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, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 at 2:44

3 Answers 3


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, 2014 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, 2014 at 7:12
  • 1
    The title, the buttons, the menu. If you can find more desktops, just add more answers. :-) Thank you! Jun 25, 2014 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/[email protected]/metadata.json

"shell-version": [

cp -r maximus-gnome-shell-extension/[email protected]/ ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/

glib-compile-schemas ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/[email protected]/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).


KDE can have a top bar configured to behave like Unity, using software from https://github.com/psifidotos.

Using latte-dock as the top bar, applet-window-appmenu for the Global Menu and applet-window-buttons for the window controls, and this tip https://medium.com/@CodyReichert/how-to-hide-title-bars-in-kde-plasma-5-348e0df4087f to hide the title bars of maximized windows.

You can also maximize windows by double-clicking empty space in the top bar, and drag windows (including maximized ones) from the top bar.

As a bonus, you can have a Unity-like HUD by installing plasma-hud. You can then move the bottom bar to the side for a close match to Unity.

Unfortunately psifidotos' software is no longer being maintained so may stop working at any time due to changes in KDE Plasma.

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