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View Full Version : HOWTO: Better Autohide Gnome Panel



jms830
May 5th, 2006, 05:10 PM
When I first came to Ubuntu from windows, I was used to having my panel autohide: in gnome, it just felt clunky. I stumbled across this fix, but I doubt most new users would, so I made a howto. I figured it was something that Windows converts (or anyone for that matter) might want to work smoother.


1. Go to Applications> System Tools> Configuration Editor


Note: I think this menu item was removed in dapper. You can either use alacarte menu editor to put it back or it can be opened simply with the command gconf-editor in a terminal

2. In the configuration editor, go to apps/panel/top level

3. In this folder there will be a few folders called something like panel_0, panel_1, top_panel_screen0 or similar. These folders are the options for your respective panels. Find the ones with autohide checked: these are your panels that you have set to autohide (obviously).

4. Right click and "Edit Key..." on each of the fields listed below and set these values:

Name = Value

auto_hide_size = 0
hide_delay = 300
unhide_delay = 0

That's it! You can of course change these values to whatever you prefer.

auto_hide_size is how much of the panel you want to show when it is hidden
hide_delay is how long until the panel hides itself after your cursor leaves the panel
unhide_delay is how long until the panel unhides when you put your cursor over it.

Irony
May 7th, 2006, 05:42 PM
Useful - I was wondering how to do that after booting into Windows.

Fass
May 7th, 2006, 06:40 PM
That little piece of the panel that was always visible was starting to annoy me. Great tip!

Iandefor
May 11th, 2006, 02:11 AM
sweet! This was one of the things that I always hated about GNOME. You Rock!

This is one of those "doh!" moments for me.

oscar
May 11th, 2006, 05:08 PM
Thanks, that is exactly what I was looking for. By default I found that with autohide on it looked...dirty, I could still see the bottom of the icons on my top panel when it was autohidden. I use your settings now but prefer having the hide_delay as 0, makes it faster and look smoother.

jms830
May 12th, 2006, 02:08 PM
Glad you like the tip, I'm happy to contribute to the community. It is interesting to me that the default settings aren't closer to this. I don't think many like the autohide to feel so clunky.

tweak
May 12th, 2006, 09:47 PM
epic! you're a champ! :D

Knorhaen
May 13th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Thanks mate, this has bugged me ever since I started using Gnome!

xyz
May 13th, 2006, 11:32 AM
Thanks jms830...my laptop's screen is the smallest there is and any additional screen space is most welcome!Any way to achieve this at the bottom of the screen?

oscar
May 13th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Thanks jms830...my laptop's screen is the smallest there is and any additional screen space is most welcome!Any way to achieve this at the bottom of the screen?
same as with the top, but change bottom_panel_screen0 (or equivalent)

idarco
May 13th, 2006, 09:36 PM
Ah, very nice. Was wondering about this myself.

Juippisi
May 14th, 2006, 07:03 PM
After all it was so easy to do, hard to find. Thanks for guiding us to the right direction. This really makes my life easier :-).

Yea, I was wondering a long time how to make the hidden panel smaller and when I didn't find it, I gave up. I'm glad I read Ubuntuforums this night and found this thread.

tread
May 17th, 2006, 12:06 PM
Cool! Never played around with the config editor much before .. this is useful. Thanks.

pillypoon
May 17th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Thanks! Cant wait to give it a shot.:p

EdThaSlayer
May 20th, 2006, 08:59 AM
THANKS! my screen looks so much bigger now!!

essetee
May 21st, 2006, 06:49 PM
Icons on the desktop is a microsoft invention. Everyone now want it.
Under microsoft windows, those icons are useless, because you have only 1 desktop.
Under linux, we can switch between several virtual desktops, and so desktop icons becomes more interesting.

But here my trick under gnome.

I start with this dekstop :

http://www.essetee.be/downloads/schermafdruk1.png

Then I make a new panel and put it on the right side of my screen.

I use the tips found here to make it autohide.

As soon I move the mouse pointer to the right side of the screen, I have this :

http://www.essetee.be/downloads/schermafdruk2.png

So, even when applications covers the icons, I still have mines by the hand.

overmetal61
July 27th, 2006, 12:21 AM
I am attempting to follow these directions:

I open gconf-editor and I don't have an toppanels option.

All I have is default_setup

Attached is a screenshot.

Can someone help me?

Iandefor
July 27th, 2006, 01:38 AM
I am attempting to follow these directions:

I open gconf-editor and I don't have an toppanels option.

All I have is default_setup

Attached is a screenshot.

Can someone help me? Try toplevels/top_panel from where you are in that screenshot.

overmetal61
July 27th, 2006, 02:17 AM
I tried in default_setup/toplevels and it doesn't seem to do anything... I asked in #ubuntu on freenode and someone else said they have the /apps/panel/toplevel there... I don't understand why mine is not there?

Iandefor
July 27th, 2006, 02:30 AM
I tried in default_setup/toplevels and it doesn't seem to do anything... I asked in #ubuntu on freenode and someone else said they have the /apps/panel/toplevel there... I don't understand why mine is not there? Did you check in default_setup/top_panel?

overmetal61
July 27th, 2006, 02:49 AM
Yeah checked everywhere!

After investigating this further I believe it a corrupt profile of some form.

I logged onto my box as another user and the folders where there.

Weird! I guess I will attempt at recreating my profile from scratch.

I think it will work. Thanks!

ScottFW
July 27th, 2006, 05:23 AM
Great tip! I'm just getting started with Ubuntu and am trying to customize the little details like these. Thanks for the info.

staura
September 24th, 2006, 04:20 PM
Do NOT run gconf-editor as root, it will not find your users properties...

jpyanowski
September 25th, 2006, 06:59 AM
Thanks for helping me reclaim more of my desktop.\\:D/

Lil' Kempo
September 26th, 2006, 01:29 PM
Thanks for the great tip! I've been wondering how to get rid of the tiny part that get left on show for ages ](*,)

StarkD
January 30th, 2007, 10:26 AM
Excellent! You can never get too much working space :smile:

satya_461
June 11th, 2007, 02:55 PM
Great Article..
I am looking exactly for this..
THanks..

Lunks
July 6th, 2007, 01:53 AM
After I set auto_hide_size to 0, I can't make it appear again =~

Frostsongr
October 31st, 2008, 09:23 PM
Works great in Ubuntu 8.10

yugrotavele
November 1st, 2008, 02:04 AM
Awesome tip! That little bit of panel showing on autohide always annoyed me. Thanks!

Sand Lee
December 5th, 2008, 11:17 AM
Thank you very much!
Here's the Bug Report (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-panel/+bug/218982) if anyone is interested. ):P

rlhawk1
February 1st, 2009, 10:22 PM
I tried in default_setup/toplevels and it doesn't seem to do anything... I asked in #ubuntu on freenode and someone else said they have the /apps/panel/toplevel there... I don't understand why mine is not there?

That one only changes the default for new panels. To change your current panels, go to apps/panel/toplevels/ and edit the panels under there.

amiga_os
February 13th, 2009, 10:46 AM
Great tip...

anyone have any ideas on how to speed up the animation of the panel? That would make it feel even more crisp. I found an option in panel-global->panel-animation-speed, but it says it's deprecated.

Why doesn't gconf tell me what it's deprecated by? Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

īsilas
February 13th, 2009, 07:55 PM
Great tip man. The only reason why I not using autohide, was because of the way it would only be partially hidden. Thanks a lot :)

m4lte
February 14th, 2009, 01:29 PM
anyone have any ideas on how to speed up the animation of the panel? That would make it feel even more crisp. I found an option in panel-global->panel-animation-speed, but it says it's deprecated.

Why doesn't gconf tell me what it's deprecated by? Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

For each panel (e.g. '/apps/panel/toplevels/panel_4/') there's a key 'animation_speed', which you can set to 'fast', 'medium', or 'slow'!



Another question: Is it possible to hide a panel completely? Using the auto_hide_size key I can only get the panel down to a size of 1 pixel. (I can of course change the key to other values, but the panel always appears at least 1 pixel in size)

īsilas
February 21st, 2009, 12:16 AM
For each panel (e.g. '/apps/panel/toplevels/panel_4/') there's a key 'animation_speed', which you can set to 'fast', 'medium', or 'slow'!



Another question: Is it possible to hide a panel completely? Using the auto_hide_size key I can only get the panel down to a size of 1 pixel. (I can of course change the key to other values, but the panel always appears at least 1 pixel in size)

I have successfully set mine to 0 just like that. What kind of error do you get when you try and set the auto_hide_key to 0?

l3ftm1n0r
February 21st, 2009, 04:34 PM
Hey there for this nice info.
Some questions:

I have currently only two panels; one on the top and the one on the bottom. But under toplevels it shows four of them with the names:
panel_0
panel_1
panel_2
top_panel_screen0

Now i have found which ones are the ones i need to make changes to but the other two have left orientation and they aren't really present. Why's that?

Second question is that the top_panel_screen0 is the one containing the menus does not have a animation speed parameter so i cannot make the animation faster cause medium animation is rather slow.

Please help out. Thanks.

phiphi
February 27th, 2009, 11:55 PM
This trick is so very helpful!

activate "auto_hide" and disable "enable_animation" and set the "auto_hide_size" to 0. and you have a very well working menu.
The animation was too slow even with animation_speed fast.

m4lte
February 28th, 2009, 01:51 AM
I have successfully set mine to 0 just like that. What kind of error do you get when you try and set the auto_hide_key to 0?

I don't get any error, when I set the auto_hide_key to 0, but I still looks as if the key was 1. Setting it to higher values works, but I can't make the panel completely disappear. There's always a "thin line" on the edge of the screen.

Linux_Shishya
April 14th, 2009, 12:53 PM
Guess what I did? Created a new panel, dumped the ugly notification applet on it and set it to autohide!

My desktop :http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4527/screenshotyig.png

Notice the thin line beneath the clock applet on bottom panel?

SirSlipALot
April 26th, 2009, 03:30 PM
Hi all,

I'm using Ubuntu 9.04 and i had to disable the key
/apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/enable_animations

Now the panel pops up instantly! Great! :)

vickoxy
April 27th, 2009, 04:44 PM
Hi, if i set up auto hide size to 0 and uncheck expand (want it more macOs) and i open open office/firefox, i still have 1 pixel on display to see (there where the panel actually is). Can you confirm this?

Cresho
April 28th, 2009, 08:02 AM
I still have a pixle ontop. I wish it could be set to 0

vickoxy
April 28th, 2009, 09:41 AM
So for everyone who can not stand that 1 Pixel, and want some kind of quick app launcher in Gnome:

Sorry for putting these post on several threads, but maybe others will find it usable.

I succeeded to make KoolDock working just fine in Dellīs Ubuntu 8.04 (lpia).
First: from synaptic you can download only KoolDock 0.3-no good...it wonīt work.

1) Find then on line KoolDock 0.4.6. and download it
2) install KDEbase (it will install 34 Packages with more than 70 MB... i didnīt notice any change in my system-hope just that this downloads are not fatal)
http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-announce...3945506482&w=2
3) Doobleclick on your KoolDock (you can previously install from synaptic 0.3 if you want....) and installation will go automatically

So, that was it. Panel and KoolDock are fastest Launchers for Metacity LPIA Ubuntu 8.04-you donīt have to activate compositing metacity. There are some issues-fonts looks ugly-so better do not show them. But the panel is quick, installation of new apps is easy (just drag and drop), and transparency works fine (sometimes there are some glitches...but nothing serious).

P.S. I didnīt figure how to add folders and documents on KoolDock, so if anyone find solution...

trash
May 8th, 2009, 03:08 AM
On both my panels i set a BG solid color through the properties dialog however with one of my panels that auto-hides(window list) I can't see any of the buttons. If i open properties and change the size the buttons appear but disappear upon closing the dialog... On the other panel(no auto-hide) all icons and notification areas are visible all the time... anybody got any ideas?

EDIT: Buttons appear and stay visible only if panel is at least 35 pixils!

Makum
July 14th, 2009, 09:47 PM
Does anyone know were is the option to the same with the autohide in the main menu???

Baneblade
July 14th, 2009, 09:52 PM
Thanks for that tip.. just used autohide yesterday to allow me to work on a remote desktop with a higher resolution than mine. I thought it was a bit off when i used it. This "feels" much better now! Cheers!