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I was messing around with my raspberry pi and i managed to delete my toolbar. I managed to get everything back but the start button. How do I get it back??

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is not a direct answer to your question (hopefully you do get one) but a little bit of explanation that might help you to solve questions like this yourself. It seems to me a lot of people are coming to the pi with little or no previous linux experience and this would be a good idea.

Operating systems you may be more familiar with (eg, windows) have a unified graphical desktop that is always the same. There are no alternatives, so, eg, configuring the taskbar on one windows system is exactly the same on other.

Linux has no universal standard desktop environment. The Xorg server, which is universal, provides the basic facilities for a windowed GUI, but it has nothing to do with taskbars, titlebars, various other widgets etc. These are the domain of the window manager (WM) and/or the desktop environment (DE). There are lots of both available, the more popular DEs that might be familiar from ubuntu, fedora, and so on include GNOME, KDE, and XFCE.

Some of them are very ornate, with animated docks, transparent overlays, multiple desktops accessed by a crazy spinning cube, etc. but that stuff would just bog the pi down, so the pi specific distributions like raspbian sensibly opt by default for a more simple and resource light DE; in the case of raspbian it is LXDE.

You can in fact install and use a completely different DE (or WM) with raspbian, I am not sure what is all in the repo (it has FVWM, which is my preference, so I have not looked beyond that).

Anyway, LXDE has a wiki, which would be a good place to look for answers to questions like this. The "help and support" link there led me to the forum which appears active and I would bet already has a few savvy pi users skulking around ;)

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+1 for providing the overall picture of WM's on unix – ikku Jan 29 '13 at 12:50

Assuming you're using LXDE (wheezy/debian default Window Manager on RPi, as explained by goldilocks):

In your home directory (/home/pi) there is a directory called:


(mind the dot before config, the full path is /home/pi/.config/lxpanel)

When you rename or remove this directory it will be re-created on the next startup of X, using the default values. That should bring everything back to the default situation. If you renamed this directory, you can put back the changes you actually want.

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I had this problem as well. I couldn't get back my original panel, but I managed to replicate it by simply right-clicking where it was, then going onto "Panel Settings", on "Geometry" click bottom left. Then go to "Panel Applets" and add Spacer, Menu, Desktop Numbers, and just experiment till you find the ones you want.

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I also lost the Menu button on the tool bar and there is no easy way to get it back. I ended up using a terminal to copy the root panel to a shared area, then copied the panel to the user pi.

  1. Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get a terminal
  2. login as root
  3. cd ~/.config/lxpanel/LXDE-pi/panels
  4. cp panel /usr/share/lxpanel/
  5. reboot
  6. login as pi
  7. cp /usr/share/lxpanel/panel ~/.config/lxpanel/LXDE-pi/panels/
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