The tag is currently a synonym for the tag, so all questions that are tagged with are automatically retagged with the tag instead. Ubuntu 17.10 and later also has an applications dashboard which is also called the Dash. Although the new Dash looks the same as the old Dash, there is a new tag for it called instead of one tag for both.

This is not the expected behavior. It is awkward and cumbersome. A better way to do it would be to convert from a child synonym of into its parent tag and make both and synonyms of .

In case anyone disagrees with the existing names for screen real estate objects in Ubuntu 18.04, this is not what this question is about. If you want to ask about changing the names for screen real estate objects in Ubuntu 18.04 feel free to do so, but please ask about it in another question. This question is only about how we should tag the Dash, not about possible new names for the applications dashboard in Ubuntu 18.04. If you don't like the name Dash it's OK to suggest a new one, but that's the name it has for now and this question is about how to tag it, not what would be the best name for it.

  • 3
    And what about the dash shell?
    – fosslinux
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 0:08
  • 3
    From Meta post: How should we tag Dash (the shell) - Why not dash-shell? That seems to me to be rather descriptive without being over-generic (shell-scripting).
    – karel
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 0:20
  • Is it called the Dash by GNOME, or by Ubuntu?
    – muru
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 3:32
  • 1
    It is called the Dash by both Ubuntu and GNOME, so the GNOME applications dashboard is called the Dash in Linux distributions that have the GNOME desktop environment generally. Not to be confused with the dash command-line shell or the MPEG-DASH standard for adaptive bitrate streaming over HTTP.
    – karel
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 3:37

2 Answers 2


I never heard anyone referring the "screen that appears when you click the "Show Applications" button" as "dash" in respect of GNOME.

Only the side-bar thingy which appears in "Activities" overview (and "Show Applications" screen) that contains running and favourite app icons and the "Show Applications" button is called dash in GNOME lingo. Refer to the screenshot below (Note: it's an older version of GNOME shell, there are some minor changes in the recent ones).

enter image description here
(screenshot source)

Case in point:
Go to the official GNOME shell extensions website and search with the keyword "dash". What would you find amongst the popular extensions?

  • Dash to dock: turns "GNOME dash" (side-bar thingy) into a dock
  • Dash to panel: merges "GNOME dash" (side-bar thingy) with the "top bar" and turns it into a customisable panel/task-bar
  • Many variants of Hide dash: hides "GNOME dash" (side-bar thingy) from "Activities" overview and "Show Applications" screen
  • Many variants of Quit from dash: provides an option to quit applications from "GNOME dash" (side-bar thingy) pop-over context menu

and so.

Now Ubuntu developers turned this "GNOME dash" into a fully fledged dock by having the gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock package (which is in fact a fork of the "dash to dock" extension mentioned above) pre-installed and activated by default in the standard Ubuntu sessions (both Xorg and Wayland) on Ubuntu 17.10 and later, and we have a tag for it.

So only times one encounters "GNOME dash" nowadays when they

  1. use older releases of "Ubuntu GNOME" distro (currently supported one is only Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 LTS),
  2. install and use vanilla GNOME session on Ubuntu 17.10 and later.

So I second @muru, "GNOME dash" is a pretty minor thing to have a tag of its own.

Also, the "screen that appears when you click the "Show Applications" button" can very well be covered under the tag. It is not much separated from the "Activities" overview and originally the only end-user-friendly way (without using the keyboard shortcut) to get to that "Show Applications" screen was via the "Activities" overview:

  1. open "Activities" overview
  2. only then "GNOME dash" (the side-bar thingy) appears
  3. click the "Show Applications" button
  4. you get to the "Show Applications" screen.
  • There was always a keyboard shortcut for the Show Applications screen - Super-A I think, not sure. But I agree with the rest of the post.
    – muru
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 1:38
  • @muru Yes, I mentioned it too ("without using the keyboard shortcut").
    – pomsky
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 11:35

As far as I can tell, the dash isn't that prominent a feature for GNOME Shell. It's only visible in the activities overview. I don't think GNOME ever call it "GNOME Dash", or even "Dash" with a capital D. It's only because of Ubuntu's customisation, by whatever extension that they selected, that the dash is even visible on the desktop. If GNOME Shell's own dash is the topic, I don't think it needs its own tag - it should be simply tagged . Why should every component of the same software get tags? Even if it does need a tag, looking at GNOME Shell's design docs, it's not even at the same level as say, the . It comes under the Activities Overview, so shouldn't the tag be named after that?

If it's about Ubuntu's customised one, then we shouldn't call it "GNOME Dash" - that's misbranding it. Maybe Ubuntu Dash?

  • That's the same as what I suggested in my question except that instead of ubuntu-dash I suggested that we call that tag simply dash to reduce the possibility of confusion because that's exactly what the Dash is called. There is already a separate tag for the dash command-line shell called dash-shell so there is no ambiguity with the dash shell.
    – karel
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 4:26
  • Not exactly.. my main suggestion is to ditch these *dash tags altogether (and simply use gnome-shell, unity as the case may be). If this needs a tag at all, only the Ubuntu extension one probably needs it, since I think the Unity dash can go under unity and only the Ubuntu extension is significantly different (organization wise - both code and project) from the native dashes of these shells.
    – muru
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 4:43
  • Also if "It comes under the Activities Overview" refers to the Activities navigation link on left side the Panel which when it is clicked shows the open windows, then everything comes under the Activities Overview because the Panel is shown all the time by default. The Dash is accessed by clicking the Show Applications button at the bottom of the Dock.
    – karel
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 4:49
  • @karel everything except the top bar.
    – muru
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 4:52
  • Yes, because the Activities navigation link is located on the left side of the Panel at the top of the screen. I don't think that the intention of the Panel designers in putting the Actvities navigation link on the Panel was to subsume every other function in the GNOME shell to window and workspace switching. The Activities navigation link was put on the Panel to provide a useful function to GNOME Shell users.
    – karel
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 4:54
  • Dash is short for dashboard. The Dash is after all an applications dashboard. It's supposed to be accessible and easy to use, not weird like a Windows Control Panel.
    – karel
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 10:06

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