, mail / pm, the clock and the logoff menu. The bottom menu panel offers the show desktop icon left and the workspace switcher on the right side.

1) Short cuts in the top panel to favourite applications

I was used to have the icons of Thunderbird, Firefox and Terminal in the top panel also. But right click on the panel does not work any more 😦

Ok, here is the trick: open the Applications menu and find the programme you would like to have a short cut in the top panel. Drag and drop the applications icon with a left click to the panel to create a short cut πŸ™‚ Quite simple.

2) Add applets to the top panel

On my old 10.04 system I had in the top panel applets “CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor” or “System Monitor” and so on. It was possible to add them by right click on the panel and then select them from a list in a new pop up window. Since right click on the panel does not work any more, no applets … 😦

I search the Internet and found a very helpful advice here:

And that’s the way it works: Press ALT + META on your keyboard and while pressing do a right click in the panel and select “Add to panel” option and you get the applet chooser dialogue you know from 10.04 πŸ™‚ META key is usually the Windows Key on the keyboard. Voila πŸ™‚

Press ALT+META and right click on the Panel to get this menu.

Press ALT+META and right click on the Panel to get this menu.

3) Display applet icons of applications in the top panel

I use the application Truecrypt and have installed the Terminal application guake and both used to place and icon in the top panel. With the default settings guake simply does not show any icon there and Truecrypt places its icon directly on the desktop 😦

Truecrypt presents its icon on the Desktop

Truecrypt presents its icon on the Desktop

How I solved it: Press ALT+META and right click on the top menu panel. Select Add to Panel and find the entry “Notification Area“. Add an instance of this applet, so guake and Truecrypt will show their icons there from now on πŸ™‚

With the notification Panel, Truecrypt can present its icon there.

With the notification Panel, Truecrypt can present its icon there.

πŸ™‚ so, that’s it for this post. I hope you found the information I provided useful. Check back for the next news πŸ™‚


4 thoughts on “Panels in Ubuntu 12.10 Gnome Classic

  1. The trick with ALT+RightClick (no META nedded for me) was priceless, thank you πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for both! Do you know how to get a monitor resolution settings GUI? I know I can use xrandr, but GUIs are nice when you don’t use the commands all that often.

    • Have you checked: Application > System tools > System settings > “Section” Hardware > “Item” Displays
      that seems to provide a GUI to set you monitor resolutions …
      Hope that answers your question πŸ™‚

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