Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The Google Desktop icon in the system tray in Unity looks ugly:

enter image description here

Any way around this?

share|improve this question
By the way if anyone wants to re-tag this question as "google-desktop" feel free. (I can't create tags yet) – Trufa Mar 26 '11 at 20:33
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I had this issue too, but fpoehler ( ) solved it here: .

" The themes that work should be the ones which have the same panel background as normal application windows. That's why the problem is not apparent there. However, newer themes often use a different color or a background image for the panel.

The fix is to apply the panel's properties (background color or background image) to GtkPlug widget class, which is not considered in most stock themes.

1) Find out your panel's background color or the path to its background image (in case it has one).
For the color the hexadecimal value is needed (e.g. "#A1B2C3).
The image in most cases resides in /usr/share/themes/<Your_Theme's_Name>/gtk-2.0/ or a subfolder of that.

For Radiance theme it is


2) (In case there is a background image) copy the background image to your home folder (or a subfolder of your home folder).
3) Open (or create) the file named ".gtkrc-2.0" in your home folder.
4) Copy the following into the file:

style "GoogleDesktopIconFix" {
    # In case your panel has a background image, add this line
    bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "subfolder/panel.png"     # replace "panel.png" with the actual file name or (relative) path

    #In case your panel has no background image, add this line
    bg[NORMAL] = "#000000"              # replace "#000000" with your color value
class "*oPlug"    style "GoogleDesktopIconFix"

5) Open a terminal and type

pkill gnome-panel

(color)                                                  (Background)

ps.: if it doesn't work:
1) Change class "*oPlug" for class "GtkPlug"
2) Put the "relative" path to the background (example: if I put the background image at "~/gdesk/panel.png" I had to put the path "gdesk/panel.png")

share|improve this answer
This works like a charm!!! Thank you very much! +1 and accepted answer! – Trufa Mar 26 '11 at 21:37
I'm glad to help. – desgua Mar 26 '11 at 21:48
Thanks for all the help! I did not understand what you mean by put the content of your file ~/.gtkrc-2.0 – Trufa Mar 27 '11 at 23:33
@desgua This is what I have on the file: – Trufa Mar 28 '11 at 2:58
@desgua It is not File system it says I don't have the permission – Trufa Mar 28 '11 at 3:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.