[Ubuntu] How to move applications to the Unity bar

Unity, Ubuntu's graphical environment from the 11.04 version, has certainly received many criticisms, often negative, especially with regards to customization. An application that can surely help us in this field is unity-tweak-tool, which does not however allow the interface to be customized to the 100%. If you remember well, with Gnome 2 it was possible to arrange the applications in the top bar and in my opinion it is a feature that one misses, so today we find out how to change the order of the applications on Unity!

Please note: It is not possible to move system applications (see audio notifications, messaging, language, network, etc.), but only the applications installed by us.

The change we are going to make will be applied to all users of the system; to avoid this and apply the changes only to the user in use, we must first move the file to be modified as follows:

sudo mkdir -p ~ / .local / share / indicators / application cp /usr/share/indicator-application/ordering-override.keyfile ~ / .local / share / indicators / application /

then open it and then change it:

sudo gedit ~ / .local / share / indicators / application / ordering-override.keyfile

otherwise open it normally:

sudo gedit /usr/share/indicator-application/ordering-override.keyfile

at this point it will be possible to modify the file to order the applications in the Unity bar in the order we prefer.

The file will appear approximately as in the following image; the numbers indicate the system applications and the order in which they are found. Exactly the smallest number (1) is equivalent to the first app on the right and as the number increases, the app on the left is the same.


As you can see the applications installed manually are missing, in fact we will have to insert them ourselves. To do this, open another terminal and type

dbus-send --type = method_call --print-reply --dest = com.canonical.indicator.application com / canonical / indicator / application / service com.canonical.indicator.application.service.GetApplications | grep "object path"

as the only command. What you will get is something similar to the image below and will correspond to the icons of the apps installed and present in the Unity bar.


In my case the applications are caffeine and cpuindicators that correspond to the services caffeine_cup_empty e indicator_cpufreq. What we will have to do to establish the order we want, will be to paste the name of these services into the file previously opened by replacing the dash with the underscore and set the number to choose the position in which the icon appears.
Here are my changes


Please note: to move an icon it is necessary to respect the order of the numbers. That is, if I wanted to directly set the order of the last icon it will not be possible to do so without establishing the order of the icons that precede it. Analyzing my case, for example, to move cpuindicator to the last position I had to specify the position of the icon that would have preceded it, or caffeine.

At the end, just save the file and restart the session. For the 14.04 version and later, it will be sufficient instead to run from the terminal

restart unity-panel-service

to restart Unity.

Here is the final result



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