This tutorial explains how a Ubuntu 10.04 user can make all of their taskbar panel items transparent, yes, even the ones that just refuse to go transparent; such as the clock or the battery indicator, etc. Read below to find out how you can make your taskbar 100% transparent by using a single line of code in the “Terminal”.


For Ubuntu 10.04


The first thing you must do is open the “Terminal”, which can be done by clicking the “start” button in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and then typing into the text bar in the menu the text below and hitting the “Enter” key:



Once you have entered the above text into the “start” menu and hit the “Enter” key, you will be presented with the “Terminal” window.


Now that you have the “Terminal” window, you may enter the code below and then hit the “Enter” key:

cp -R /usr/share/themes/Ambiance ~/.themes/


Once you have entered the above code and then hit the “Enter” key, you must enter the code below and then hit the “Enter” key:

gedit ~/.themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc


Entering the above text and hitting the “Enter” key will open the transparency controlling file in the “Gedit” text editor.


You must search for the line of text below:

bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "panel_bg.png"


and you must insert a “#” symbol with a space at the beginning of the line, like so:

# bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "panel_bg.png"


The “#” symbol will make the line of text after it appear to the computer as a “comment” rather than a command, thus making that entire line of code get skipped rather than executed.


Once you have edited the above text to incorporate the “#” symbol, you may click “Save” and then close the document.


Now, you can choose your new taskbar theme that should be 100% transparent. To choose your new theme you must first select another theme and then reselect your edited “Ambiance” theme. To do so, you must first click the “start” button in the taskbar and then click “System”, then click “Preferences”, then click “Appearance” and then select another theme at random and apply it, then reselect the “Ambiance” theme and apply it.


You should now have the “Ambiance” theme with a 100% transparent taskbar.

It really is very simple to edit the system file that controls the panel item’s transparency and now you know how to! Enjoy your newfound Ubuntu panel tweaking knowledge.