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A while back we wrote about an Unity plugin that allows you to move the Unity 3D Launcher to the bottom of the screen which you had to manually install and had a few annoying bugs.

Paullo, the Unity Bottom Launcher developer, has fixed the most important bugs (like the unmaximized Dash design, drag'n'drop items from Dash to the launcher, etc.), created a stand-alone Unity plugin plugin called "Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated" and uploaded it to a PPA so it's easier to stay up to date with newer versions. This also means that the package now works on 64bit too.

Known issues:
  • the Compiz expo plugin displays a gap on the left where the Unity launcher used to be.
  • If you press ALT + F2 and then type "about:config", the default Unity plugin settings will be displayed instead of Unity Plugin Rotated.
  • CCSM may freeze after enabling the plugin (the instructions below include a way around this issue)

If you're a developer and want to check out the source code, see https://code.launchpad.net/~paullo612/unity/unityshell-rotated.

Install Unity Bottom Launcher (Unity Plugin Rotated)

Enabling the Unity bottom launcher plugin ("Unity Plugin Rotated") is tricky and can cause your whole Unity not to load if not done properly so make sure you know what your are doing and how to get Unity back in case it no longer loads before proceeding!! Most probably CCSM will freeze after enabling the plugin! (I've included a work-around, but other things besides those I've encounter could go wrong!).

1. If you've manually installed the bottom Unity launcher, remove it before proceeding:

rm ~/.compiz-1/plugins/libunityshell.so

2. Add the PPA and install Unity Plugin Rotated, a newer libnux and CCSM:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:paullo612/unityshell-rotated
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unityshell-rotated libnux-1.0-0 compizconfig-settings-manager

3. Read the whole instructions below before proceeding!

Open CompizConfig Settings Manager, disable the "Ubuntu Unity Plugin" and enable "Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated". When activating Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated, you might get a popup that there are some conflicts - here, select "Resolve conflicts" and for the next two popups, select "Disable Run Dialog" and "Disable Flip Down".

If you've managed to enable "Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated" but Unity doesn't start immediately (and CCSM freezes), press CTRL + ALT + F1, enter your username and password and then type:
sudo service lightdm restart

Then log in as usual.

Important: I've tested the instructions in this post on 3 Ubuntu 11.10 installs and on one of them, after disabling the "Ubuntu Unity Plugin", CCSM didn't allow me to enable "Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated" (CCSM freezes). If this happens to you, press CTRL + ALT + F1, enter your username and password, then type:
sudo service lightdm restart

Then log in to Unity as usual. After logging in, press CTRL + ALT + T to open a terminal and type:

And enable "Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated".

Revert the changes

To undo these changes, all you have to do is disable the "Ubuntu Unity Plugin Rotated" plugin and re-enable the "Ubuntu Unity Plugin in CompizConfig Settings Manager. If you can't enable the original Ubuntu Unity Plugin, see the "Important" part above.

If you want, you can also purge the PPA:
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:paullo612/unityshell-rotated
sudo apt-get remove unityshell-rotated

Thanks to Paullo @ http://forum.ubuntu.ru for his work on the Unity Bottom Launcher!