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Make Gnome Look Like Unity in Ubuntu 18.04

Make Gnome Look Like Unity in Ubuntu 18.04

If like me you switched to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and had a small heart attack, well this article is for you. In this article we will try to get Gnome to resemble more the Unity interface. Here’s what we will achieve:


top of the UI before


top of the UI after

In order to do that we will install a series of gnome-shell extensions that will do that.


Install the gnome-shell extensions support, and the gnome-tweaks tool. The gnome-shell extensions support will allow us to install and run the extensions. The gnome-tweaks will allow us to configure the plugins:

sudo apt-get install -y chrome-gnome-shell gnome-tweaks

You will also need a browser plugin. See here for details.

1. No Title Bar

First let’s get rid of the title bar when a window is maximized. This extension is in my opinion a must-have even if you don’t want to resemble the Unity UI. Having an almost empty desktop bar, then a title bar, then an application menu, occupies way too much vertical space. Pixels don’t grow on trees.

Unfortunately the minimize/maximize buttons appear strange, with a weird spacing between them. Good that I don’t use them so much.

Another thing you’ll need to do, is to go start gnome-tweaks, go to Extensions > No title bar and ensure the Window control buttons are shown Before status area. This ensures that after step 3 (the moving of the clock to the right), the buttons won’t create a strange spacing between the clock and the systray notification icons.

2. Hide the Activities Button

That button is virtually unnecessary since you can access the Activities view by just pressing the Microsoft flag key. Sitting there just interferes with the title of our window when it’s maximized.

3. Move the Clock on the Right

You might wonder why is there a clock in the middle of the screen? Well I can’t but wonder the same. With this other extension it’s easy to move the clock to the right, so it looks more like a normal desktop.

4. Move the Notifications to the Right

For some strange reason the notifications appear in Gnome by default in the top middle of the screen. To move them on the right you need to install:

Again open gnome-tweaks, go under Extensions > Panel OSD, activate it, and ensure it aligns to the right.


If you have multiple monitors, you want to also enable the virtual desktops on all monitors.