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My top gnome-panel is set to not expand and sits on the top-right of my screen. I just realized I wouldn't mind if maximized windows were able to get behind it (it wouldn't actually cover up anything). Is it possible to achieve that with the gnome-panel?

Here's what it looks like now:
Ideally, the window's titlebar would be behind the panel (partially obscured by it). I know that different dock softwares like AWN are able to do that, but I'm running a weak netbook, and I would rather do that with the gnome-panel.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I can give you a small trick to achieve what you want, it's not really elegant but it should works :

  • Set your panel to Autohide
  • Run gconf-editor
  • Go to '/apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/hide_delay' (should be this one)
  • Set the value 'hide delay' to a very big number (it's in ms so ... 10000000)

Explanation : With the Autohide feature, your application windows will expand to the edge of the screen, the 'so big' delay will let your panel visible

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This is workaround at best, not a solution. – myusuf3 Dec 23 '10 at 15:46
Yep, i agree, but better than nothing :) – teo96 Dec 23 '10 at 16:01
If you compare this to some scary solutions, you start to think that this one is very nice. So short and easy. And it seems like it will work well! What else do you need? – Oleh Prypin Dec 23 '10 at 19:04
Yeah, it does work pretty well =). I'll give it another day or two of testing, but I'll probably accept it. – Malabarba Dec 23 '10 at 21:08

The functionality you're going for is what the app called WingPanel was developed for. You can install it from a PPA by adding ppa:ripps818/wingpanel to your system's Software Sources.

There are also some good instructions for installing WingPanel (or configuring gnome-panel similarly to how Bubblegum suggested) here:

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