Fixing a missing Gnome top panel, in Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope

This morning, when trying to remove a duplicate icon from the Gnome panel on the top of my screen, I deleted the whole top panel, by mistake. It is not obvious how this is fixed. Like most Ubuntu users, I looked at some forums. Even with the top panel missing, you can bring up the applications menu from Alt-F1, or run a command from Alt-F2. I started up Firefox, and found a solution offered by Harvey Muller, who, in helping someone else with the same problem, deleted his top panel to see how to fix it. His solution, which worked fine for me, is here:

Harvey Muller said on 2008-07-17:
That looked like an interesting problem to solve, so I deleted my top panel.
Reinstalling gnome-panel did not help.
Deleting ~/.gconf/apps/panel and rebooting did. Just logging out and logging back in afterwards should work too.
Here’s what I did in a terminal:
$ rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/panel
To get a terminal without the Applications menu because you don’t have a panel, hit Alt-F2 key combination and type in gnome-terminal.
Then I rebooted.
The default gnome panel will be restored, and you will lose any customizations to your panel.

This is not the first time I have lost the Gnome top panel, and the fix from an earlier Ubuntu install not longer works. I am somewhat concerned that many newer users who are not that familiar with Unix many find this a hard thing to fix. I think Gnome or Ubuntu might have some type of recovery script or program in the main menu to do deal with these type of issues.

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