I really like Ubuntu Unity top panel integration with the windows (maximized ones) because it saves space. See the screenshot:

Ubuntu with Unity: top panel shows title of the maximized program

What other Linux desktop environments have this feature? This is the thing that makes me use Unity.

They should have the following features:

  • be simple
  • look good (maybe better than Unity, I know it's subjective, but everyone should know what looks good and what not)
  • be customisable
  • be fast
  • run in parallel with Unity
  • open source
  • 1
    Please tell us what you do not like in Unity, and what you expect in a desktop environment.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 25 '14 at 11:46
  • 1
    @NicolasRaoul I love Unity, but I would like to know if there are other desktop environments with this feature. Maybe I find something better than Unity. :-) Jun 25 '14 at 12:37
  • Unfortunately, this QA site does not consider as on-topic questions like "Give me all equivalents of X"... please add one requirement that Unity does not have, and your question will be on-topic :-) Are you really perfectly happy with Unity, absolutely nothing to improve? Think hard!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 26 '14 at 2:44

I imagine most distributions support this feature by default or with some tinkering using plugins.

Cinnamon has this functionality natively.

Just Right-Click panel -> Edit Panel and change the Layout to Top.

After this change my Desktop looked like this:

enter image description here

And with a maximized window opened:

enter image description here

  • 3
    That's the thing: the maximized window is not integrated with the top panel. Please compare with my screenshot (Unity) to understand what I mean. Jun 25 '14 at 7:09
  • Oh you mean the title of the window. Well... okay I respect that, I'll search a bit after work if it's possible to remove it in Cinnamon and if not I'll delete my answer.
    – dimzak
    Jun 25 '14 at 7:12
  • 1
    The title, the buttons, the menu. If you can find more desktops, just add more answers. :-) Thank you! Jun 25 '14 at 7:20

It sounds pretty much like you may want Gnome3 as your desktop environment. It's quite similar to Unity, but a lot more customisable.

enter image description here

It gives an integrated top bar like Unity, with the menu options. There's also plenty of addons available at https://extensions.gnome.org/ to customise it too.

There's an extension to 'force' undecorated windows too, which sounds like what you may be after: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/354/maximus/

If you're using Fedora or Arch, or any of the more 'bleeding edge' distros, you may need to do a little hack to get the extension working:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/mathematicalcoffee/maximus-gnome-shell-extension

nano maximus-gnome-shell-extension/maximus@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com/metadata.json

"shell-version": [

cp -r maximus-gnome-shell-extension/maximus@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com/ ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/

glib-compile-schemas ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/maximus@mathematical.coffee.gmail.com/schemas/

Then log out and log back in again. The extension can be configured by gnome-tweak-tool (which you may need to install, it's in the official repositories).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.