Pining Programs to Task Bar

Hello folks,

After much patience my new build media centre PC is now complete and I have spent the last week playing with different operating systems. After deciding that Windows 7 is too clumsy I’m pretty much set on a linux system. However, one feature of windows that I liked and used a lot that I haven’t managed to recreate in linux is pinning my most used applications to the task bar ready for instant launch. Is there a way of doing this in linux?

I would like something as discreet as the windows method as oposed to an additional bar intruding on the desktop space.

Any help is much appreciated.



We’ll need a bit more info …

a) which Linux distribution are you thinking of using ?

and preferably

b) which desktop environment ?

This is important because we don’t know which desktop environment you’re talking about, there are MANY different desktops in Linux

Or are you looking for suggestions on which distribution to use ?

Make sure you give a look, there is a great search tool there to find the right distro. In addition make sure you ask as many questions on here because there will always be someone with a good idea.

Thankyou for the replies.

A little while ago I was experimenting with ubuntu 10.4 (I think) on the old machine. Once I got it into classic view I quite liked it. I can’t remember though if I achieved the quick launch in task bar result I am presently after.

I have since try’d ubuntu 11, mint 12 and fedora kde.

At the moment they all seem much the same except perhaps the KDE version which I thought I’d try.

I like sleek and simple and being able to set my desktop up as much as I like it as possible is quite important to me. I’m also a bit of a novice though so something reliable with good support would be preferred. That’s why I initialy try’d ubuntu each time.

Sadly so far ubuntu seems to restrict me to how I can have the thing set out.

I take it the environments are the ‘gnome 3’, ‘kde’ etc…

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. The quicker it’s load time etc… the better due to its media duties.

I’m going to have a look at elementry next as that seems quite tidy.



P.S. The machine has a Zotac H67 chipset board, an i3-2120 CPU, 8gb RAM and a 60gb SSD. The files are all kept on a networked NAS drive. The machine is plumbed into a monitor via DVI and will be plugged into a tv via hdmi. The idea being to run the tv as the second slave monitor with a media centre porgram assigned to open automaticaly into it. But more on that later.

If speed is what you require, and you’d like an Ubuntu based distro (so you have access to the Ubuntu software repos), can I suggest PeppermintOS.

If you DO decide on Peppermint (which uses the LXDE desktop environment), you can add program launchers to the bottom panel through the “Application Launcher” panel applet … it’s very similar to the Windows “Quick Launch” taskbar applet.
(though I’d put money on it that it was in Linux FIRST :wink: )

Though there will probably be something similar in Ubuntu (running in “Classic” mode) … or pinning apps to the Unity launcher bar is a breeze.

or using a Mac style dock bar such as Docky is another option.

Truth is, no matter which distro or desktop environment) you decide on, there’s bound to be a way of doing what you requre … Linux desktop environments are VERY customisable.

Peppermint looks good, cheers. I’ll have a go with it tonight along with possibly elementry. Then, when I finaly decide on which I want I’ll start working on setting it up.

Thanks again for the help.

Believe it or not, Gnome 2 did this exact motion when you started apps. You could bin them on the panel and launch them from there. It was great, but then Unity came a long and broke it. :frowning:

I’m not sure if Gnome 3 does it, but if it does at least you’ll be able to run Ubuntu and Gnome 3 that way you get the best of both worlds. Long lasting support and the greatness of Gnome. :smiley:

Gnome3 (same as Unity), you open an app, then right-click its icon on the Launher and select “Keep in Launcher” or similar.

As far as I can remember, Gnome2 required the use of a panel applet … right-click the panel, select “Add to Panel”, select “Application Launcher”, and configure which apps you wanted included on the panel.

Never paid much attention to this one but a quick poke around and found:
Xfce - Drag item from menu to panel
KDE - Right click menu item and from options displayed select add to panel

Simple enough

Gnome 2 was still awesome, but now the move to Gnome 3 has lost some of that essence. :frowning:

Try’d Peppermint, very impressed! Nice and clean and simple, even managed to pin icons to the task bar!

Is there any way of being able to decide there position on the task bar? I’m also struggling to find how to turn off the requirement for password log in on boot up (which will hamper the computers role as a family mediea centre). I thought I’d found it and made the required selections only to see no difference whatsoever.

I’ve just discovered that the media program xbmc is available with it’s own linux based OS which might make a smoother integration. I have downloaded it onto a dvd but the machine isn’t loading it up (dvd drive does try to read it but isn’t picking up the program) and reverts back to peppermint. I’ll have to get in touch with them. If that fails I’ll stick with Peppermint so long as I can get around the login problem.



The auto login is covered in my PeppermintOS tutorial here:

The position of panel objects can be changed by right-clicking the panel, selecting “Add / Remove panel items” … then adding spacers, and using the Up/Down buttons.

Both succesfully carried out, thanks!

Next, do you know if I can run a dual monitor set up in Peppermint?

I’m also having trouble installing xbmc.

What graphics card and driver are you using?

What’s the output from:

sudo lshw -C display


No graphics card.

Zotac H67-ITX Motherboard with DVI output to monitor (to be Primary) and HDMI output for TV (to be secondary with xbmc set to auto-run on it).

The result of your request is:

description: VGA compatible controller
product: 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
vendor: Intel Corporation
physical id: 2
bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
version: 09
width: 64 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
resources: irq:46 memory:fe000000-fe3fffff memory:c0000000-cfffffff ioport:f000(size=64)

Hope that mmakes sense to you! ;D