How to make the gnome panels in ubuntu totally transparent

Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work. Read more.

We all love transparency, since it makes your desktop so beautiful and lovely—so today we’re going to show you how to apply transparency to the panels in your Ubuntu Gnome setup. It’s an easy process, and here’s how to do it.

This article is the first part of a multi-part series on how to customize the Ubuntu desktop, written by How-To Geek reader and ubergeek, Omar Hafiz.

Making the Gnome Panels Transparent

Of course we all love transparency, It makes your desktop so beautiful and lovely. So you go for enabling transparency in your panels , you right click on your panel, choose properties, go to the Background tab and make your panel transparent. Easy right? But instead of getting a lovely transparent panel, you often get a cluttered, ugly panel like this:

Fortunately it can be easily fixed, all we need to do is to edit the theme files. If your theme is one of those themes that came with Ubuntu like Ambiance then you’ll have to copy it from /usr/share/themes to your own .themes directory in your Home Folder. You can do so by typing the following command in the terminal

Note: don’t forget to substitute theme_name with the theme name you want to fix.

But if your theme is one you downloaded then it is already in your .themes folder. Now open your file manager and navigate to your home folder then do to .themes folder. If you can’t see it then you probably have disabled the “View hidden files” option. Press Ctrl+H to enable it.

Now in .themes you’ll find your previously copied theme folder there, enter it then go to gtk-2.0 folder. There you may find a file named “panel.rc”, which is a configuration file that tells your panel how it should look like. If you find it there then rename it to “panel.rc.bak”. If you don’t find don’t panic! There’s nothing wrong with your system, it’s just that your theme decided to put the panel configurations in the “gtkrc” file.

Open this file with your favorite text editor and at the end of the file there is line that looks like this “include “apps/gnome-panel.rc””. Comment out this line by putting a hash mark # in front of it. Now it should look like this “# include “apps/gnome-panel.rc””

Save and exit the text editor. Now change your theme to any other one then switch back to the one you edited. Now your panel should look like this:

Stay tuned for the second part in the series, where we’ll cover how to change the color and fonts on your panels.

I’m trying to get the gnome panel to be completely transparent with no lock. This dude seems to have do it. Check it out (

This is what happens if I right-click panel and set transparency to 100%, you can see parts of the panel.

## make gnome bar true transparent

if you are using compiz (desktop effects), you can add true transparency.
go to System->Prefs->Advanced desktop effects settings
Click on General opts.->Opacity settings, and add the following entry at top of the list:
Opacity windows: type=dock
Opacity windows values: 80 (adjust this to your like)

if you dont have the advanced desktop settings util, just install it:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

this will make entire panel transparent

## make gnome bar true transparent

if you are using compiz (desktop effects), you can add true transparency.
go to System->Prefs->Advanced desktop effects settings
Click on General opts.->Opacity settings, and add the following entry at top of the list:
Opacity windows: type=dock
Opacity windows values: 80 (adjust this to your like)

if you dont have the advanced desktop settings util, just install it:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

this will make entire panel transparent

+1, but I would use name=gnome-panel instead of type=dock just because if you ever decide to use some sort of Dock like awn, it will also make that transparent.

True, but i don’t use awn and I put those directions in a file before awn was as commonplace as it is today. Awn may not have even existed at this time.

Actually, these particular directions come from the Beryl days.

awesome, it worked (but only after restart).

However the icons also become transparent. If you click the link in the first post you’ll see that the icons on the panel are not affected.

When I used type=dock and name=gnome-panel, it also affected my main menu (i.e the menu like startmenu in Windows). So everything was transparent in the dock. I then used type=dock & name=gnome-panel now the main menu is not affected anymore only the panel and the icons on it.

awesome, it worked (but only after restart).

However the icons also become transparent. If you click the link in the first post you’ll see that the icons on the panel are not affected.

When I used type=dock and name=gnome-panel, it also affected my main menu (i.e the menu like startmenu in Windows). So everything was transparent in the dock. I then used type=dock & name=gnome-panel now the main menu is not affected anymore only the panel and the icons on it.

Did you ever get the icons to be unaffected while the bar is completely transparent? I am also having this problem. Please let me know if you were able to do so.

Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work. Read more.

Earlier this week we showed you how to make the Gnome Panels totally transparent, but you really need some customized fonts and colors to make the effect work better. Here’s how to do it.

This article is the first part of a multi-part series on how to customize the Ubuntu desktop, written by How-To Geek reader and ubergeek, Omar Hafiz.

Changing the Gnome Colors the Easy Way

You’ll first need to install Gnome Color Chooser which is available in the default repositories (the package name is gnome-color-chooser). Then go to System > Preferences > Gnome Color Chooser to launch the program.

When you see all these tabs you immediately know that Gnome Color Chooser does not only change the font color of the panel, but also the color of the fonts all over Ubuntu, desktop icons, and many other things as well.

Now switch to the panel tab, here you can control every thing about your panels. You can change font, font color, background and background color of the panels and start menus. Tick the “Normal” option and choose the color you want for the panel font. If you want you can change the hover color of the buttons on the panel by too.

A little below the color option is the font options, this includes the font, font size, and the X and Y positioning of the font. The first two options are pretty straight forward, they change the typeface and the size.

The X-Padding and Y-Padding may confuse you but they are interesting, they may give a nice look for your panels by increasing the space between items on your panel like this:



The bottom half of the window controls the look of your start menus which is the Applications, Places, and Systems menus. You can customize them just the way you did with the panel.

Alright, this was the easy way to change the font of your panels.

Changing the Gnome Theme Colors the Command-Line Way

The other hard (not so hard really) way will be changing the configuration files that tell your panel how it should look like. In your Home Folder, press Ctrl+H to show the hidden files, now find the file “.gtkrc-2.0”, open it and insert this line in it. If there are any other lines in the file leave them intact.

Don’t forget to replace the with you user account name. When done close and save the file. Now navigate the folder “.gnome2” from your Home Folder and create a new file and name it “panel-fontrc”. Open the file you just created with a text editor and paste the following in it:

style “my_color”
fg[NORMAL] = “#FF0000”
widget “*PanelWidget*” style “my_color”
widget “*PanelApplet*” style “my_color”

This text will make the font red. If you want other colors you’ll need to replace the Hex value/HTML Notation (in this case #FF0000) with the value of the color you want. To get the hex value you can use GIMP, Gcolor2 witch is available in the default repositories or you can right-click on your panel > Properties > Background tab then click to choose the color you want and copy the Hex value. Don’t change any other thing in the text. When done, save and close. Now press Alt+F2 and enter “killall gnome-panel” to force it to restart or you can log out and login again.

Most of you will prefer the first way of changing the font and color for it’s ease of applying and because it gives you much more options but, some may not have the ability/will to download and install a new program on their machine or have reasons of their own for not to using it, that’s why we provided the two way.

This quick tutorial is going to show you how to change the transparency level of the Gnome 3 desktop top panel in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, though

It’s easy to configure top panel transparency via a Gnome Shell extension called Dynamic Top Bar. With the extension, you can easily configure top panel transparency if app is not full screen:

  • top panel transparency style: transparency or gradient.
  • transparency level.
  • Show or hide button shadow, Activities button text.

1. Open Ubuntu Software, search for and install Dynamic Top Bar

2. Once installed, go to extension settings via the install page (Ubuntu Software) or Gnome tweak tool (install it via Ubuntu Software).

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I’m a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to remind me outdated tutorial! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

  • How to Install Pidgin 2.13.0.
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3 responses to Change Top Panel Transparency Level in Ubuntu 18.04

Is there any way to make the notifications transparent also?

However, the terminal can be a pretty boring place to work on as there are not a number of default themes to play with. An awesome trick is to make the background transparent so that the desktop background can become the background of the terminal itself. Things can really become interesting then.

If your Linux distro uses GNOME as its desktop environment, then it’s highly likely that you already have GNOME Terminal as the default terminal emulator.

If your system isn’t using GNOME, it’s still possible to get GNOME Terminal. You can either get it from your software repository or build it from source. You can obtain the appropriate instruction for building the terminal app from source on Linux from Scratch.

Adjusting Terminal Transparency

I believe that you have GNOME Terminal ready to go. Now, it’s time to finally make it transparent!

At first, launch the terminal window.

The background is a solid color, right? Now, go to Edit >> Preferences.

There, go to the “Colors” tab.

Here, uncheck the “Use transparency from system theme” and check “Use transparent background”.

Now, you’ll notice that the slider is activated. Just move it right and left to adjust the transparency level.

Once you’re all set, just press “Close”.

Here’s the final interface of the terminal. Enjoy!

About the author

Sidratul Muntaha

Student of CSE. I love Linux and playing with tech and gadgets. I use both Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

Author : Andrew | Posted: December 01, 2009

You can set the Gnome panel transparency through it’s settings but:

1. That’s not true transparency.
2. If a panel has a background, you cannot make it transparent . Well, actually you can with a special image as it’s background but it doesn’t work with all the themes , as we’ve seen in Web Upd8 post about some really nice Gnome panel backgrounds.

But you can set the Gnome panel transparency with the help of Compiz , and that will solve all the above issues . Here is how:

(I’m not going to cover the installation of CCSM and so on, see Ubuntu Newbie Guide: Compiz, How to Get the Cube, etc. )

1. Go to System > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager , and check the “Opacity, brightness and saturation” plug-in under “Accessibility”, then click it so we can configure the plug-in.

2. On the “Opacity” tab, under “Specific Window settings”, click on “New” and paste this:

And drag the opacity slider to a value you want. I’ve set mine to 50%:

The value we’ve entered into the Specific Window settings means Compiz will only make the Gnome panel transparent, without also setting the menu to be transparent. If you also want to make the menu transparent, instead of the line above, enter this in the Specific Window settings:

You can also alter the brightness and saturation for the gnome panel, repeating this step for the “Brightness” and “Saturation” tabs in the “Opacity, brightness and saturation” Compiz plugin.

Navigate through the menu by clicking on “org -> gnome -> shell -> extensions -> dash-to-dock.” Landing on Ubuntu’s dock settings, scroll down until you see “transparency-mode” and select it.

How do I change the dock color in Ubuntu?

Basic customization in Ubuntu settings

Navigate to Settings > Appearance to toggle auto-hide, adjust icon size, and choose the position of the dock. Looking for Linux Systems Analyst ! There are a lot of options packed into this tool, as it provides granular customization for many aspects of GNOME.

How do I make terminal transparent in Ubuntu?

How to Change transparency of the terminal window in ubuntu

  1. Right click on any part of the terminal and select the “profile” option, the “Profile Preferences”.
  2. Select the “background” tab to reveal 3 options: “Solid color”, “Background image”, “Transparent background”.

How do I enable dock in Ubuntu?

When you boot your system and get to the GDM login screen you should find a cogwheel (⚙️) next to the sign in button. If you click on the cogwheel you should find an Ubuntu (and Ubuntu on Wayland) option. Select it and then log in. or from here.

How do I remove dashboard from my dock?

If you change your mind and you want Ubuntu Dock back, you can either disable Dash to Panel by using Gnome Tweaks app, or completely remove Dash to Panel by clicking the X button next to it from here:

How do I configure dash to dock?

Configuring Dash to Dock

Accessing the settings dialog for the extension is easy. Simply right-click on the applications icon in the dock, and choose Dash to Dock settings. Note, however, that the extension allows you to remove the applications icon from the dock.

How do you make a terminal transparent in Linux?

Open up a terminal window, and go to the Edit Current Profile menu: Click on the Effects tab, and then check the Transparent background radio button. The slider will let you control how transparent the background is. All the way to the left is fully transparent.

How do you make a transparent Terminator?

  1. Click on Preferences.
  2. Click on Profiles tab.
  3. Under Profiles click on Background tab.
  4. Check Transparent background.
  5. Set the transparency (Optional)

How do I make the command prompt transparent in Windows 10?

Make Command Prompt Transparent in Windows 10

  1. On the Options tab, make sure the Use legacy console box at the bottom is unchecked (it should be by default).
  2. Then go to the Colors tab and at the bottom you can adjust the opacity slider to get the transparency effect you want. …
  3. That’s it.

How do I remove an app from Ubuntu dock?

Start the extensions app and you should see Ubuntu Dock under the Built-in extensions section. You just have to toggle the button off to disable the dock.

How do I use Ubuntu dock?

Using the Ubuntu dock: Absolute basic that you must know

  1. Right-click on the icon and select “Add to Favorites”
  2. Right-click on the icon and select “Remove from Favorites”
  3. Change Launcher Position.
  4. Go to Settings->Appearance->Dock.
  5. Changing Icon Size In Ubuntu Dock.
  6. Mounted disks are displayed In the Ubuntu Dock.

How do I get rid of Gnome dock?

Open dconf-editor and goto org->gnome->shell->extension->dash-to-dock . You can do some tweaks like hiding dock, turn off extending dock etc.

taken from

Firstly, make sure you have the ‘Compiz Configuration Settings Manager’ installed (CCSM). You can easily find this in synaptic if you don’t.

1. Open CCSM
2. Go to Accessibility
3. Go to Tab – Opacity Settings

Enter the settings as follows: –

* dock 67
* Menu 90
* DropdownMenu 92
* popupmenu 93

Preview these settings and then tweak to your liking.

I’m sure you could tweak those settings even more. I’ve not personally tested this because I don’t use compiz. It does seem the most concise thought.

* dock 67
* Menu 90
* DropdownMenu 92
* popupmenu 93

where do i type these in?

I’m sorry that I can’t help you more. compiz slows down my machine, but have a look at that website. Hopefully it can help you out more.

now i have it half transparent by enabling transparent menu in ubuntu tweak. but i want it completely transparent. Anyone?
thanks to grturner ( appreciated your help:)

I think the compiz plugin is ‘brightness and opacity’, or something like that. Go in there and modify your settings for each window – there’s lots of guides on google aswell.

my way of editing in ubuntu tweak has made all the menu bars transparent. is there a way to only make the panel menu bar transparent?

Probably yes, I’m afraid you’ll have to search for it as I don’t know exactly how it’s done. Googling is an art and you have to practise to get it right. You can’t just search in google ‘how do I do this’ and expect the right answer to come – it requires a bit of effort.

What about this ( Also check out this (

What about this (

A web page linked off of your posted link should suffice:

The OP will need to find out the name for the panel based menu, if it differs from all others? A bit of trial and error might get him there.

edit: Looks like you’ve found a better site link since I posted my reply 🙂

reading this : has made me really confused. the link says got to opacify but i only have opacity. and some of the options seem to be from an older version of ccsm:confused:

Look for the plugin that is most similar to ‘opacity settings’.

i tried changing pidgin to gnome-panel and then menu_bar but both did not work. pretty stumped here:(
i mean i changed the pidgin here:
class=Pidgin & !title=Buddy List

Just replace all of that with or whatever. You don’t need any pidgin stuff.

thats what i did. i just took the pidgin as an example. i tried all to no avail. (

I think it is case sensitive, try Gnome-panel

I think it is case sensitive, try Gnome-panel

Sounds like what you want isn’t possible right now. anyone else got any ideas?

have i typed it right? please see the screenshot

If it worked then yes, if it didn’t then no.

You may be best asking if what you want is even possible (only affecting panel based menus and not others) on the IRC based #compiz channel, which resides at I assume you know about IRC? If not read here:

You can use Pidgin to access IRC in Ubuntu by adding an IRC protocol based account for See attached screenshot for a brief howto. just pick a username to be known as.

Just a thought, but try:

class=gnome-panel & (type=Menu | Tooltip | PopupMenu | DropDownMenu)

You could also use the ‘grab window’ feature to grab the gnome panel’s class (select class, grab, click on the panel), and then add another parameter to the same rule, with the menus options, and make sure to give the whole of it an ‘and’ relationship to the ‘gnome panel’ parameter. Hope you get what I mean!

My only worry is that if you were to make the menus transparent with compiz, I think it also makes the text transparent – so you can’t actually have full transparency and still see the text.

With GNOME 3.22 , the developers have removed the dynamic transparency from the top bar. In the past, it was GNOME Tape The top on Ubuntu is pretty much transparent until it’s touched by a window. It has made the desktop environment, especially in Distributions مثل Ubuntu , is cleaner and less cluttered, which makes it a favorite among users. That’s a real shame too, because there don’t seem to be any concrete plans to bring him back.

Fortunately, the developers of GNOME plugins have started to work to bring back the dynamic transparency. So, getting it back to Ubuntu 19.04 is great.

Install Firefox Add-on

To get started, you will need a package that enables Add Firefox from work. It may seem like a lot of setup, but you won’t need to do it again, and the combination of this Firefox add-on and this package will allow you to download and enable any GNOME add-on directly from the web.

First, install the package.

Go to page GNOME Shell Integration Firefox for add-ons, and add them to Firefox.

Install the GNOME extension

You are ready to install the GNOME extension. Head to the add page Dynamic Panel Transparency on the GNOME website. You will see a toggle switch in the upper right corner of the page. Flip it to enable dynamic transparency on your system.

Give it a few seconds to download and set up the extension. After you’re done, test it out. Minimize all your windows, and take a look at your desktop. Is the top panel semi-transparent? This means it is working. Try dragging a window up. If the top panel becomes opaque, everything is working normally and you have dynamic transparency on your system.

Make the shortcut sidebar very transparent

After seeing how beautiful your desktop can be with the Transparency feature in the top panel, you might be tempted to do the same with the Shortcuts sidebar. There is no very suitable solution for this, but it is certainly not difficult to do. First, install dconf To be able to modify GNOME configurations.

Then open the editor dconf. It is a graphical application, and you can search for it. Once you open it, you will see a warning that you can easily smash the settings. It can certainly happen, but agreed anyway.

Navigate through the menu by clicking on “org -> gnome -> shell -> extensions -> dash-to-dock.To access the Settings menu for the Ubuntu Dock, scroll down until you see Transparency Mode and select it.

On the Settings page, turn off Use Default Value. Set the custom value to “Fixed” and press “Apply.”

You have to go back to settings”dash-to-dock. Select “Background Opacity”. Turn off Use Default Value again, and set your opacity value. 1.0 is opaque. 0.0 completely transparent. When you are finished, pressApply“.

This is it! The desktop now has dynamic transparency, and you can adjust the Dock’s transparency. These methods should work well for a long time. The GNOME developers may be coming up with their own implementation of dynamic transparency again, but that probably won’t make its way to Ubuntu for a while.

Gnome is one of the most popular desktop environments available for Linux based systems. It is only bound to become more popular as the most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu, gradually integrates Gnome as its default desktop environment. Ubuntu 17.10 already ships with the Gnome 3 desktop, albeit a bit modified to look and feel like Unity. That can be a good or a bad thing depending on who you ask. Gnome might be popular but it is not everyone’s favorite, at least not in its default configuration. The best thing about the Gnome shell is the various extensions. Here are 5 of the best Gnome shell extensions that you must try if you want to modify the appearance of your Gnome desktop.

Gnome shell extensions are a big part of the Gnome experience. These tiny pieces of codes can add real value to the Gnome desktop experience. They may help you better adapt Gnome to your workflow or add functionality that wasn’t originally there.

We’ve discussed Gnome shell extensions a bit more in detail before. We’ve also seen how you can install Gnome extensions from the web. But which extensions exactly should you install? There isn’t a definitive answer to that question because everyone has different needs and tastes. The set of Gnome shell extensions you use might not prove as useful for someone else. Although, there are some extensions that we think many of you may like. These extensions mostly just modify the appearance of your Gnome desktop but might also enhance functionality. You should also read our guide with a detailed description of the Gnome extension installation procedure.

1. Dash to Dock

Remember how we just mentioned the default Gnome configuration isn’t exactly ideal for everyone? Well, the lack of a dock is the first thing you’re going to notice when you log into Gnome. Gnome does have a dock, sort of, but its called Dash and you have to hit the Windows key or access Activities by whatever method you prefer in order to bring up the dash. This is quite counterproductive because it adds one extra step to reaching your most used and favorite apps. Ubuntu 17.10 fixes this by bringing the dock permanently to the left just like it was on Unity. But if you’re using the stock Gnome shell you will need the Dash to Dock Gnome shell extension.

This extension still works, in fact, it works better with the modified Ubuntu 17.10 Gnome shell. You can change a few things about the Ubuntu dock using the preference settings in Dash to Dock while the dock is installed but disabled. When enabled, it replaces the Ubuntu dock and any preferences you change will affect your new dock.

2. Dynamic Top Bar

Another instant reaction to the Gnome 3 desktop you may have is about the top bar. Its black, and totally opaque like it came straight out of the previous decade. Once again, Ubuntu 17.10 fixes that and makes it transparent enough but you may not like the default transparency values. The solution to all your problems is the Dynamic Top Bar extension. There are a few other extensions you may find that promise to do the same thing but nothing is quite as good as this one. The best part is it is compatible with the latest version of Gnome as well as the modified Ubuntu 17.10 version. It lets you make the top bar completely transparent to completely opaque and anything in between. It also allows you to add a gradient to the top bar instead.

3. Workspaces to Dock

If you’re someone who organizes their work between multiple virtual desktops you may not fall in love with how Gnome treats them. Like the Gnome Dash, workspaces in Gnome are also hidden away under Activities. Workspaces to Dock, like Dash to Dock, brings these Workspaces right onto your desktop as another dock to the right. You can configure this dock to always be visible, which is helpful if you have an ultra-wide monitor. Or you can make it visible on the desktop but hidden when a Window overlaps it or simply make it auto-hide all the time.

4. Cover flow Alt-tab

The Alt+Tab keyboard shortcut is quite helpful when you have a lot of open Windows. But there is something that we call a presentation. On Gnome 3 this Alt+Tab view is, to be blunt, a bit bland. It only shows icons of running apps instead of thumbnails and 2017 is almost over. Gnome shell extensions to the rescue again, this time named Cover flow Alt-tab. This extension changes the default Alt+Tab view to something fancier which can also be customized to your liking.

5. Frippery Move Clock

Generally, whichever Desktop OS or Linux shell you use, the clock is always on the right side. Whether it is in the top-right or the bottom depends but it is on the right if not on the very right. On Gnome though, the clock and date are both in the center. This isn’t exactly a problem but I’ve often found myself looking to the right of the top bar for the time and not finding it there. So it made sense to want the clock on the right and not the center. You may agree or maybe you just want to move it to the right because it looks good there. Whatever your reasons or lack thereof, just install the Frippery Move Clock extension and the clock will move to the right. There are no settings to tinker around with.

It’s time now to check out the top Gnome shell extensions to maximize the functionality of your computer.

Go to your session thing (System->Preferences->Sessions) and kill the process gnome-panel. Then save the session.

I did that, but didn’t like it. It makes it tricky to get at files. Should be okay on a netbook, though.

They changed it? Maaan, you can’t even disable processes now.

Why not try the netbook remix?

Sorry I wasn’t much help . 😛

Thats ok thanx for the time.

I just hate netbook remix’s.

System->Preferences->Sessions doesn’t exist any more either.

You can get rid of the panels in the following way:

start gconf-editor
in the tree structure, navigate to /desktop/gnome/session
double click on the value “required_component_list”
remove “panel” from the list that opens

I suppose the ‘panel’ entry under required_components is not read when ‘panel’ is not included in required_components_list. I have removed ‘panel’ from the list, and also still have the panel->gnome-panel key. Logging out and logging in again was all that’s needed. No more gnome-panel, just a minimalist awn.

However, if you ever had the option “automatically remember. ” in gnome-session-properties aka ‘Startup Applications’ switched on you may have an entry referring to gnome-panel in

/.config/gnome-session/saved-session. Keep this option off for now, clean out the saved-session directory and try again.

By the way, once you got rid of the gnome panels, and if you don’t like the tray icons applet in awn, you may want to check out ‘stalonetray’.

Whenever I tried cairo dock, I always came back to AWN. But that’s another topic, this thread is about getting rid of gnome-panel. 😉

In order to start stalonetray, I have the following script in my Startup Applications (gnome-session-properties):

#!/bin/csh -f
sleep 20
stalonetray –transparent –window-layer bottom –icon-gravity SW >& /dev/null

This gives me a (fake) transparent icon tray in the lower left corner of the screen. The icon-gravity specifies in which direction icons are added inside the tray. window-layer=bottom tells it to always stay in the background. There are also geometry and icon-size parameters that let you position the tray elsewhere on the screen and modify the space available to each icon. Stalonetray has a man page that explains these and many more parameters.

The sleep is necessary because otherwise the session manager would start stalonetray at a point where the window manager and/or compiz aren’t really ready to handle this app properly. Of course, you can experiment with the duration.

id10twork, what do you mean by “just delete it”? Right-click on a panel and select “delete this panel”? That option is grayed out if you have only one panel left, so you cannot delete the last one.

Removing gnome-panel from the list of required components is (normally) just as easy and you can also add it back as easily. And you can also add it back temporarily by running gnome-panel from a terminal. Since you’re not deleting anything in this case, the gnome-panel configuration will be kept and after starting it manually the panel(s) will look as before.

Have you managed to hide the Gnome-panel? I did it 3 days ago, and here’s how:

Autohide [X]
Autohide Size 0
Orientation: Bottom
Monitor 0
Screen 0
Size 0
X 10000
Y 10000

Note: If this doesn’t work, try this setup in /apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel

What we were discussing here initially was how to get rid of the gnome panel completely, i.e. not to run it at all. This makes sense for people using a dock like awn which can replace the gnome panel.

Nevertheless, BazookaAce’s post made me look into autohide again because I always wanted to use it on my non-Compiz machine where I cannot run awn, but never liked the way it looked. Now I figured out why it was ugly.

Have a look at the attachment, open it in Gimp or EOG (in EOG switch off “smooth images when zoomed”), then enlarge to 400% or so. The first line shows a bottom panel with property “Background = None (use system theme)”. In this case, there are a one-pixel gray line and a one-pixel white line above the icons. When I switch to autohide with autohide size = 0 or 1, then a single white pixel line is drawn across the screen. Not that pretty, but ok.

In the second line I have switched the panel to an (ugly) solid color. Now these two extra pixel lines, some sort of 3-D effect, are gone, and the hidden panel looks weird because it shows the top row of the icons’ pixels.

For the third line I switched the panel to mostly transparent (that was my normal setting). Here we still see that ugly top pixel row and this stopped me from using autohide.

Today I fiddled with my gtkrc again and added the following:

style “panel” <
bg[NORMAL] = “#360F03”
fg[NORMAL] = “white”

class “Panel*” style “panel”
widget “*PanelApplet*” style “panel”
widget “*PanelWidget*” style “panel”

This recolors only the gnome panel, all the menu bars, etc, still have their original colors. Switching the panel properties back to none gives me the image shown in the fourth line. And that looks good to me. I picked a color that matches the average of my wall paper. People who use detailed images might have to fiddle a bit more.

Two more tweaks to the panel that make it nicer for me: enable_animation=off and unhide_delay=200

Updated: February 4, 2022

I see a great disturbance in the force. I see hordes of fanboys on both sides of the Tux camp whetting their pitchforks, ready to storm Castle Dedo. As it happens, the Plasma and Gnome desktop environments have completely opposite value propositions, or at least, usage models. One classic, one not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t cross streams.

The big difference between Plasma and Gnome is that Plasma is extremely customizable, so if you feel like going for a visual refresh, you can do this relatively easily. Gnome can also be tweaked, but it needs extensions and then some. And so, I want to show you how, should you feel like making your Plasma desktop mimic Fedora or perchance Ubuntu with its Yaru theme, this is how you do it. After me.


I’ve already shown you how to make Plasma look like Mac, Unity and Windows 10. Great success. Now, next on our menu is Gnome. In particular, I do like the Yaru theme and icons quite a bit, so my goal today is to grab a bunch of Plasma assets, put them together, and enjoy a fresh visual setup. We did this several times before, so the exercise, on a technical level won’t be any different.

Plasma lets you search and install new appearance-related assets, including global and desktop themes, color schemes, icons, fonts, and then some, through either Discover or by clicking the relevant “Get new” button in the Settings utility for each of the categories under Appearance. It’s all nicely, tidily integrated, showcasing the simplicity and power of Plasma. Me gushing.

Assets what we are going to use

Okay, so I decided to go for the following:

  • Yaru (Dark) global/desktop theme (YaruKdeDark and variations).
  • Yaru icons theme (Yaru).
  • Yaru color theme (KvYaru).
  • Global menu widget (not really Gnome, but hey).

To make it all the more interesting, I made these changes in MX-21 KDE running on my IdeaPad! A superb distro, very slick, very polished, with great Plasma 5.20 at hand. Normally, in the Xfce flavor, MX ships with a side panel on the left, focused bottom up, so in fact, making the Plasma version look the same way brings the two editions of the distro in line. However, I do prefer the top-left focus, a-la Unity.

The nice thing about MX-21 is that is ships with the Kvantum theming engine and a whole assortment of themes and color schemes, which makes the customization even easier, because it lets you skip a step in the process. Anyway, let us commence with our creative muses.

Work in progress

I moved the bottom panel to the left. Grab the “Screen Edge” handle and drag the panel where you like it. Then, I added a spacer and placed the Minimize All Windows widget to the bottom of this panel. Next, I added a second panel to the top, added a global menu, several spacers to make things more elegant, a trash icon, and a logout widget. This panel is less than 100% wide, so it does not overlap with the sidebar.

KvYaru + black fonts = Mine color scheme.

I found the font contrast in some of the available color schemes inadequate, so I did my Brooze trick. Then, I also changed the color of the active titlebars (works here, no bug at hand). I then tried making the top panel smaller (less wide if you will), and removed the logout widget. Playing, fiddling, having funski.

Then, I decided to sin, i.e. mix and match, and grab some lighter, more transparent themes, without compromising on the basic idea. Yup, this is Plasma through and through, after about 15 minutes of rigorous work on my behalf. Fully reversible, of course.


There we go. If, for some odd reason, you decide to get bored with the classic desktop layout formula, you can go top-left, global menu Mac-esque idea within seconds. Well, the global menu is an extra really, as I don’t recall seeing it in Gnome. But that’s not the point. We’re here to have fun, and that’s what we’re doing.

As Monty Python would say, this article is becoming silly, and we will be forced to stop it. Hopefully, I’ve demonstrated the power and flexibility of Plasma once more, while giving you some fresh aesthetic ideas. Enjoy yourselves and such. Do ping me if you want any other Plasma wizardry spells. And now, for something completely different.

A brief guide on how to change themes in Ubuntu 20.10.

H ello Everyone, In this ultimate guide, you will learn how to change themes in Ubuntu. So I kindly request you to stay until the end of the post, so you don’t encounter any bugs or problems while changing themes in Ubuntu.

Most people like to change the default User Interface to something clean and modern, but most do not know how to do it.

Nobody knows anything when they start learning something, so don’t worry; I am here to help you learn How to change themes in Ubuntu 20.10. I will try to make it as simple as I can 🙂

We will divide this Ultimate Guide into 3 Steps, they are:-

  1. Installing the Gnome Tweaks.
  2. Downloading the desired theme.
  3. Applying the theme.

So what is Gnome Tweaks:-

Gnome Tweaks is tool that lets us tweak the default themes, icons, cursor, extensions and a lot more with ease.

So, let’s get started with how to change themes in Ubuntu .

Note: Make sure that you install Gnome Tweaks because installing Gnome Tweaks is compulsory no matter whether you only want to change the Ubuntu theme, the icons, or the cursor. This tool helps you quickly switch between different themes, icons, and cursor.

So let’s see how to install Gnome Tweaks.

To install Gnome Tweaks, open your terminal (Quick Tip: Press ‘ctrl+alt+t’ together to open the terminal) and type the following command, as shown in the image below.

Now, when you have Gnome Tweaks installed on your Ubuntu, you are ready to install and change the themes, the icons, and the cursor.

To change themes in Ubuntu, we need to download Ubuntu themes from the INTERNET.

There are many websites where you can download cool themes from but which I use is Gnome Look. Gnome Look does not only have themes but also everything you need to customize your Ubuntu interface.

First, go to Gnome Look and head over to the ‘GTK3 Themes’ section on the left-hand side, as shown below.

You’ll find thousands of cool themes when you go there. Choose the theme you like and download that. I have chosen a Ubuntu theme named Kimi, which is super cool and clean. It looks something like this:-

Now, download the theme by click on the download button.

After downloading the desired theme, open the downloaded theme’s file location and extract that file by right-clicking on the file and clicking on ‘Extract here’ as shown below.

If you have extracted the downloaded theme, open your terminal and type the following command in the terminal as shown below (This will open ‘Files’ with root privileges).

Now, once you have the Files with root privileges, go to ‘usr/share/themes’ as shown below.

Now, drag and drop the extracted theme folder to ‘usr/share/themes’ as shown below in the image.

Our theme is installed now. We need to apply it.

Now close everything and open Gnome Tweaks, and head over to the ‘Appearance’ section, and choose the theme you installed (Kimi, in my case) in the Application’s row as shown below.

Congratulations!, that’s literally it; it’s that easy 😃. Now you know how to change themes in Ubuntu. You can use this method to install any Application theme (Ubuntu theme) in Ubuntu or a similar gnome environment desktop.

By the way, have a look at my clean Ubuntu theme :-

Wobbly windows were all the rage when I first started using Linux (indeed they’re part of why I started using Linux). But the feature fell out of fashion, and isn’t presently available on the GNOME desktop Ubuntu comes with.

But where there’s a will window, there’s a way wobble.

Promising Wayland-based compositors could bring the bling back in full, but those effects, awesome as they are, are unlikely to gain acceptance in upstream GNOME Shell (the project generally doesn’t add or introduce support for settings extraneous to the default setup).

So the next-best solution (for now) is to make use of third-party patches and community extensions.

There are two distinct ways to enable wobbly windows in GNOME Shell on Ubuntu: one easy, one involved.

Wobbly Window GNOME Extension

The easy way to enable a wobbly window effect in GNOME on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (and above) is to install the open source “Compiz-alike Windows Effect” extension from the (EGO) website:

Slide the toggle from “off” to “on” to trigger an install prompt. The extension will be download and enabled. Once done the wobbly window effect is applied immediately — just grab the nearest window and give it a wiggle!

You can disable this extension at any time using the Extensions app on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or GNOME Tweaks on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Do keep in mind that this is a slick visual effect that will require some extra resources to run smoothly. I noticed my laptop fans kicked in shortly after enabling this extension.

You can also install a libanimation patch

A more faithful wobbly window effect in GNOME Shell is also available as a GNOME extension but it requires a patched version of libanimation to be compiled from source too.

This method features the actual wobbly window logic from Compiz, split out and ported over.

Full steps on how to do this — usual warnings on installing things not in the repos apply here — are helpfully listed on the respective GitHub page. The steps work on both Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to get GNOME classic mode in Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04.

GNOME classic provides a more traditional desktop experience to Linux users, including Ubuntu.

It is based on GNOME 3 technologies, and brings back traditional user interface, such as the Applications and Places menus on the top bar (gnome-panel), and a window list at the bottom of the screen.

To bring back the traditional GNOME feels to Ubuntu, its only takes a simple command, and this post shows you how to do that.

If you’re a student or new user looking for a Linux system to start with, the easiest place to start is Ubuntu Linux OS. It’s a great Linux operating system for beginners and folks looking for easier Linux distribution to use.

Ubuntu is an open source Linux operating systems that runs on desktops, laptops, server and other devices.

Getting started with enable GNOME classic mode in Ubuntu.

Install GNOME shell extension

To get GNOME classic in Ubuntu, simply open your terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard.

When the terminal opens, run the commands below:

The installation should take a few seconds to get done.

Switching from GNOME to classic

After installing GNOME shell extension above, use the steps below to switch from GNOME to GNOME classic.

First save any open work in your current desktop session, and then log out by clicking the system menu on the right side of the top bar, and selecting Power Off / Log Out as shown in the image below:

A confirmation message will appear. Select Log Out to confirm.

Now that you’re logged off, at the login screen, select your name from the list or type your username if not found. Enter your password in the password entry box.

After that, click the options icon, which is displayed to the bottom right of the Sign In button, and select GNOME Classic.

Then press Enter.

That will get you into GNOME Classic.

Switching from GNOMOE Classic to GNOME

To get back to your previous desktop experience without GNMOE classic, simply do the reverse steps above.

Save your work if you have any open, then logout.

At the login screen, select GNOME from the login option at the bottom right screen and sign in.

That should get you back into Ubuntu default desktop experience.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to install GNOME Classic desktop on Ubuntu. If you find any error above, please use the form below to report.

You may also like the post below:

Published by Richard

In my spare time, I research topics that are interesting and worthwhile for users and students who want to try something new. I, too, am a student and my focus here is to help other students and new users get started with managing Ubuntu Linux, Windows, Content Management Systems (CMS) and others.

I try to do my best explaining the topics and detailing the instructions so that anyone can understand. These tutorials may not work in all situations and for all users. However, if you run into trouble, please ask your questions below and I or someone from the community may help you resolve. Thanks for reading and hope you come back.


After upgrading to Ubuntu-20.04, I wanted to continue using Unity, rather than GNOME-3. Following instructions elsewhere to install `lightdm` along with Unity, lightdm was hanging on boot. Needed to figure out that at GDM3 login screen, I have to select my username *first*, then *after* that the session-chooser circle becomes available at bottom right – thanks for explaining that clearly.

“If you find any error above, please use the form below to report.” – OK:

Do these instructions also work on Ubuntu 21.04?

This guide is obsoleted. Please refer to this one ( instead.

at last i’ve figured out a way to do this. there are still some glitches / shortcomings though, but i’m hoping to smooth those out with the responses to this thread. [EDIT: The 0.60-1 version of Alltray has a –sticky option which makes the target application appear on all workspaces, so we no longer need devilspie or any other window matching function.]

1) download and install alltray (

2) set up a new profile in gnome-terminal. i’ll call the profile name “tterm” here, you call it whatever you fancy. edit the profile with the following options: uncheck the “show menubar by default in new terminals” option in the “general” tab, in the “effects” tab choose “transparent background” and set transparency level as you like, and in the “scrolling” tab, disable the scrollbar.

3) create a launcher with the following command:

alltray –borderless –sticky “gnome-terminal –window-with-profile=tterm”
theoretically you can add a –geometry option to the line to determine where the window will pop up, but i haven’t got this to work. maybe it’s an alltray issue; gnome-terminal just won’t obey my orders while launching with alltray. if you want to fiddle with this you can find the x window server geometry specification in the manpage for x; i find it easier to just move the window to wherever i want it to stay, since it has to be done just once per session.

4) double click the launcher, position the window, click the tray icon, and viola.

[EDIT: The below section is outdated and I’m keeping it here for the sake of not losing context in the replies. It’s safe to ignore.]
now my major complaint with this method: i just can’t get devilspie to hide gnome-terminal from the task list and workspace pager, and put it in all workspaces. in short devilspie won’t recognize gnome-terminal at all with neither the window_title nor the application_name properties. i’ve tried setting different titles, without luck. maybe this has something to do with the “(AllTray)” suffix added by alltray?

this is not a biggie though, because this method is meant to provide a pop-up terminal, and since the tray icon is always fixed on the panel there’s no real need to make it appear in all workspaces. and the task list item only appears when the terminal is up, so it doesn’t take up space all the time. so, not to get bugged by these issues, close down the terminal when you’re done with it, and open it again when you need it; it just takes a click 🙂

hope you find this useful. and devilspie hackers: help me sort the minor quirk out!

Let’s say you dig the modern tech that the GNOME Shell stack is built with, but you’d rather that the desktop itself looked a bit more traditional — what to do?

Well, try the GNOME Classic session.

GNOME Classic mode shouldn’t be mistaken for the similarly named but technically different GNOME Flashback session. Flashback makes use of the gnome-panel package and a stack of older applets. The GNOME Classic session is pure GNOME Shell.

In fact, the entire retro-guise is created using a couple of GNOME Shell extensions and a couple of silent tweaks. But together they reshape GNOME Shell to effectively resemble the ‘classic’ Linux desktops of the past.

We’re talking category-based application menu:

A dedicated ‘Places’ applet:

Buttoned task bar that doesn’t group windows:

On-screen notifications that nestle themselves in the upper right corner, just like Ubuntu’s nice Notify OSD bubbles of old:

And a clock/calender applet that sits on the right side of the screen. And I mean the right side of the screen:

But GNOME’s (somewhat hidden) Classic mode is something of an illusion. Scratch the surface (or press the super key) and you’ll soon find a few familiar pieces,

For instance, the GNOME Shell ‘Activities Overview’ is present (though not for much longer). Standard alt tabbing and workspace switching still (somewhat) rely on this view.

And there’s no way to “customise” the bottom panel, or move it. Everything is stuck in place.

Now, you could probably create a similar looking desktop yourself by hand with a bit of tweaking, right? I don’t doubt it.

But you’d also have to undo the same amount of tweaking to get things back to how were before you started.

Which is why it’s easier to install the GNOME Classic session instead. It’s the convenient choice: you get to log in to a traditional looking desktop when you want it, and log back in to a full-fat GNOME Shell desktop when you fancy a change.

So, without any further waffle, here’s how to install GNOME Classic mode on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and later.

Enable GNOME Classic Mode on Ubuntu

The good news is that you can quickly and easily install the GNOME Classic mode session on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (and above) just by installing a single package.

Yup, you can avoid the gnome-vanilla-desktop package that’s suggested elsewhere online because, to quote the Spice Girls: it’s just Too Much of something, and that’s bad enough.

Instead, pop open a new terminal window ( ctrl + t ) and run the following command:

Installation shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.

Go ahead and log out of your current session and, from the login screen, click the cog icon and select “GNOME Classic” session.

Log in as normal and, et voila:

GNOME Classic Mode in Ubuntu 19.04

Using GNOME Classic on Ubuntu

As soon as you log in to GNOME Classic mode you’re gonna discover a few “gotchas”.

For instance, the shell theme is light, not dark like regular GNOME Shell, and if you’re using the standard Yaru icon theme, that’s jarring.

I highly recommend switching to the Adwaita theme if you plan on using classic mode for a long period. Everything just jives better that way.

If you try to change the GNOME Shell theme using the Tweaks tool you’ll likely end up with something that looks like this (notice the top bar in particular):

Also, you may find that the applications menu, so central to this retro look, doesn’t work.

For ‘reasons’ the applications menu extension requires GNOME Shell’s ‘activities hot corner’ setting to be enabled/turned on. If it’s not the app menu simply doesn’t open when you tap the text label.

To remedy this you can head GNOME Tweaks > Top Bar > Activities Hot Corner and turn the thing on.

—Wait, you don’t have GNOME Tweaks installed? C’mon folks, it’s indispensable! There’s a reason I put it in the ‘things to do after installing Ubuntu‘ posts 😆.

Other drawbacks

There are a few caveats — the term ‘drawbacks’ sounds a bit harsh — in using GNOME Classic on Ubuntu.

First, despite appearances, classic mode is still a GNOME Shell-based desktop. If you were hoping classic mode would be “lighter” on system resources, you’ll be disappointed. Try the gnome-flashback session or, more dramatically, the MATE desktop. Both deliver.

Secondly, not all GNOME Shell extensions play nice with the way the top bar is laid out — no, you can’t switch the app menu out for Arc — but some well-known extras, like the OpenWeather extension, do work with a few tweaks.

Third, and final: you can’t move or resize or amend any of the elements you see, so you’re stuck with how classic mode is set-up out of the box.

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