Nearly 2013 and it's forced me to find new os (my current - 10.04 lts).
Testing 12.04. Unfortunately, unity is overly simple. Unity Launcher is not customizable. I can not even move launcher to bottom.
Have tried kde, gnome-shell, unity, xfce. Stop on gnome fallback.
It's not the same as gnome 2, but similar.
Only thing i want - gnome-panel with alpha transparency and transparent(!) window list. Tried to edit gnome-panel.css in usr/share/themes/*any_theme*/gtk-3.0/apps/ but no result.
Compiz transparency is ugly. Found perfect theme on deviantart, but for gnome shell.
It is the last straw. If i can't customize Ubuntu as i want, I'm going to Debian :) Can somebody help me with it?

Sorry for my english.

P.S. Or it can be custom background image. But there is the same issue - widgets and window list still use theme backgrounds.



I'm another one who liked what I had in 10.04 and was unhappy at the change. I just wanted my old setup back! Today, I have it almost the same by doing:

  1. install gnome-session-fallback. Its probably better to do this on a clean install.

  2. restart and chose gnome classic before logging in.

  3. press alt AND the windows buttons and then right click on a panel. (Don't ask my why it has to be so dang specific, it makes no sense actually) This will open the dialog.

  4. Now, you can re-size, make transparent, use a picture, anything pretty much.

I like my panels both on top and colored but fairly transparent. That is easier on the eyes.

  • He asked how to make the panel transparent and you gave a wrong answer.... – Ravi Aug 30 '12 at 11:22

It is better to install tint2 -

Install via the software center

Or just type this into a console

sudo apt-get install tint2

you will get a panel on the bottom, which will show what windows are open.


Hold Alt while Right-clicking on the panel (the panel itself, not any applets), and choose "Properties" from the menu. On the second tab you can set the transparency of the GNOME panel.

  • It's not working for window list, menu and applets – tilly willy May 3 '12 at 23:50
  • Maybe you didn't describe what you wanted clear enough. You want the icons, text, and everything in the panel to be partially transparent as well? – dobey May 4 '12 at 17:21
  • No, i don't want partially transparency for icons and others. I want transparency or custom image for panel background only. – tilly willy May 5 '12 at 6:49
  • To elaborate the problem, the menu and the indicators panels for this version of gnome-panel have a fixed background color no matter what you choose for the panel color. In Ubuntu 11.10, this was not the case. In fact, this is the main reason I went back to 11.10 for now. – Marty Fried May 6 '12 at 17:27
  • Its ALT and WIN buttons together, then right click. – RhZ May 7 '12 at 12:32

Why would you think Debian would be better? It has even less options than Ubuntu - same Gnome 3, but no Unity. You don't have to use Unity on Ubuntu, so what will you gain?

The path I took is to use Gnome classic, with Compiz, but I don't use the Gnome taskbar or menu. I do have one Gnome panel, with the menu removed. I have the indicators, and time, and it's transparent. I mainly use it because it implements the Alt-F2 run dialog that I like.

For the task manager, I use either AWN or GLX-Dock, and for the menu I use Cardapio menu. Both AWN and GLX-Dock are very configurable, similar in style to Unity/Mac in that it shows icons or launchers with dots if they're running. They can be transparent.

I had problems with the 12.04 Gnome panel cosmetically, in that the indicators are not transparent for the theme I like (standard ambiance).

GLX-Dock has a session you can choose without Gnome, but I don't use it.

  • I know, unity is just DE. But, The Devil is in the details :) Debian supports gnome 2 for few several years, gtk2 more habitual. My desktop look and feel no changing for six years and i don't want to change it in future. It's comfortable for work and web surfing. It isn't caprice :) I really need transparent panel and windows list – tilly willy May 3 '12 at 23:59
  • 1
    I'm trying dockbarx, awn and other docs. I want normal window list - wide buttons with labels. Cardapio is the best compromise beetwen dash and classic menu:) – tilly willy May 4 '12 at 0:09
  • One thing I really like about Cardapio is its search. I rarely need to use the mouse, I just press super-space, type a couple of letters and hit return. But when I need to use the mouse, it also works well. I used to like the windows list, too, but I've gotten to like the way AWN etc implements it. If Unity had a little more customization, I might not mind using it. – Marty Fried May 4 '12 at 0:59
  • Install Fedora to get a touch of EL. – Curious Apprentice May 6 '12 at 10:07
  • Fedora is no compatibility with debian-like systems, and i don't want change the principles, because my panel has not yet bug fixed :) – tilly willy May 6 '12 at 11:10

In classic Gnome you would have to make a fake transparecy like he appears to be doing by using a PNG with transparency and throwing the wallpaper behind and saving it as an image.

But it seems that he is using GNOME Shell in standard Ubuntu configuration.

I'm facing a problem to theme the GNOME Shell as the standard configuration for Ubuntu 12.04 comes with no extensions, so the theme isn't being applied at all.

Follow those instructions:


I followed those instructions and it worked, even this theme you wished...

You'll have to logout, select the GNOME session and login.

You'll then type tweak (assuming you installed, if you don't you go on Ubuntu Software Center and install Gnome Tweak Tool) and then you'll be able to select your theme.

If you extract the contents of this theme correctly it will appear on the Gnome Tweak.

Good luck,

  • maybe I'm misunderstanding your answer - but can you add a link to a picture showing what you have achieved. Someone with more rep will edit your picture into your answer for you. – fossfreedom May 9 '12 at 20:58
  • i don't like gnome shell, but tried to like many times. As i said, i tried to port panel transparency from shell to fallback by editing .css files. But i am not so skilled. – tilly willy May 10 '12 at 2:38

Compiz transparency is not bad at all, In CCSM Check opacity brightness and saturation, to window specific setting New, In windows type (name=gnome-panel) and give value to as per your need for transparency but 60 seems effective without affecting much of icons in systray![Here is the screenshot of gnome panel with compiz transparency in ubuntu 12.04][10] http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Glx+dock?content=158834

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