UPDATE 11/23/2020: Am reclaiming Media Library space by deleting old pics. Trying to thin out the Media Library’s pics from posts that get few visits … hopefully it doesn’t ruin your view of the post.

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WIN 7 series – Part 1: For those Windows 7 users who are thinking about trying Linux before investing in Windows 10. Windows 7 support ends in about 6 months, so there is still time to check out Linux before having to make a final decision. Forget the other 2000+ Linux Distros (includes Flavors and DE’s) and go with either Ubuntu 18.04.2 or Zorin OS 15 or Mint 19.2 “Tina” (Cinnamon DE) – Ubuntu is the best Linux Distro, but Zorin is a Newbie-friendly Distro, and Mint has been a favorite for a long time with Windows users; however, no Linux Distro offers more than Ubuntu 18.04.2, and it is also Newbie-friendly with just a little bit of extra work.

 

I installed the Dash to Panel extension this morning and it works great!

An icon taskbar for the Gnome Shell. This extension moves the dash into the gnome main panel so that the application launchers and system tray are combined into a single panel, similar to that found in KDE Plasma and Windows 7+. A separate dock is no longer needed for easy access to running and favorited applications.

Yes, there are a lot of confusing terms in Linux (what can you expect w/ 2000+ Distros ‘fLoAtInG’ around out there), so just focus on what your Windows 7 Taskbar (known as panel or dock in Linux) is like, and look at this pic:

 

That was Ubuntu with default wallpaper – here it is w/ WIN7 wallpaper:

 

Here’s an interesting read – Dash to Panel Just Got a Major Update:

For those unaware, Dash to Panel is a popular Dash to Dock alternative that marries the GNOME Shell Dash and the GNOME Top Bar into a single, unified panel (think the Windows or Plasma 5 desktops).

Here’s the Dock (AKA Taskbar in WIN7) plus Top Bar:

 

Here’s the ‘Unified Taskbar’ look:

 

Clean look, for sure. Now, this Dash to Panel extension also gives Ubuntu a “windows preview” – i.e. “Aero Peek” (see Okay Dash to Panel, That Does Look Super Slick article) in Windows OSes:

 

 

One more look…

 

 

Like in Windows OSes, if you move the mouse pointer to an icon and hover, it brings up a ‘Preview’ window, then moving the pointer to the preview thumbnail gives a full view of the app/program, and then clicking on the preview thumbnail opens the app/program. Follow the above 3 links, they give info on how to get the Dash to Panel – here is another link, Essential Guide: How To Install GNOME Extensions on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Above, which goes into details on what you’ll need…steps needed, browser add-ons, etc. Once you are set up, go to the Ubuntu Software icon, click it and then search for “Dash to Panel” … click on Dash to Panel results to be installed…pic:

 

To remove it and return to default Taskbar (AKA panel or dock) … open Ubuntu Software, click on “Installed” apps at top and search for Dash to Panel…next to it will be a “Remove” button. Easy to switch back and forth if you wish…here’s the “Remove” button pic:

 

That’s it…

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it. 

(UPDATE: have created a new page – WIN 7 series: For Windows 7 users)