How to Get a Windows-Style GNOME Taskbar

An extension makes Linux look more like Windows

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.

    Browser extension installation in Firefox.
  2. Select Allow.

    Browser extension installation in Firefox.
  3. Select Add.

    Browser extension installation in Firefox.
  4. Select OK.

    Browser extension installation in Firefox.

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.

    Dash to Panel extension.
  2. Select Install.

    Dash to Panel extension.
  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.

    Dash to Panel extension.

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.

    GNOME software tool.
  2. Select Install.

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

    GNOME software tool
  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.

    Dash to Panel entry in GNOME.