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How does one reset the gnome panel to the initial state?

During use, gnome panel applets move and get replaced with the ones users like. After some time the panel becomes so cluttered that it requires a cleanup. The easiest way would be to reset the panel to the original state that it was in after install. Is there an easy way of doing that?

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You might find this helpful for gnome3:… – zechariah May 8 '12 at 20:38
Maybe there is a misunderstanding about which panel you're referring to. "Gnome panel" is what was used in Gnome 2, whereas 12.04 doesn't include it (at least by default). A screenshot might help? – thomasrutter Jun 12 '12 at 23:18
up vote 25 down vote accepted

Move the old configuration directory out of the way, and it'll get reset. Of course, to take effect, you'll have to restart the panel.

mv ~/.gconf/apps/panel ~/gnome-panel-backup
gnome-panel --replace &
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nohup gnome-panel --replace </dev/null &>/dev/null & – CodeMedic Mar 1 '11 at 13:49

You can reset the panel by running

gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/panel

in a Terminal or by hitting Alt+F2 and pasting this command in the textfield and then hit run. After that gnome-panel needs a restart and therefore it has to be killed with the command

pkill gnome-panel

the same way as the command before. The reset gnome-panel will start again automatically.

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And, if your panels are totally gone, use CTRL + ALT + F1 to get a terminal window. – Brandon Bertelsen Oct 7 '10 at 13:24

Run rm -r ~/.gconf/apps/panel in a terminal, then log out of Gnome and log back in.

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Quick and simple. +1 – Nathan Osman Jul 28 '10 at 19:50
This causes data loss. What happens if he wants to get his work back later? – lfaraone Jul 28 '10 at 19:52
He did ask for a reset :) – Ravi Vyas Jul 28 '10 at 20:48
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/panel
pkill gnome-panel
nohup gnome-panel --replace </dev/null &>/dev/null &

This formula is based on the above answers. This works slightly better.

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