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Remove gnome-panel in Ubuntu without actually "removing" them

My Desktop

My Ubuntu Desktop with gnome-panel removed and replaced by Avant Window Navigator

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 ohnoes.png .


The First Method

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

To remove gnome-panel, follow the following steps:

  1. Hit Alt+F2 (Gnome Run Application dialog) and open Gnome Configuration Editor by typing ‘gconf-editor’ into the box and hitting enter.
  2. Go to ‘/desktop/gnome/session/required_components’.
  3. At the right side of the window, double click on ‘panel’ entry and change the value to
  4. other dock application that you’re using to replace gnome-panel. ex. ‘avant-window-navigator’, ‘docky’, or ‘adeskbar’.
  5. 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? Hot.png 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 LargeGasp.png (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 Naughty.png . That way you’ll still be able to access the Gnome Run Application Dialog (Alt+F2 shortcut).

Want to know how? Sarcastic.png Follow the following steps bellow:

  1. 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.
  2. 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’.
  3. 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.
  4. Go to ‘/apps/panel/toplevels/panel_0’.
  5. 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
  6. Close the Gnome Configuration Editor. That’s it! Smile.png , 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) Gasp.png : 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.

  1. 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

  2. Open the CompizConfig Settings Manager (Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager) and go to the “Effects” section and select “Window Decoration”.
  3. Now, Under the “Shadow windows” you should see the default value: any. Change it to:

    any & !(class=Gnome-panel)

  4. That should solve the gnome-panel shadow problem ohnoes.png .
  • Yann Liu

    Nice guide. Would you mind tell me what at bottom of the screen, the elements sitting in the right and left corner are? would you mind share your conky script?

    • Hi, thanks Yann Liu.

      Unfortunately it’s been years since I wrote this article and I no longer has this kind of configuration so I can’t really remember what application I used for the bottom left and right corner of the screen 🙁 and I don’t have a copy of the conky script anymore.

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