<SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels?

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LinWinux
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<SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels?

Post by LinWinux »

Hi everyone. I have two questions. I'm running Mint15 Mate but I'm using XFCE panels from the software repository because I really don't like mate panels at all. Since I have keyboard shortcuts and ALT + F1 access to the main menu anyway, can I safely disable the mate panels altogether? By "safely" I mean that I still need to have ALT + F1 access to the main menu after the panel has been disabled. Will that still work?

Secondly, can someone explain to me how to either remove or disable the mate panrls, including the main menu altogether? My XFCE panels have the workspace switcher and the date/time settings, so I'm covered there. I just need to know how to wipe out the visual part of the mate panel since it irritates the cr*p out of me that it won't stay hidden (see screenshot, upper right corner). It stays hidden for 12 to 24 hours and then it just magically appears and refuses to go away again ... :x
Thanks.

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Upper right corner, persistent Mate Mint panel with notifications.
Upper right corner, persistent Mate Mint panel with notifications.
Last edited by LinWinux on Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels?

Post by passerby »

I think you can add/remove mate panels by right clicking and going through panel preferences, but before that...
if you don't want the mate panels, which part of MATE is it that you do want? Why not just log into an XFCE session directly?
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Re: Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels?

Post by LinWinux »

By clicking on the panel and using the preferences you can remove all but the last panel with the main menu. That's why I have that one stuck in the upper right corner and that's why I had it set on auto-hide which apparently appears to be somewhat buggy ... at least on my machine. :?

I enjoy the speed of Mate, the configurability, and I can't imagine any file manager other than Caja for myself since it's the only file manager that has the instant MP3 audio preview. I use that preview all of the time for making car CDs with hundreds of favorite song mixes from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

I like Xubuntu just as much and I actually switched after 3 years of Xubuntu, over to Mate because it was much easier to pull the XFCE panels into Mate, then pulling Caja into an XFCE session. That's far more difficult because of all of the involved Mate dependencies that Caja requires. The two things that I truly can't stand about Mate are the disgusting (IMO) panels which won't provide full transparency without those ugly end buttons, and the fact that if you install Mate side by side with XFCE or other Distros you end up with *TONS* of duplicate entries in your main menu & startup session ... making things very confusing when you're trying to run a clean setup, with just the things that you want/need. At least the XFCE panels could be installed completely on their own. Very nice .... :D

Anyway, I still need some help with this. If someone can clue me in that would be great. If I find the answer on my own, I'll post it here. Thanks.

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Re: Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels?

Post by passerby »

Well, a quick and dirty (and ill-recommended) method would be to issue:

Code: Select all

sudo mv /usr/bin/mate-panel /usr/bin/mate-panel.old
then log out and back in. No more mate-panel on login.
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Re: Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels?

Post by LinWinux »

Hmm, I actually thought about something along those lines but then I was worried that a new panel might re-create itself automatically once I log back in. Isn't that what the XFCE panel does ... ask if you want a default or a new single panel? Why ill advised? just curious before I try it ... :)

EDIT ...

Well, just tried it and that didn't work. Removing the Mate Panel that way also removes the F1, ALT + F1, and Windoze Button functions. In other words, unless main menu access is available separately via the terminal, the command literally kills the panel along with the menu. But even if Terminal access was available ... it would be silly to resort to extra steps for something that could previously be achieved with a single click. Followed the above command in reverse to get the panel back, but eventually had to resort to a hard reset to get everything back properly. The Mate panels are simply unacceptable to me so I'm going to see if there's a way to get my hands on a Caja 1.6 .deb file. Then I'll go back to XFCE with Caja like I did before. Bummer ... :(

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by LinWinux »

Here's the actual solution ...

Sometimes the answer is right there, ready to hit you in the face ... just can't see it because it's too simple. :oops:

Since I never actually installed XFCE, just the panels by themselves ...
And since I knew that the XFCE panels included workspaces, date/time settings, and ...
It wasn't until now that I decided to see what would happen if I added the XFCE menu to the panel.

Silly me, I thought without XFCE being installed the menu would be almost empty. But no, that's not the case at all. When I saw that I could add the XFCE menu to the panel, it then actually pulled all of the Mint15 / Mate stuff into it. Even the Mint Welcome was included. Pretty cool, and now I'm ecstatic because I went ahead and disabled the Mate panel again completely per earlier instructions above. Then I created my own custom icon for the XFCE menu which now displays all of the installed Mint / Mate applications since there's nothing else that the menu could display. Some of the symbols in the menu are a little different, but I could care less about that. Definitely something for me to remember future tense ... :lol:
Did have to reboot though, to really get the Mate panel to go away.

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by RobertLM78 »

I know this is marked solved, but the OP brought up a very good point about the MATE panels - I'd like to see the 'menu bar' as well as the other applets be as transparent as the rest of the panel if transparency is desired (I don't use a transparent panel on my Mint/MATE boxes because of this bug/feature.)
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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by LinWinux »

Believe me, I know. It's a crying shame that this (see screenshot) can't be achieved with Mate panels because to me, that's how I view "desktop perfection" with a beautiful image and few distractions away from that image while still looking like a desktop (a little anyway). :D

I went head to head with the Mate developers because of the nasty looking, unreliable panels. They claim that the intent is to take Gnome2 to the next level ... but even Gnome2 had a workaround to make panels completely transparent. That workaround is not possible to use in Mate. Since Mate was supposed to be better than Gnome2 and since Caja was certainly an improvement over the original Nautilus, I suggested abandoning Gnome2/Mate panels altogether, followed by using the more attractive, more stable, and less buggy XFCE panels in Mate. That was during Mate 1.2 when changes were certainly easier to implement than now. Boy, none of the Mate developers wanted to hear that. Other people's opinions only matter when they mirror their own. Come up with your own stuff, no matter how reasonable and how much sense it makes, and you'll find out real quickly what Stefano thinks about that.
My forum experience there was definitely not what I'd consider as being handled professionally.
Gave away tons of incredible wallpapers & spent hours on a bautiful custom Mate wallpaper ... not even a Thank You.
Tried an honest approach, had a lengthy review, didn't diss anyone or curse anyone out ... and got the boot.
Linux Freedom and more importantly freedom of speech are not top priorities in the Mate forum, that's for sure. :(

They just don't care if XFCE panels are way superior over those buggy Mate panels because most people don't realize how buggy those panels are since it doesn't get really bad until you try using 4 or more of them. Oh, and if you try to use 2 Mate panels on the same screen edge, things can get really interesting. You can lock down your panel icons all you want but if you use enough of them and restart you machine ... the icons can end up all over the place. Then you have to unlock each one, move it again, and lock it up again. What a nightmare if you have dozens of icons, what a time consuming mess! XFCE panels have never displayed that kind of buggy behavior and instead of having to lock each symbol, all you have to do ... once ... is to lock the whole darn panel instantly. Even the panel shortcuts can be customized so much more with XFCE if you have third party apps. Apparently that doesn't make sense to Stefano and the rest of the Mate developers because they're into coding, and not sheer beauty. So since it'll more than likely be a cold day in Hades until Mate has beautiful, perfect panels too ... I decided that this post is solved as is. :P

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Desktop Beauty with full, instant access to everything!
Desktop Beauty with full, instant access to everything!
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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by passerby »

mate-desktop-environment package: "The MATE Desktop Environment, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users, using traditional computing desktop metaphor."
I don't think transparency and beautification of the desktop is their goal :lol:

Looking at your mock-up, I'd suggest looking at dockbarx. It takes a bit of styling and playing around with, but I think you could achieve the desktop in your attachment quite easily.
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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by LinWinux »

It's not a mock-up. That is my current desktop. :D That's why I was ecstatic when I saw that XFCE panels can be installed from the Mint repositories directly. Couldn't be more convenient than that. It takes me about 30 minutes to configure everything like this, especially since I started using my own color coded icons which I keep handy in the home/user folder. Unless XFCE radically changes the panels at some point, I gues I'm "doomed" to use XFCE panels for the rest of my life ... :lol:

The quote "The MATE Desktop Environment, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop" was not what was stated in the very beginning of Mate development. But even that set aside, forgetting the beauty part of it altogether, the XFCE panels are simply more stable and more customizeable. One would think that improving things would be desireable, no?
(purely a rhetorical question of course) :wink:

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by RobertLM78 »

LinWinux wrote:Come up with your own stuff, no matter how reasonable and how much sense it makes, and you'll find out real quickly what Stefano thinks about that.
My forum experience there was definitely not what I'd consider as being handled professionally.
Gave away tons of incredible wallpapers & spent hours on a bautiful custom Mate wallpaper ... not even a Thank You.
Tried an honest approach, had a lengthy review, didn't diss anyone or curse anyone out ... and got the boot.
Linux Freedom and more importantly freedom of speech are not top priorities in the Mate forum, that's for sure. :(.
That's wild - I've had largely good experiences on the mate forums - and they booted you?? That's not right. I honestly don't know why don't have applets be as transparent as the rest of the panel - having them do so seems to make perfect sense, unlike the current configuration where tranparency is not applied. Also, I don't think, despite his profile, Stefano is not "where the buck stops" - it is a community project after all, and I'm sure the creator, Perberos, has some say in decisions.

Tell me, what is the thread title where you posted your concerns on the MATE forums? I'll make a post about this issue, because I'd like to see it fixed as well. I think the MATE panels are pretty good actually - better than XFCE's in many ways, IMHO, but they are behind XFCE's when it comes to the transparency thing. (BTW - Xubuntu is my second favorite distro - with XFCE being my second favorite desktop ;))
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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by LinWinux »

It's been over a year, I don't have any idea what threads to look for. Just search for mate panel and I'm sure you'll stumble across the right one ... if it hasn't been deleted.

Wow, I can't believe that you actually wrote ...
I think the MATE panels are pretty good actually - better than XFCE's in many ways
... because that's a statement that you should back up with examples. Only someone who didn't understand everything that XFCE panels are able to do, could possibly say something like that. I've mentioned it before, but here we go again ... If you use numerous Mate panels with dozens of symbols, these will not remain in the order that you want them permanently, even when they're locked down. After a reboot your symbols can and often will be jumbled up all over the panel that they're in. I'm talking about the use of dozens of symbols. How is that a good thing? That never happens with XFCE panels. If you want your symbols locked down on a Mate panel, you have to take the steps for each and every symbol to accomplish such a (not guaranteed to work) symbol lockdown. With XFCE you create the panel to your liking, just like with Mate, but then with one single click of the mouse the whole darn thing is locked in place. In three years this has never failed me. How is having to lock each individual symbol down on Mate panels better than that? Not only can you run more panels more reliably with XFCE, but ever since XFCE version 4.10 you can even have additional panels running side by side. Not exactly sure what that's productive for but it's certainly one more thing that Mate panels can't do. Let's see now, there's the "above and beyond" add launcher control in XFCE which permits you to instantly add a shortcut to any compatible app on your Linux system (bin folder) simply by typing a few key letters into the edit/command box. Far more versatile than the more restrictive Mate panel. The Date & Time settings can be configured far more on XFCE panels with the built-in Orage Calendar that's actually included with the XFCE panels. Mate panels don't have that and configuring the date/time settings to your liking isn't anywhere nearly as simple. Have you read about some of the Mate panel issues on this forum? The ones where people are complaining about misbehaving workspace switchers? Well, XFCE panels have their own built in workspace switcher and that one works like a charm, zero bugginess that I could find so far. And last but not least of course, the transparency thing that the Mate developers disabled since Gnome2 panels could actually be made to be 100% transparent also. Who's bright idea was it to dummy down the Mate panels so they couldn't be customized as much as the original Gnome2 panels any more? I don't view that as a good thing.

Granted, I have no idea what the limitations with XFCE panels are for someone who's trying to use them alongside the Mate panels on their desktop? Certainly that might be able to lead to bugginess and it's not anything that I'd recommend doing. Either use one panel, or the other ... but not both together ...

The single, only thing that I like about Mate panels ... when Mate is installed on Mint ... is the access to the Mate/Mint Main Menu. But you know what? I can live without that just fine since the XFCE panel is able to import almost everything that's in the Mint Menu. :D Now what I would be extremely interested in, would be for you to back up that quote of yours about Mate panels being better in many ways? Heck, I'll even go easy by just asking for 2 clear & concise descriptions of how Mate panels (which are much more difficult to install individually) are better than XFCE panels? And when you provide your answer, please remember that the Mate / Mint Menu on Mint13/14/15 is actually more of a Mint developement, and not part of the standard Mate desktop package.
Thank you.

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by RobertLM78 »

Firstly, let me start off be spelling it out for you, literally :roll: . I was clearly stating my opinion:
RobertLM78 wrote:... I think the MATE panels are pretty good actually - better than XFCE's in many ways, IMHO...
IMHO = in my honest opinion.

But, if you really need an example of why I think this, then: yes, the items on MATE panels on rare occasions jet jumbled, but that's very rare (I can probably count how many times it's happened over the past year on one hand), while XFCE panels you have to put 30+ spacers in just to have the applets where you want them because telling them to move does nothing. MATE panels allow placing applets anywhere you like them without using 30+ spacers to separate the right and left sides. Again, that's just my opinion why I don't like XFCE panels, formed from having used both DEs for over a year.

Secondly, I found the thread on the MATE forums and clearly K3lt explained to you that, at the end of the day, this was neither MATE nor a Mint issue, but rather a theme issue, and even supplied you with how to fix it. I have yet to try it myself, but I know K3lt from previous dealings, and he's a pretty sharp dude, so I am fairly certain it will work.
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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by LinWinux »

It does not work. I've been trying to get that to work for 18 months and googled in 2 different languages. If you do get it to work, it'll be exclusive to that distro at that time. As far as the spacers are concerned, I have no idea what you're talking about. I have seven XFCE panels on my desktop and everything is exactly where I want it to be. I only used spacers on one panel for one item, to center it better. Didn't really have to do that though ...

Count how many times that's happened in the past year on one hand?
That's already too much for me. It's never happened on XFCE panels in the past 3 years.
Your response clearly, IMO, does not even come close to making Mate panels a better product.

I have no idea which thread you found or by whom since I have no access and since I can't even be certain if that particular post still exists. There were four of us at the time, spending weeks trying to get the transparency issue resolved, and nothing ever worked. There was one fix which could be implemented on the admin side of things, but in the end it only looked as though it should work. In reality that fix did not work, not even after reboots, and I'm pretty sure that that's the one that you're talking about.
It's fine, no biggie. Have a great week. :)

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by passerby »

mate-panel works fine for some of us. I'm running v1.4.0 at work as we speak, and transparency is simple enough. The only thing is, applets like the clock applet will remain opaque, though I suppose for that particular applet it makes sense.
I've only ever had the applets become jumbled after going from one version of mate-panel to another.

My only real concerns with MATE are a few regressions that came with 1.6.x, and they aren't issues with mate-panel.
There's also an issue where certain themes don't work with certain applets, but I've had the same problem with xfce4-panel, so... I just change themes :P
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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by LinWinux »

Mate panels can't be made to be 100% transparent because you always end up with the stupid looking panels ends which take on the color of the theme. If you look at my screenshots above you'll notice that my semi-transparent XFCE panels have nothing showing out of either end/side of the panel. You can't achieve that look with Mate panels.
If the Mate panel ends were custom theme-able also, then it wouldn't be such a big deal. But they're not ... :(

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by MartyMint »

RobertLM78 wrote:MATE panels allow placing applets anywhere you like them without using 30+ spacers to separate the right and left sides.
That's the most supremely aggravating aspect of the XFCE panel configuration...

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by LinWinux »

MartyMint wrote:
RobertLM78 wrote:MATE panels allow placing applets anywhere you like them without using 30+ spacers to separate the right and left sides.
That's the most supremely aggravating aspect of the XFCE panel configuration...
I'm confused now, what are you talking about?
My XFCE panels stay exactly where I place them ... permanently ... even after reboots.
Instead of using 30 spacers ??? I have 4 xfce panels on the top. One visible and the other three hidden.
If I had to use spacers to get panels to do what I want ... I'd have to find me another panel since that's way too much hassle.

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by jjaythomas »

MATE panels allow placing applets anywhere you like them without using 30+ spacers to separate the right and left sides.
one (1) only needed right click separator (spacer?) in properties set 'use available space' (or something like that) all plugins after separator are pushed opposite side
Or
use two spacers as above with plugins between, and they will center to the available space. :wink:
P.S. I'll try try "mate DE' with Xfce panels. Think mate superior in most ways (except the above panel/plugins randomly rearranging. But 'xfce-panels have most of the DE as dependencies (need extra HD space) but won't usually take resources because not being used
(hmm.... 'xfce-panels no recommends?)

J.Jay
Above very prevalent if multiple monitors or laptop using a dock to external monitor (with different resolution) ect. Transparency minor annoyance.

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Re: <SOLVED> Can I, and how do I, safely disable mate panels

Post by jjaythomas »

surprise...surprise

added xfce4-panels only broght in about extra 10Mb stuff (used to bring 1/2 of xfce DE, that was back xfce 4.8 or 10.6 days :oops: ) EXTRA about 10mb extra ram used also (on my main laptop)

I getting to like "mate DE", but was the panel (xfce panel work better with a dock and external monitor) :D But set up (for elderly gent with touch screen) mate because was easier and touch screen seem to work alot better. :? And found I kinda prefer mate (except for panels). :mrgreen:

J.Jay

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