Monday, 27 July 2009

TIP: Set your panels to hide to 0 px

I bet you didn't realise that I haven't actually gotten rid of my panels in Gnome, right? I had toyed with the idea, but in the end, I decided to keep both the top and bottom panels because of their functionality, most notably:
  • I like to occasionally browse through my menus, just to see what's there!
  • I haven't quite gotten the hang of using Gnome-Do to open Nautilus to where I want.
  • I like having the systray open so I get nice little notifications for (e.g.) the network connecting, battery low, a change in volume or brightness, etc.
  • I sometimes forget what windows I have open (and they are quite often on different desktops), so I use the bottom hidden bar as a taskbar, and also to show when I have external devices mounted.
I think a lot of people would probably consider the panels unnecessary, but I think of it as my second-tier info system: my most common info is on my desktop with Conky, and all the info I occasionally use, but don't want clogging up my desktop, lives on the panels.

That said, most of the time I don't want my panels to be there at all, and the default 3px hide is kinda rubbish. To get the panels to hide to 0px (although I swear it's actually 1px because I can still see a little, tiny strip on the top and bottom), you need to delve into the (awesome!) gconf-editor, which you can run using Alt-F2 and typing "gconf-editor".
From My Little Desktop Photos

It's a bit like regedit in Windows, but easier to use.

Anyway, navigate (in the left panel) to / -> apps -> panel -> toplevels. Under toplevels, you may have panel_0 & panel_1 (like I have), or it will be something similar. It is these that you want to edit...Click on panel_0, then find the field auto_hide_size. Double-click to make it editable, then type 0. That's it! Repeat for panel_1 if applicable.
From My Little Desktop Photos

You will need to restart your panels for it to take effect; I usually just log out and log back in.

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