Ubuntu Panel Menu Bar Applet Loses Transparency / KDE affects Gnome

At one point or another during all of the customizing I’ve been doing since I installed Ubuntu, my panel’s Menu Bar applet lost its transparency:

Panel Menu Bar Applet Loses Transparency

Even the Notification Area’s grab handle lost its transparency. I figured there may be something wrong with the panel itself, so I created a brand new one, added the Menu Bar applet, set the transparency, and yet again it wasn’t working.

I decided to create a brand new user account and log in to that to see if the transparency worked. And it worked! Obviously, this was a user-specific issue. I didn’t want to just start from scratch with a new user; I wanted to solve this.

On another note, I also noticed that when I changed my theme, the colors of most controls wouldn’t change. For example, when going through menus, the menu selection color was still the same and I couldn’t change it no matter what. Also, Amarok’s color theme wouldn’t change either. It was the same color as the old theme.

Then it dawned on me… Amarok is a KDE application. I have the KDE environment installed and that was my main environment for a while and I had customized it a lot. Could this be a KDE-affecting-Gnome issue? Is it even possible? But what would explain the menus and other Gnome components not changing colors?

I did some more research online and checked through a lot of my settings and files.

I finally found the culprit:

Under KDE, I had set the option of using my KDE style in all GTK applications, which – unbeknownst to me at the time – meant in all environments. I found this out in this post.

KDE GTK Styles and Fonts Settings
To fix it, I had to sign out of my Gnome Desktop and sign back into a KDE session. Then I went to [ KDE Menu > System Settings > Appearance > GTK Styles and Fonts ] and changed the “Use my KDE style in GTK applications” to “Use another style” and chose “Human” as the style.

I logged off from my KDE desktop, logged back in to my Gnome desktop, and I noticed a difference right away. It seemed the desktop loaded much faster and my controls were in their correct color.

I set the transparency on my panel and I was back to normal!

Thank god for a little research, Google, and the Ubuntu Forums, I didn’t have to resort to re-installing Ubuntu… which I was planning to do. It was much more rewarding to me, less time-consuming, and a good learning process than having to start from scratch.


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2 responses to “Ubuntu Panel Menu Bar Applet Loses Transparency / KDE affects Gnome”

  1. Pike says :

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I’ve been having a weird Gnome problem (I run both KDE and Gnome, and my default KDE is quite heavily customized) where my panels wouldn’t show up and there were errors all over the place and it was just a mess. I couldn’t figure out how to fix it for the life of me, but this fixed it! Thank you!!

  2. Anonymous says :

    Hm, I’ve got a problem here. This seems like the problem I’m having, however I’ve long since uninstalled KDE. I’ve deleted all the KDE related config files …

    Have you any idea as to which config file I need to change to get rid of this behaviour?

    I use Gentoo so I don’t really want to compile KDE just to change that setting 😉

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