Sunday, 17 July 2011

Customize your Desktop panel in Ubuntu

  Hi friends ...most of us are not merely impressed by the desktop panel provided by the Ubuntu by default(desktop panel is something that is in ubuntu similar to the taskbar in windows).Lets us tweak it to get a good appearance for the desktop
Ubuntu includes a top panel and a bottom panel by default. Most of us prefer to
keep only one panel at the bottom just like the Windows Taskbar, perform the
following steps :

➢ Delete the bottom panel: right-click over it and click "Delete This Panel".
    Move the top panel to bottom: right-click over it, select "Properties" and
    change Orientation from "Top" to "Bottom".
➢ Add running program buttons: right-click the panel, select "Add to Panel",
    scroll down and select "Window List", click "Add".
➢ Replace the Menu Bar ("Applications-Places-System") with the "Main
    Menu" to save space in the panel:
    1.Right-click the "Menu Bar" and select "Remove From Panel".
    2.Right-click the panel, select "Add to Panel" and choose "Main Menu", click
    3.Right-click the items (Firefox, etc) and untick "Lock to Panel".
    4.Right-click the added "Main Menu", select "Move" to relocate it to the far
➢ Pin Programs to the Panel :
    Frequently used programs can be easily pinned to the panel.
    1. Browse to the program from "Applications" or "Main Menu".
    2. Drag and drop the program to an empty space in the panel, or right-click the
    program and select "Add this launcher to panel".
    3. Right click the program icon, select "Move" and drop it to a new place in the
    4. Right click the program icon and select "Lock to Panel".
➢ Set Fully Transparent Panel:
   Go to Applications (or Main Menu) > Accessories > Terminal.
   1. Enter cp -R /usr/share/themes/Ambiance ~/.themes/
   2. Enter gedit ~/.themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/apps/gnome-panel.rc (for Ubuntu
       11.04 or 10.10) OR gedit ~/.themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc (for Ubuntu
       10.04), to open the file with gedit.
   3. Search for this line bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "img/panel.png" (for
       Ubuntu 11.04 or 10.10) OR bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "panel_bg.png"
      (for Ubuntu 10.04)
  4. Comment out the line by placing a # at the beginning of the line, like this:
             # bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = ...
  5. Save the file.
  6. Go to System > Preferences > Appearance, switch to the other theme and
      then back to the Ambiance theme.
  7. Then adjust panel transparency in panel properties.

➢ Change Font Type and Color of Panel Clock
    The font type and color of the panel clock follow the windows
    text in a theme by default. In particular, if the font color is black and
    shown on a dark background through a transparent panel, you can't
    read the clock clearly, but you can tweak it by changing the font color. And  
    you can define the font type for your panel clock
    as well.
   1.Open up the text editor Gedit and paste the following code:
         style "my-panel-clock"
           fg[NORMAL] = "#FFFFFF"
           font_name = "DS-Digital Bold 16"
         widget "*.clock-applet-button.*" style "my-panel-clock"
   2. Save the file as .gtkrc-2.0 (including the dot in front of the filename) inside     
       your home directory /home/your_user_name.
   3. Log out and log back in (OR enter killall gnome-panel into the Terminal) to
       see the change.
Note :
   The DS-Digital font can be downloaded here. After downloading, unzip
   the file and install the font into the system for use

     The panels are much more flexible than the Windows Taskbar in that   
      many  items  in the panels can be easily added, removed or configured.

    Enjoy :-)

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