Enable Top Panel Dynamic Transparency in Ubuntu 20.04

Miss Ubuntu 18.04 style dynamic top panel transparency? Here’s how to get this function in Ubuntu 20.04 gnome shell.

Although top panel transparency was removed since Gnome 3.32, you can get the feature back via ‘Dynamic Panel Transparency‘ gnome shell extension.

The extension fades your top panel to nothingness when there are no maximized windows present. With extension settings, you can also:

  • change transition speed.
  • set custom panel opacity.
  • change foreground text color.
  • per-app basis settings.

If you’re first time installing gnome shell extension in Ubuntu 20.04, you may need to do the first two steps to setup GNOME Shell extensions integration for web browsers.

1. Open Firefox or Google Chrome and go to https://extensions.gnome.org:

Click the link text “click here to install browser extension” and follow the pop-ups to install the browser extension:

2. Then open terminal via Ctrl+Alt+T and run command:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

3. Go to dynamic-panel-transparency/ page, and click the toggle to install the extension.

4. The extension is not updated for Gnome 3.36 at the moment. If you see an error, run command in terminal:

gedit ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/dynamic-panel-transparency@rockon999.github.io/intellifade.js

And in pop-up text editor, find out and change following lines:

let anchor_y = -Main.layoutManager.panelBox.get_anchor_point()[1];
let pivot_y = -Main.layoutManager.panelBox.get_pivot_point()[1];

// Adjust for bottom panel.
if (anchor_y > 0) {
this.panel_bounds.y = anchor_y;
this.panel_bounds.is_top = false;
} else if (pivot_y > 0) {
this.panel_bounds.y = pivot_y;
this.panel_bounds.is_top = false;


let pivot_y = -Main.layoutManager.panelBox.get_pivot_point()[1];

// Adjust for bottom panel.
if (pivot_y > 0) {
this.panel_bounds.y = pivot_y;
this.panel_bounds.is_top = false;

Save the file. And restart Gnome Shell by pressing Alt+F2 on keyboard, typing “r” (without quotes) and hit Enter.

Finally, launch “Extensions” utility, turn on ‘Dynamic Panel Transparency’ extension and change its settings and enjoy!

In addition, you may also adjust the left dock panel opacity by running command (change 0.2 in the code):

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock background-opacity 0.2
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