The position of icons in the menubar on the top of the ubuntu desktop changes randomly from time to time.

For example I had the user icon (the one with the logoff/shutdown sub menu) somewhere in the middle of the top menubar after installing. After a while it moved automatically to the end of the menubar.

Q1: How can I restore it to the initial position?
Q2: How can I prevent it from moving the icons as it likes?


You can try enabling Locked Down mode. This should prevent any changes to the panels until you modify the key again.

  • Press Alt + F2 and run gconf-editor
  • In the left pane, expand to apps -> panel -> global
  • Enable the Locked_Down key.

If you enjoy a command-line approach, this is how you can save and import gconf settings:

  • Run gconftool-2 --dump /apps/panel > ~/settings/saved_panel_settings.entries to save your panel settings
  • Run gconftool-2 --load ~/settings/saved_panel_settings.entries to reload them
  • Run killall gnome-panel to restart GNOME with your loaded settings

For an easy way to switch between layouts and save layouts, check out PanelSwitcher.

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Q1: Right click the moved item. Click the Move option. Untick "Lock to Panel" if necessary.

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  • 1
    I have most things locked and they move around all the time. Mostly has to do with changing resolutions, but the changes are not predictable in any way, shape or form. – Joe Casadonte Jan 30 '10 at 22:47

Q2. See if you have Expand option set in panel properties. if not, then set it and check if the icons are moving. Also I dont have any icons locked but they retain their place. Unlock all the items in the panel and see if they move around.

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  • expand is already enabled. Some of the Icons whre locked - and I have unlocked all of them now. No difference though. – Vokuhila-Oliba Mar 10 '10 at 7:44

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