GNOME Panel is an open source and free software package that has been designed from the ground up to take care of the taskbar (also known as panel) component of the powerful and controversial GNOME graphical desktop environment.
Comes-preloaded with various applets
The software is comprised of the main panel, which is displayed on top by default, the libpanel-applet library, which allows developers to create applets for the panel, as well as several example applets.
Among the included applets provided with the GNOME Panel software, we can mention the Workspace Switcher, the Window Selector, the Window List, the Notification Area, the Wanda the Fish, as well as the Clock.
Users can also add many other applets on the GNOME Panel, remove/disable existing ones, as well as to change the entire look and feel of the panel by using desktop themes and icon sets.
Applets can be downloaded from the official GNOME Shell Extensions website at https://extensions.gnome.org, where you can also upload your own applets for the GNOME Panel compoment.
Getting started with GNOME Panel
Being an essential component of the GNOME desktop environment, GNOME Panel comes pre-installed with each new installation of the GNOME desktop environment, which means that you cannot install it separately, and most probably you won’t be able to use it on other DEs or window managers.
It is available for download as a source tarball (tar.xz file), which can be used by advanced users to optimize it for their GNU/Linux platform and computer architecture, as well as to hack it and improve it.
The program is written in the C programming language and can be easily configure, compiled and installed by using the “./configure && make” and “make install” commands, without quotes, the last one should be executed as root or with sudo.