I am on Ubuntu 12.04 and installed gnome-shell, but I found the top bar is larger than it normally is, how can I change its size?

2 Answers 2


Find the file /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css

open it for editing by running the command

sudo gedit /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css

then in that file right in the begining you'll see

/* default text style */
stage {
    font-family: cantarell, sans-serif;
    font-size: 11pt; 
    color: white;

no change font-size: 11pt to font-size: 9pt

and save the file, now you have changed the font size for the shell which will resize the top bar too, but now you need to restart the theme to load this file

so press alt + F2 and enter r and press enter

It shall work I'm not using ubuntu but it works for me on fedora

  • Is there any way to make a local change instead of overwriting system files?
    – xuhdev
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 17:37
  • Its the shell theme, so it was supposed to be edited in shell level I guess, I haven't been following the updates in gnome shell though
    – pahnin
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 9:09
  1. Hold both "[Windows] key + [Alt]"
  2. "Right-click" the bar
  3. Click "Properties".

In the "General Tab", simply resize the bar.

  • 6
    Dosen't work in modern gnome (3.X) from Ubuntu 20.04 etc.
    – slacy
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 23:22

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