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5 alternative desktop panels to try out on Linux

Sick of the default panel on your Linux desktop environment? Wishing you had a better panel with more features? If so, we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 alternative desktop panels to try out on Linux!

1.Tint2

Tint2 is a simple, lightweight panel for the Linux desktop. It is highly scriptable, has dozens of excellent features like multi-monitor support, workspace support, theme support, and is the ultimate power-user taskbar for Linux fans. So, If you’re not happy with the default panel on your Linux desktop environment and are longing for a lighter, more customizable alternative, Tint2 is a great choice!

Notable features

  • Highly customizable, and comes pre-loaded with dozens of themes and styles to choose from.
  • Tint2 is very lightweight, and can even run on window managers like OpenBox.
  • Tint2 has an easy to use wizard that makes it very simple to enable/disable features.

Download – Tint2

The Tint2 panel has been around for a very long time and is readily available for installation on almost every modern Linux operating system. If you’d like to install it on your Linux PC, head over to Pkgs.org, and click on the OS you use from the list.

Need help getting Tint2 working? If so, do yourself a favor and check out our in-depth guide on how to set up Tint2 on Linux!

2. ADeskBar

ADeskBar is a lightweight panel designed for the OpenBox window manager. It uses minimal system resources, it is very modern, supports both panel and “dock” modes, and can even provide OpenBox users with a traditional system tray.

Although ADeskBar is primarily for OpenBox, it makes a great alternative panel for Linux users, as it offers up some exciting features such as app pinning, a modern program menu, and lots of customization options.

Notable features

  • ADeskbar is extremely beautiful and fits right into a modern desktop environment or window manager.
  • It can work as both a panel or a dock, depending on what the user chooses.
  • Pinnable application favorites.

Download – ADeskBar

ADeskbar is not available for download through any traditional software sources. Instead, if you want to take this panel for a test drive on your Linux PC, you must download the latest version of it from the official website.

Currently, the Adeskbar website has a DEB package ready for download for  Ubuntu/Debian, and a source code package. Additionally, RPMSphere has a package ready for Fedora Linux.

3. Dash to panel

Dash to panel is a Gnome Shell extension that can transform the drab Gnome desktop into a Windows-like experience, by transforming the favorites bar into a full-featured taskbar.

The Dash to panel extension isn’t a simple taskbar. Instead, it’s fully featured and offers users things like window previews, system tray support, and heavy cosmetic customization options. Suffice it to say, if you’re a Gnome user, but want an alternative panel to use, Dash to panel should be your go-to!

Notable features

  • Dash to panel supports many different types of Gnome menu extensions, like Arc Menu, GnoMenu, and the official app browser menu.
  • Highly configurable, and users can tweak it and customize in almost any way they wish.
  • Dash to panel is a Gnome extension so it is not difficult to install and is supported on every Linux OS in existence.
  • Dash to panel supports program tool-tips, much like Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop environment. This feature is very useful and allows users to see what programs are doing by just hovering with the mouse.

Download – Dash to panel

Dash to panel can only be installed through the Gnome Shell extension website or the Gnome Software application. If you’d like to start using Dash to panel, follow our guide on how to set up Gnome extension support on your Linux PC.

After enabling Gnome extension support, head over to the Dash to panel extension page, and click the “OFF” button. It will then install onto your PC, and instantly enable itself as the default panel on the screen.

Need help setting up the Dash to panel extension on your Linux PC? Want a quick overview of all the complex features that it offers? Check out our tutorial on how to use Dash to panel here!

4. PyPanel

PyPanel is a Python-powered alternative taskbar for the Linux operating system. It supports the X11 windows system and is incredibly lightweight. Many Linux users love PyPanel, as it has dozens of excellent customization features, such as transparency, support for custom application icons, custom panel size options, button event/action support, and much more!

Notable features

  • PyPanel supports custom app icons and app launchers.
  • PyPanel allows for custom panel dimensions, location, and layouts.
  • Has the ability to automatically hide, if enabled.

Download – PyPanel

PyPanel is not available for installation on very many Linux distributions (aside from Fedora and Arch Linux). If you plan to use PyPanel as your new desktop taskbar, you’ll need to get it from the official website.

The latest release for PyPanel on Linux can be found on the project’s SourceForge page. Once you’ve downloaded the latest code, be sure to check the PyPanel website to learn what you must install to compile the code.

5. Kiran Panel

Kiran Panel is an alternative desktop panel for Gnome Shell users. It takes the Gnome desktop’s favorite bar and transforms it into a more user-friendly Windows-like taskbar, complete with the ability to pin favorite apps, a system tray, and much more.

Kiran Panel works on Gnome Shell version 3.30 and lower. It is a great alternative panel to go with if you’ve tried Dash-to-panel and found it lacking.

Notable features

  • It offers up users a “Windows 7” experience in Gnome Shell, complete with a fancy menu and system tray.
  • Kiran Panel is a Gnome Extension, and as a result, supports any Linux operating system that already has Gnome Shell.
  • Highly configurable with lots of cosmetic and usability features.

Download – Kiran Panel

The Kiran Panel is a Gnome Shell extension, so there is no actual downloading required. Instead, to get it working, you’ll need to head over to the Gnome Extensions website and click the “install” button. Once the extension is installed on your Gnome Shell desktop, the panel will instantly appear. No need to configure anything.

Please note that installing Gnome Shell extensions on the Gnome Desktop requires the “chrome-gnome-shell” package to be installed, as well as the Gnome browser extension. For help setting these on your Linux PC, check out our guide on how to set up Gnome extensions!

Conclusion

In this list, we covered some of the best alternative desktop panels available for Linux. What is your favorite alternative panel to use on your Linux PC? Let us know down below in the comments!

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