The status bar (by default) at the top of your screen with the icons OFF to the right, date, user name and other computer options.

How can I make that bar transparent, like it is when dash activated (as seen in a screen below)?

Transparent menu bar

Instead of having this:

No transparency on bar (yuck)


5 Answers 5


example panel transparency

For example 100% transparency...

enter image description here

A useful option if you are using transparency is the option just below - Transparency Maximized Toggle (called Opaque panel for maximized windows in Unity-Tweak-Tool)

Switching on this option will not display the top panel as transparent if the window is maximised i.e. with 100% transparency but this toggle switch-on:

enter image description here

Nautilus is maximised and therefore the top-bar does not remain transparent.


The panel transparency can be defined with unity-tweak-tool

Install unity-tweak-tool



(click to install)

The panel transparency can now be defined in MyUnity

enter image description here


From the terminal, you can use

gsettings get org.compiz.unityshell:/org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/unityshell/ panel-opacity

to get the current value for panel opacity and

gsettings set org.compiz.unityshell:/org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/unityshell/ panel-opacity X

to set the panel opacity to X. X must be between 0 and 1.

P:S This way is preferred over any other method that uses dconf directly. And safer than using CCSM

See also:


For 12.04 and 12.10 - Using CCSM

Since existing Unity configuration tools are not yet updated for 12.10, we are confined to using CCSM. Before we get going, here's some precaution:

If you still want to persist, install compizconfig-settings-manager Install compizconfig-settings-manager and go to Ubuntu Unity plugin:

Ubuntu unity plugin

Navigate to Experimental tab and input any value between the range of 0.0000 to 1.0000 in the option Panel Opacity, where 0.0000 is complete transparent and 1.0000 is complete opaque.

panel opacity

Here's what my top panel looks like at 0.3670 opacity:

top panel


You want to change the opacity of the Panel. Some helpful terminology definitions for Unity are here.

The way to do this is to install CompizConfig Settings Manager from the Software Center. After it installs, launch it. Find the setting you want in Ubuntu Unity Plugin/Experimental/Panel Opacity. Slide the marker where you want it to adjust. There is no save button, just close the settings window.

  • This doesn't have the outcome I am looking for, that's why I posted images.
    – Nahydrin
    Oct 23, 2011 at 6:23
  • 1
    I just tested it and it works as expected. You may have a problem with settings not being applied for some reason? No sure what to do when that happens, sorry. Nice kitty, btw. Oct 23, 2011 at 6:29
  • Just found this, you might want to try it: askubuntu.com/questions/67091/ccsm-changes-have-no-effect Oct 23, 2011 at 6:31
  • Thanks, :). I looked through the link, didn't help me. I should point out that I can change the opacity, but the end result doesn't look like what's in the (1st) image.
    – Nahydrin
    Oct 23, 2011 at 6:39
  • 2
    Sorry, I don't know. I leave most everything on default, and this has greatly reduced my frustration when using the computer. You need to find a theme that has the design elements you want, and apply it. Then cross your fingers and hope it doesn't break anything else... This might also be a good question for the chat room linked at the top of the page. Oct 23, 2011 at 7:25

Only thing that worked for me on Ubuntu 16.06 was the unity tweak tool -> Panel than adjust transparency level an uncheck Opac Panel for maximized windows...

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