how do I remove the side project panel from JIRA? The one that shows the name of the projects, summary, components and weblinks?
Most likely, I have to disable a system module - which module in system add-ons do I have to shut off?
You disable the system add-on that provides it by removing it from the installation. This has two problems:
1. It affects all projects
2. It removes all the project data, rendering Jira pretty much unusable (you won't be able to configure projects and your users are going to have to remember the direct urls to get to boards, reports, and issues etc)
Really, you don't want to do this.
But, if you insist on shooting yourself in the foot, there are four .jar files in your installation:
They will have those names, but with -<number>.jar on the end of them. Stop your Jira test system, move them somewhere safe, restart Jira, log in and see that your Jira is utterly useless, then reverse the change.
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