How to Get a Windows-Style GNOME Taskbar

An extension makes Linux look more like Windows

A graphic of a foot logo

Jack Wallen

 

If you want to make your Linux desktop look more like Windows, there's an extension called Dash to Panel that adds a Windows-like taskbar to GNOME-based graphical environments. It even moves the system tray to where you'd expect it (at the far right corner of the taskbar).

Instructions in this article will work on most GNOME-based Linux distributions with the exception of Ubuntu, which already has its own taskbar.

How to Enable Extensions

To use the Dash to Panel taskbar, you must first enable extensions through your web browser. For example, to enable extensions for Mozilla Firefox:

You can also add extensions to Google Chrome and most other web browsers.

  1. Go to the GNOME Shell Extension site and select Click here to install browser extension.

    Screenshot of enabling extension installation in Firefox.
  2. Select Allow.

    Screenshot of allowing the installation to continue.
  3. Select Add.

    Screenshot of giving permission to Firefox for GNOME Shell integration.
  4. Select OK.

    Screenshot of finalizing the installation.

How to Install the GNOME Taskbar

With extensions enabled, you're ready to install Dash to Panel:

There's a similar GNOME extension called Dash to Dock, but it lacks some of the features found in the Dash to Panel taskbar.

  1. Go to the Dash to Panel download page and select the On/Off slider until it’s in the On position.

    Screenshot of enabling the Dash to Panel extension.
  2. Select Install.

    Screenshot of the install prompt.
  3. At this point, you should see the new panel at the bottom of the desktop. Refresh the Dash to Panel web page and select the new Configuration icon (the blue square with the tools) to open the extension's settings.

    Screenshot of the configuration button.

Configuring the Panel

From the settings window, you can customize the Dash to Panel taskbar in a number of ways:

  • Change the position of the taskbar and clock
  • Choose which monitor to display the panel (if you’re using multiple monitors)
  • Turn on auto-hide (to hide the panel when it’s not being used)
  • Change the font and size of icons
  • Adjust panel opacity and background color
  • Enable/disable favorite applications
  • Show/hide icons
  • Enable/disable animations

GNOME Tweaks

You don’t have to open the web browser to reach the Dash to Panel configuration options. Instead, you can install the GNOME Tweaks tool:

  1. Open the GNOME software tool and search for tweaks, then select GNOME Tweaks.

    Screenshot of the GNOME Tweaks listing in GNOME Software.
  2. Select Install.

    You may be prompted to enter your user’s sudo password.

    Screenshot of installing GNOME Tweaks.
  3. Once installed, launch GNOME Tweaks and select the Extensions tab. Select the gear icon next to Dash to Panel to open the settings window.

    Screenshot of Dash to Panel entry in GNOME Tweaks > Extensions.