Enable Transparent Panel, Titlebar in Ubuntu 13.04, 13.10 Unity

Last updated: October 25, 2013

This tutorial shows you how to enable transparent top panel and titlebar in Unity Desktop, tested in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy, 13.04 Raring.

transparent panel and titlebar

Transparent Panel in Unity:

The CompizConfig Settings Manager has the opition to set panel opacity. It’s a little different to Ubuntu 12.04 Precise. Now the option is under Ubuntu Unity Plugin -> General tab.

To get totally transparent panel:

      Set the value of Panel Opacity to 0
      Click to edit Background Color, change Opacity to 1

full transparent panel

To install CompizConfig Settings Manager, click the link below to bring up Ubuntu Software Center and click install button.

click to install CCSM

compizconfig settings manager

Transparent titlebar in Unity:

Without installing special themes, you can directly adjust window titlebar transparency in Ubuntu Unity via Dconf Editor which is installed by default.

dconf editor in unity dash

Open dconf editor, then navigate to org/compiz/gwd. Change the value of “metacity-theme-active-opacity” and “metacity-theme-inactive-opacity” to set transparent titlebar for both focus & un-focus windows.

change titlebar transparency


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11 responses to Enable Transparent Panel, Titlebar in Ubuntu 13.04, 13.10 Unity

  1. You can not get the panel to be “totally transparent”, even with the setting at 0. Which is annoying.

    • I got it to be fully-transparent by setting the Background Color opacity to 1 (instead of 0), and *then* setting the panel opacity to 0.

      • Andreas Gundlach October 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        …doesn’t work for me, I have no option called “backgroundcolor opacity” – only the background color option with a value-range from 0 to 255. But this doesn’t bring full trancparency either. It just reduces saturation… Is there a way to fix this?

        Thnaks – Andreas

        • “only background color option with a value-range from 0 to 255” set that value to 1. Then set the Panel Opacity value to 0

          • Thanks for this solution dude, I hated that only 12.04 would let me get complete transparent panel…

            sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

            In unity plugin reset the background color and the panel opacity…

            Drag the color opacity down to around 3-10 and then set the opactiy to 0

            It didn’t work with just entering number 1 for opacity in background color, i had to manualy drag the bar down to like 3 or as low as it could go below 0.

            This worked for 14.04

            Thanks again man,

      • This worked for me. Thanks, Moose!

  2. thank you so much, first way i found to work

  3. Thank you, you save me!!!

  4. Does this apply to Ubuntu 14.04?

  5. dud what about upper and lower panels in ubuntu 14.04 with gnome flash-back ?? any ideas ??

  6. Thanks for help.
    But Titlebar transparent no work for me, I don’t know why. use 14.04 version.