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If you ever tried this, you must know that using Ambiance or Radiance with no tweaking makes it impossible to have a vertical, transparent or larger (in height) panel. Back in May we had a post on fixing the Gnome Panel for most themes, including the Ubuntu Ambiance and Radiance themes.

But unfortunately the tweak in that post no longer works for the new Ambiance and Radiance themes from Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat (also available in our PPA for Lucid). Here is a new way of fixing Ambiance and Radiance (actually it's still the old way, but a new file).

I'm going to use the same screenshots from our old post to so you can get the idea:

(large Gnome panel height)

(vertical Gnome panel)
(transparent Gnome panel)

To fix the Maverick Ambiance and Radiance themes, do the following:

Press ALT + F2 and enter:

For Ambiance:
gksu gedit /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/apps/gnome-panel.rc

For Radiance:
gksu gedit /usr/share/themes/Radiance/gtk-2.0/apps/gnome-panel.rc

For both Ambiance and Radiance: comment line 10 which looks like this: "bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "img/panel.png"". To comment means to add a "#" sign in front of the line (without the quotes). After editing the file, the line should look like this:
# bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "img/panel.png"

And save the file.

Then change the theme to something else and then switch back to Ambiance or Radiance and enjoy your fully customizable Gnome panel:

Fixed ambiance ubuntu 10.10 panel
(The above screenshot uses a 40px height transparent panel - it's just an example that includes two ways you can now customize your panel)