Wednesday, October 16, 2013

XFCE Panel: Left Alignment Workaround

After my recent upgrade to Xubuntu 13.04, I noticed that my lower panel was left aligned. Although it is completely functional, I want my panel to extend to cover the entire width of the screen. It just makes it easier for me to locate the indicators for volume, notes and gmusicbrowser. Also, the panel keeps resizing as I open more applications which I find a little annoying. Here is what I did.

1. First of all, we need to fix the length of the bottom panel. To achieve this, right click on the bottom panel and navigate to Panel > Panel preferences. In this window make sure that the Length (%) is all the way up to 100% and the "Automatically increase the length" option is unchecked. Make the required changes and click on close - the changes are applied immediately without any confirmation.
 2. What we have now is a panel of fixed length. However, the indicators still keep moving dynamically. To make this nuisance disappear, we need to add a separator of expanding length to the right of the indicators. To achieve this, right click on the bottom panel once again and navigate to Panels > Add New Items. Scroll and select "Separator" and click on add.
3. Now that you have added the Separator, move it so that it now comes between the indicators/notification area and the window buttons. Also, click on the properties box on the right and choose the style as "Transparent" and check the option for "Expand". Now click close.
That should do it. If you followed the above steps, you should finally get your bottom panel to look like this
If you have messed up the configuration in the above steps or if you just wish to restore the default panels, you can do so easily by renaming (or deleting) the ~/.config/xfce4/panel/ directory and then restarting xfce4-panel.
user@pc: ~$ mv  ~/.config/xfce4/panel ~/.config/xfce4/panel-backup
user@pc: ~$ killall xfce4-panel
If the panel doesn't restart automatically, then press Alt+F2 and run:

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