Could This Be Used to Change the Application Launcher/Dock Location in Ubuntu Unity?

Now, before you get your hopes up high, the method I'm going to tell you did not work for me :(. But I thought since there are like thousands of others who knows GNU/Linux really well, who knows, maybe I missed something. In that sense by doing a slight bit of a change, what if we were able to change the application launcher or the dock location from left to the right, etc in Ubuntu 11.04!.

Another thing, I'm pretty sure most have come across this setting, so surely I'm not the only one who saw this without a doubt either.

A little "something" about unity-shell...

The UI (user interface) of Ubuntu Unity desktop is called the "unity-shell". Like with Gnome-shell or the Gnome3, Unity also uses the OpenGL rendering to achieve those fancy 3D graphical effects.

Although Gnome developers decided to create a OpenGL composition manager of their own, Canonical on the other hand decided to use Compiz which has been there for a long time in comparison with Gnome3's OpenGL window manager (as far as I know anyway).

The main reason for Canonical to go for the already existing Compiz is because it's already been there for a long time already thus it has proven its stability and usability. Anyhow, as a result, the default UI in Unity desktop called the "unity-Shell" is actually a plugin that runs on top of Compiz.

So, since Compiz is the one who's behind "drawing" that application launcher which Canonical refused to allow the users to change its location other than the default left, by using Compiz and changing its options, we should be able to change its location. But how can we do that?.

Now, as I've said before, you can actually use the Gconf-editor which is somewhat similar to Microsoft windows registry where users can set individual or global settings per applications or to the desktop itself, to customize Compiz settings in Ubuntu natty.

So let's try this and see this works for you!. Open your Terminal and issue the below command.

gconf-editor main window...

From the left side go to: "apps" -> "compizconfig-1" -> "profiles" -> "default" -> "plugins" -> "unityshell" -> "screen0" -> "options". Once you're inside of "options" you'll see a screen similar to the below one.

From the right side find that which says "launcher_reveal_edge" (aaaaah :P). Now you can see the default value set by Ubuntu is "Left", which is the side that dock comes in default.

Now when I saw this for the first time my heart rate went crazy ... I though, all right, all I gotta do is just change the value from "Left" to "Right" then the dock will be at the right side.

So out of my enthusiasm, I did so but nothing happened :(. But since you have nothing to lose, why don't you give it a try. Just change that value from "Left" to "Right" and log-in to Unity.

I suppose this will not work for you either. Anyway, as a final guess, if we could copy the a dove mentioned unityshell (with all its keys and options as in the above screen-shot) and paste it at another location= "apps" -> "compizconfig-1" -> "profiles" -> "default" -> "unity" -> "plugins" ....

...where it only includes a key called "gnomecompact" currently, so if we can just copy the previously mentioned unityshell including all of its keys and values and paste it within the "plugin" folder icon, it might actually do it!.

For that, you have to use a tool called "gconftool-2" but to be honest I don't know how to add values/folders in the left side, haven't used it that much :(.

Do you know how to do it??... anyone?? (this might not work too but... heck it's well worth a try!)

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