PSA: de-lameify your dock and menubar

Make your Dock be flush against the corner of the desktop, instead of centered vertically or horizontally. This means your icons will stay put, regardless of how many windows are open:

    defaults write pinning -string start ;
    killall Dock

Turn off menubar transparency on 10.5:

    sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ EnvironmentVariables -dict CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE 1

and then reboot (logging out isn't enough).

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20 Responses:

  1. freiheit says:

    Pinning the dock at one end totally makes it way more usable.

  2. nexus9 says:

    the transparent menus in 10.5 are incredibly lame; almost achieving Windows-lame in their form over function way. wtf. couldnt believe 10.5.1 didnt have a slider for it the opacity level....

    • fu3dotorg says:

      The reason no 'opacity scroll-select0r' is included in Apple's shit is surely the same reason why complete colormaps aren't initially in-your-face present (..and only a miniscule matrix of colour-choices are shown instead;) - people would fuck about in undecidance forever; - their philosophy is to avoid this.

      • mdelvecchio says:

        eh? undecidance?

        • fu3dotorg says:

          I'd rather wake up, as I do now, to a reasonably bearable desktop where I merely have to chisel a few manual hacks into the mix than live through some bastardized "Owld/OSX" (as in Gnu/Lun*cough*) daymare -scheme resembling KDE or the worse..

          - If over-presented tweakability suddenly Darwinized into being the default hard-coded standard, the next step would be having to push and pull [our brain's] synaptic activity by hand, aswell as do the cathegorizing ourselves.. (- Needless to say, I won't be the first to blame the gui of OSX for having too few options..)

          ('each his pwn', ofcourse, which is good.)

        • fu3dotorg says:

          Damn, that word happened to 'not exist'.. ;)

          As in "manically tweaking shit being unable to decide upon a satisfactory value".. (- Repeat Ad-Gnu'um)

  3. fatherbingo says:

    I would like to do this, but I am lame and don't know how to use this code. Where do they go?

    • wisn says:

      Tinker Tool allows you to manage this and other system preferences that Apple doesn't make available through its GUI. I like it because it's free, self-explanatory, reliable, and provides a one-button reset in case you've thoroughly broken things.

    • the commenter above didn't actually answer your question, and based on the first page of its website, tinkertool is not capable of doing all the same tricks mentioned.

      the stuff jwz posted is not code, it's terminal commands. in /Applications/Utilities on your mac, you should find, and run it. you should be looking at a command line, like the way DOS computers used to look. type the commands jwz listed and press return.

      careful, though. a mistyped terminal command can render your computer unusable.

      • fatherbingo says:

        ah, excellent. thank you.

      • wisn says:

        it's not capable of managing the menubar background, true nuf.

        It does do all the Dock tricks as well as some nice font and Safari tweaks. Useful especially since Apple's default Dock configuration has trended towards the stupidest common denominator since 10.0.

  4. edouardp says:

    The magic website that you, and everyone else who had upgraded to Leopard, needs is

    And specifically for the transparent menu bar fix, the interwebs has discovered that the best value is "0.62", because that sets the menubar to just the right level of grey, and not white (the value being a float and not a bool).

  5. justinjs says:

    Also handy, if you hate the new look of the Dock:

    defaults write no-glass -boolean YES
    killall Dock

  6. fieldsnyc says:

    Been looking for that. You win, oh, I don't know... some free camo netting for your cubicle at Apple.

  7. robotdevil says:

    Thanks for this - I've been trying to figure out how to fix the menubar without stupid window z-order tricks or modified wallpaper.

    Note: passing 0 instead of 1 after CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE allows you to keep the gray gradient sans transparency.

  8. ninjarat says:

    Another suggestion to use TinkerTool. It provides a nice collected UI for a slew of OS X tweaks including, but not limited to: not leaving .DS_Store files on network volumes, Dock pinning and minimizer effect selection, scroll arrow placement, screen dump file format and location, default fonts and minimum font size for font smoothing, and a bunch of Safari tweaks.

    My transparent menu bar fix is not to alter the menu bar at all but to replace the top 22 lines of my wallpapers using ImageMagick and some Automator wrapper:

    convert original.png -gravity north -chop 0x22+0+0 \
    -background black -splice 0x1 \
    -background grey -splice 0x21 new.png

    and set the desktop background to new.png. YMMV on this. It isn't useful if you rotate among a couple hundred photographs.

  9. notpeter says:

    Yeahh, not so much a fan of the dock being pinned to the bottom left. Magnification causes the left most icon off the screen at times. Kind of icky.

    To undo:
    defaults write pinning -string middle
    killall Dock

  10. fu3dotorg says:

    The menubar transparency hack you mention seems to work like "from 0 to 100", [as opposed to the expected 1 or 0,] so a " 1 " will actually (well, here, anyway..) make it gray, and only hintingly transparent; dunno about any other numeral value, besides 0 and 1..

    (The same window-ui gray that Safari for instance is using as its background, I mean..)

    • fu3dotorg says:

      ..I mean; I wouldn't dare try inputing double/triple-digit values in this case; lest it anal-rams my deity or something; it just seems logical for it to work this way..