This is a simple tutorial that I write to easily remove the default gnome-panel in your Ubuntu. There are two ways that I know to remove the gnome-panel, I’m going to tell you how this can be done using either of the method.

Let’s get started .

The First Method

This is the easiest method to remove the gnome-panel , but there’s a little disadvantage using this method (see below for more information).

To remove gnome-panel, follow the following steps:

  • Hit Alt+F2 (Gnome Run Application dialog) and open Gnome Configuration Editor by typing ‘gconf-editor’ into the box and hitting enter.
  • Go to /desktop/gnome/session/required_components.
  • At the right side of the window, double click on panel entry and change the value to other dock application that you’re using to replace gnome-panel. e.g. avant-window-navigator, docky, or adeskbar.
  • Close the Gnome Configuration Editor and log out your session and log in back. The gnome-panel should disappear now. If you want to revert back, just change the panel value back to gnome-panel.

Pretty easy huh?  But as I said before, there’s a little disadvantage using this method. You’ll not be able to access Gnome Run Application dialog anymore  (Alt+F2 button will not function) since gnome-panel is disabled, thus you need to use other application such as gmrun, gnome-do, kupfer, or synapse to replace the Gnome Run Application dialog.

If you want to remove gnome-panel but still wanted to access Gnome Run Application Dialog, follow the second method below.

The Second Method

This is the method that I use to remove the gnome-panel in my Ubuntu. This method did not actually remove the gnome-panel in your Ubuntu, it simply hide them . That way you’ll still be able to access the Gnome Run Application Dialog (Alt+F2 shortcut).

Below are the steps to hide gnome-panel:

  • First you need to remove the bottom panel in your Ubuntu, simply right click and select ‘Delete this panel’. Now there’s only top panel left.
  • The next step is to remove all applet in top panel, again simply right click on the applet that you want to remove and select ‘Remove from panel’.
  • Now that you’ve removed all applet on top panel (your top panel should be empty), hit Alt+F2 (Gnome Run Application dialog) and open Gnome Configuration Editor by typing ‘gconf-editor’ into the box and hitting enter.
  • Go to /apps/panel/toplevels/panel_0.
  • Now there are few things that we need to change. At the right side of the window, set the ‘auto_hide’ value to True. Then change the auto_hide_size value to 0. And last, change the unhide_delay value to 9999 (9999 milliseconds should be sufficient, you can increase the value if you want to). (see image below for reference)
    Gnome Configuration Editor
  • Close the Gnome Configuration Editor. That’s it! , your gnome-panel should be removed hidden. No need to restart or re-login.

If you want to revert back, simply change the entries values to their default value and add the default applets back to top panel.

Update (29 April 2011)

Gnome Configuration Editor

I noticed that using the second method, the gnome-panel’s shadow will still be visible in your desktop, as you can see in the screenshot below:

To Fix this problem, we’ll need to configure Compiz so that it’ll not decorate gnome-panel with shadow.

  • First, you need to install the CompizConfig Settings Manager if you haven’t done so. Open the Terminal and type in the following:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
  • Open the CompizConfig Settings Manager (Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager) and go to the “Effects” section and select “Window Decoration”.
  • Now, Under the “Shadow windows” you should see the default value: any. Change it to:
any & !(class=Gnome-panel)
  • That should solve the gnome-panel shadow problem .