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Are there any configuration options for the Unity desktop?


There are multiple valid answers for this question spanning over several versions of Ubuntu. For your convenience an index of each below (How can I tell which Ubuntu release I'm using?):

If you're looking to configure Unity 2D, look here.

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i am using ubuntu 14.04 can it support 3d unity –  agha rehan abbas May 18 at 18:18

11 Answers 11

Unity is configured through compiz. Install the CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) from the Software Centre, and look under the desktop section for Unity options.

Unity 2D settings can be configured with a tool available here:

A simple GUI for Unity-2D Settings (Ubuntu 11.04) | Mariano Chavero

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Ubuntu 11.04

There are two options to edit the settings. Either using the CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) or the Configuration Editor (gconf-editor). I'll describe both ways.

CompizConfig Settings Manager

  1. Warning: CCSM is in universe and not shipped by default for a reason, it can be flaky, so be careful in there, it can break things, if you find yourself with a broken window manager, see this question to reset your configuration.
  2. Install the CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM).

  3. Hit Alt-F2 and input about:config and hit enter.

You can now configure quite a few different settings. Like key shortcuts, the launcher behavior and appearance of the Launcher.

On the Behaviour tab you can configure:

Behaviour tab

  1. The Hide Launcher sets the launchers hide behavior.

    • Never - The launcher will never hide.
    • Autohide - The launcher will hide automatically based on time.
    • Dodge Windows - The launcher will hide when a window would overlay it.
    • Dodge Active Window - The launcher will hide only when an active window would overlay it.
  2. The key to show the launcher which by default is the Super key. This will also affect the key used to show the dash (if tapped) and the shortcuts shown when keeping Super pressed.

  3. The key to put keyboard-focus o the launcher so you can navigate using your keyboard (default Alt + F1).

  4. The key to open a Search Command dash where you can enter a command name you want to execute. (dafault Alt + F2).

  5. The key to open the first panel menu (default F10).

On the Experimental tab (might change hence the name):

Experimental tab

  1. The Backlight Mode sets how the icons are back-lit.

    1. Backlight Always On - the icon back light will always be on.

    Backlight Always On

    1. Backlight Toggles - the icon back light will be on as long as the application is running.

    Backlight Toggles

    1. Backlight Always Off - pretty much the opposite of the first option.

    Backlight Always Off

    1. The Launch Animation sets how the icons are animation.

      • None - no animation will be shown.
      • Pulse Until Running - the icon's back light will pulse till it loads up.
      • Blink - the icon's back light will blink.
    2. The Urgent Animation sets how an icon will inform you of something important.

      • None - no animation.
      • Pulse - it will pulse.
      • Wiggle - it will wiggle.
    3. The Panel Opacity sets the opacity of the panel.

    4. The Launcher icon size sets the size of the launcher in pixels.

    5. The Hide Animation sets how the launcher hide and unhide.

      • Fade on bfb and Slide - fades based on the position of your cursor in the bfb (big funny button - the one in the top left of your panel with the Ubuntu circle of friends on it) and slides.
      • Slide only - it will only slide.
      • Fade only - it will only fade.
    6. The Dash Blur sets the level of blur in the dash

      • No Blur
      • Static - snapshot of the desktop that doesn't get updated (in cases where the drivers can't handle it)
      • Realtime - Updating of things behind the dash in real time (Not implemented yet)

Configuration Editor (gconf-editor)

  1. Open up the Configuration Editor by Pressing Alt + F2 and typing gconf-editor

  2. Navigate to apps -> compiz-1 -> plugins -> unityshell -> screen0 -> options.

Now you can set settings described above. Clicking on an item will show a short description in the Key Documentation panel.

Configuration Editor (dconf-editor)

There are also some options you can edit using dconf-editor (needs to be installed first by installing dconf-tools at Ubuntu Software Center or by clicking here):

  1. Open up the Configuration Editor by pressing Alt + F2 and typing dconf-editor

  2. Navigate to Desktop -> Unity to find the first two options:

    • form-factor: The form factor chosen will affect the size of the Dash. Desktop uses a fixed sized Dash, Netbook will always maximize the Dash to screen size, Automatic decides whether to use Desktop or Netbook based on the screen resolution.
    • home-expanded: Whether the home screen of the Dash should be expanded (Expanded) or not (Not Expanded).
  3. Navigate to Desktop -> Unity -> Devices

    • devices-option: Key for setting the devices that will be shown on the launcher. Never -> never show devices on the launcher, OnlyMounted -> only show devices that are mounted, Always -> also show unmounted devices.
  4. Navigate to Desktop -> Unity -> Launcher
    • favorites-migration: This is a detection key for the favorite migration script to know whether the needed migration is done or not. You don't want to change that.
    • favorites: This is a list of desktop files that show up in the launcher.
  5. Navigate to Desktop -> Unity -> Panel
    • systray-whitelist: List of programs that are allowed to put icons in the panel's tray area: [''] -> none , ['all'] -> all programs, or a list of program names.

Launcher & Menus (unity-preferences)

There is another option to configure how to show the launcher then it is hidden.

  1. Open the Launcher & Menus configuration utility by pressing Alt + F2 and typing unity-preferences.

    unity-preferences

    • Pushes the left edge of the screen will make the launcher appear about one second after pushing the cursor to the left edge of the screen.

    • Touches the top left corner of the screen will make the launcher appear immediately when the cursor touches the top left corner of the screen.

  2. Select the desired option.

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4  
@Alaukik well you can't set those settings in the dconf but there are settings for Unity in dconf too. –  Octavian Damiean Mar 11 '11 at 15:16

You can use Confity ( Download Link )

Confity screenshot from OMG!Ubuntu

Simple and lightweight graphical user interface to configure Unity in Ubuntu 11.04 and above.

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Aside from the CCSM (Compiz Config Settings Manager) configurations described in another reply to this thread, you can also change what menu options appear when you right-click on an application launcher (icon) in Unity through custom launchers and so-called quicklists.

For example, you can add STOP, PLAY, PAUSE, NEXT, PREVIOUS to your Banshee icons, you can add your favorite folders to your Nautilus (file browser) icon, you can add common SSH servers to your terminal icon, etc.

To find examples and instructions of said quicklists, see another popular question: List of custom Launchers & Quicklists for Unity.

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Ubuntu 11.10

This answer has been written taking this as base and modifying it for Ubuntu 11.10

There are two options to edit the settings. Either using the CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) or the dconf-editor.

Note that (some?) changes only appear after logging out and in again (i.e. restarting X).

CompizConfig Settings Manager

  1. Warning: CCSM is in universe and not shipped by default for a reason, it can be flaky, so be careful in there, it can break things, if you find yourself with a broken window manager, see this question to reset your configuration.
  2. Install the CompizConfig Settings Manager (Click the link)

  3. Hit Alt+F2 and type about:config and hit enter.

You can now configure quite a few different settings, like key shortcuts, the launcher behavior and appearance of the Launcher.

On the Behaviour tab you can configure:

  1. The Reveal Mode sets from which edge the launcher will reveal.

  1. The Edge Reveal Timeout sets the waiting time (in ms) before the launcher is revealed when a window is touching the edge.

  2. The Hide Launcher sets the launchers hide behavior.

    • Never - The launcher will never hide.
    • Autohide - The launcher will hide automatically based on time.
    • Dodge Windows - The launcher will hide when a window would overlay it.
    • Dodge Active Window - The launcher will hide only when an active window would overlay it.
  3. The key to show the launcher which by default is the Super key. This will also affect the key used to show the dash (if tapped) and the shortcuts shown when keeping Super pressed.

  4. The key to put keyboard-focus on the launcher so you can navigate using your keyboard (default Alt + F1).

  5. The key to open a Search Command dash where you can enter a command name you want to execute. (dafault Alt + F2).

  6. The key to open the first panel menu (default F10).

On the Switcher Tab:

enter image description here

  1. Automatically grid windows on timer in switcher: Turn this off if you want don't want to automatically expand multiple windows in alt-tab.

  2. Bias alt-tab sorting to prefer windows on the current viewport: Select this if you want alt tab to prioritize the order in which applications are shows in alt-tab. Applications in your current workspace are listed first.

On the Experimental tab (might change hence the name):

  1. The Backlight Mode sets how the icons are back-lit.

    1. Backlight Always On - the icon back light will always be on.

enter image description here

  1. Backlight Toggles - the icon back light will be on as long as the application is running.

enter image description here

  1. Backlight Always Off - pretty much the opposite of the first option.

enter image description here

  1. Edge Illumination Toggles - the edge illumination will be on as long as the application is running.

enter image description here

  1. Backlight and Edge Illumination Toggles - the backlight and edge illumination will be on as long as the application is running.

enter image description here

  1. The Launch Animation sets how the icons are animated.

    • None - no animation will be shown.
    • Pulse Until Running - the icon's back light will pulse till it loads up.
    • Blink - the icon's back light will blink.
  2. The Urgent Animation sets how an icon will inform you of something important.

    • None - no animation.
    • Pulse - it will pulse.
    • Wiggle - it will wiggle.
  3. The Panel Opacity sets the opacity of the panel.

  4. The Launcher Opacity sets the opacity of the Launcher.

  5. The Launcher icon size sets the size of the launcher in pixels.

  6. The Hide Animation sets how the launcher will hide and unhide.

    • Fade on bfb and Slide - fades based on the position of your cursor in the bfb (big funny button - the one in the top left of your launcher with the Ubuntu circle of friends on it) and slides.
    • Slide only - it will only slide.
    • Fade only - it will only fade.
    • Fade and Slide - it will fade and slide.
  7. The Dash Blur sets the level of blur in the dash.

    • No Blur
    • Static - snapshot of the desktop that doesn't get updated (in cases where the drivers can't handle it)
    • Active Blur - This means it actively blurs what is behind it.
  8. The Automaximize value sets the minimum value to trigger automaximize.

  9. Show Devices sets when to show devices in the launcher.

    • Never - Devices are never shown in the launcher.
    • Only Mounted - Device that are mounted are shown in the launcher.
    • Always - Devices are always shown in the launcher.

Configuration Editor (dconf-editor)

There are also some options you can edit using dconf-editor (needs to be installed first by installing dconf-tools at Ubuntu Software Center or by clicking here):

  1. Open up the Configuration Editor by pressing Alt + F2 and typing dconf-editor

  2. Navigate to Desktop -> Unity to find the first two options:

    • form-factor: The form factor chosen will affect the size of the Dash. Desktop uses a fixed sized Dash, Netbook will always maximize the Dash to screen size, Automatic decides whether to use Desktop or Netbook based on the screen resolution.

    • home-expanded: Whether the home screen of the Dash should be expanded (Expanded) or not (Not Expanded).

Extra tip for changing dash/launcher color

A new feature for Unity in 11.10 is the ability to change the color of the dash/launcher to match the user's current wallpaper. To take advantage of this, simply set a new wallpaper for your desktop, and the color will change automatically to match.

Note that more advanced control over the dash/launcher color (i.e., setting them to separate or arbitrary colors regardless of the wallpaper chosen) is currently not possible...at least not through an option. The dash/launcher color can actually be arbitrarily set by using an image editor to change the center pixels of your chosen wallpaper to the desired color. (See the OMG! Ubuntu article documenting this here.)

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sadly, Compiz is known to crash on 11.10, which becomes apparent from the many negative user reviews in the software center (tested it myself). –  flow Mar 2 at 0:18

There is an unofficial Compiz plugin that allows you to move the Unity launcher to the bottom (looks out of place and ugly there in my opinion).

More information about it at:

How To Move Unity Launcher To The Bottom Of The Screen [Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot] ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog

Unity bar at bottom

Personally would wait for an official plugin for this but if you are feeling feisty...

Use at your own risk.

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1  
This broke my desktop. So not recommended. Luckily I could restore it via the command line through uninstalling this demonic thing. –  Joost Van Durme Feb 4 '12 at 18:24
6  
Note: as of 12.04, this plugin is useless...It worn't work at all. –  Ryan McClure May 3 '12 at 21:25

A new simple Unity tweaking tool, but very powerfull, is "MyUnity": MyUnity

You can do a lot of thing, more than many other tools. From now, he is in italian, but I think that english translation will come sooner.

Now available in English, refer to OMG!Ubuntu article from December 11.

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Ubuntu 12.04

overview

The default configuration option installed as standard is User Interface.

There are three further unity configuration options used in this answer that can be installed:

Note: In previous answers, the utility CCSM was extensively used as the primary configuration tool. The use of this tool is strongly not recommended and can break your desktop. In this answer, CCSM is only used where the other tools do not offer the configuration options discussed.

Note that some changes only appear after logging out and in again (i.e. restarting X).

User Interface

  1. Hit the Dash and search for appearance

enter image description here

From the Appearance tab you can configure the:

  • wallpaper
  • theme
  • size of the launcher icons

enter image description here

From the Behaviour tab you can configure the:

  • how to invoke the launcher by moving the mouse (hot-spot) - either left-side of the screen or the top-left corner
  • how quickly the launcher is revealed - lower the slide bar, the longer the mouse needs to be at the hot-spot to be revealed.

MyUnity

  1. Hit Alt+F2 and type myunity and hit enter.

You can now configure quite a few different settings, like the launcher behavior, dash configuration, panel transparency, desktop icons and various font settings.

Launcher

enter image description here

  1. color - Launcher background color
  2. size - Launcher icon size
  3. Transparency - Background transparency of the launcher
  4. Show devices - Show removable USB drives as an icon
  5. Behavior - How the launcher interacts with windows

    • Fixed - The launcher will never hide.
    • Hidden - The launcher will hide when a window would overlay it.
  6. Display - What effect the launcher should use when hiding i.e. to fade away or to slide (or both)

  7. Backlights - Style of icon background

    • Icons On - the icon back light will always be on.

enter image description here

  • Active Icons On - the icon back light will be on as long as the application is running.

enter image description here

  • Icons Off - No backlights on icons

enter image description here

  • Only Icons Edge - the edge illumination will be on as long as the application is running.

enter image description here

Launcher Quicklists

enter image description here

This option allows you to create quicklists - quicklists are a submenu that are displayed when you right-click a launcher icon.

For example - shutter

enter image description here

Dash

enter image description here

  1. Display available apps - control whether similar applications from the software center should be displayed
  2. Display recent apps - control whether applications you have recently used should be displayed
  3. Blur - how or if Dash background is displayed - default is to blur the background

    • Off - No Blur
    • Smart - Active Blur - This means it actively blurs what is behind it.
    • On - snapshot of the desktop that doesn't get updated (in cases where the drivers can't handle it)
  4. Dash Size - whether the dash shows in netbook or desktop style depending on the screen resolution

Panel

enter image description here

  1. Transparency - how transparent the top-panel should be displayed
  2. Transparency Maximized Toggle - if you are using a transparent top-panel this toggle controls whether an application that is maximised has its decoration also displayed transparently or in the theme colour.

Desktop

enter image description here

  1. This tab determines whether the icons shown in the image appears on the desktop
  2. Window animation - whether the launch and minimize window effect is displayed or not
  3. v desktop & h desktop - controls the number of vertical and horizontal workspaces (default 2x2)

Fonts

enter image description here

  1. Font antialiasing - how smooth the fonts are displayed
  2. Font hinting - adjust the display of the outline font
  3. System/Document/Desktop/Window Title/Monospace - change the font for the desktop type

Themes

enter image description here

Any themes that you have installed or manually installed (/usr/share/themes or ~/.themes) together with manually installed icons (/usr/share/icons or ~/.icons) can be chosen.

Configuration Editor (dconf-editor)

Where an option is not described, then this functionality can be achieved through MyUnity described above.

  1. Open up the Configuration Editor by pressing Alt + F2 and typing dconf-editor

  2. Navigate to Desktop -> Unity to find the options below:

    • home-expanded - Whether the home screen of the Dash should be expanded (Expanded) or not (Not Expanded).

    • sub-key Dash - home-lens-ordering - List of lens ids specifying how lenses should be ordered in the Dash home screen.

    • sub-key Devices - favorites - List of device uuid for favorites on the launcher.
    • sub-key Launcher - favorites - list of icons (their .desktop names) shown by default on the launcher
    • sub-key Panel - systray-whitelist - List of client names, resource classes or wm classes to allow in the Panel's systray implementation. A value of [All] will allow any system-tray based application that is not by default a indicator to be displayed

CompizConfig Settings Manager

Note that ccsm is deprecated after 11.10; the same settings are available through gconf-editor in a somewhat safer though less intuitive interface. The settings below can be found in by selecting /apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options in the left-hand panel.

  1. Hit Alt+F2 and type ccsm and hit enter.

Where an option is not described, then this functionality can be achieved through MyUnity described above.

On the Behaviour tab you can configure:

enter image description here 1. The key to invoke the HUD - Head Up Display - by default this is the Alt key.

  1. The key to show the launcher which by default is the Super key. This will also affect the key used to show the dash (if tapped) and the shortcuts shown when keeping Super pressed.

  2. The key to put keyboard-focus on the launcher so you can navigate using your keyboard (default Alt + F1).

  3. The key to open a Search Command dash where you can enter a command name you want to execute. (dafault Alt + F2).

  4. The key to open the first panel menu (default F10).

  5. The key to define the Application switcher (default Super+Tab

  6. The key to define the Reverse the Application switcher (default Shift+Super+Tab

On the Switcher Tab:

Switcher tab of Unity plugin in CCSM

  1. Automatically grid windows on timer in switcher: Turn this off if you want don't want to automatically expand multiple windows in alt-tab.

  2. Bias alt-tab sorting to prefer windows on the current viewport: Check this if you want alt tab to show only applications in your current workspace, or uncheck it to show all open applications regardless of which workspace they're on.

  3. Show minimized windows in switcher: Turn this off if you don't want minimized windows appearing in the switcher

On the Experimental tab (might change hence the name):

Experimental tab screenshot 1

Experimental tab screenshot 2

  1. The Launch Animation sets how the icons are animated.

    • None - no animation will be shown.
    • Pulse Until Running - the icon's back light will pulse till it loads up.
    • Blink - the icon's back light will blink.
  2. The Urgent Animation sets how an icon will inform you of something important.

    • None - no animation.
    • Pulse - it will pulse.
    • Wiggle - it will wiggle.
  3. Launcher Reveal Pressure - amount of mouse pressure required to reveal the launcher when the mouse is located at the launcher hot-spot (Decreasing this value causes the launcher to reveal with very light touch of the cursor at the hot-spot or left-side, otherwise you have to travel the cursor a little way)

  4. Launcher Edge Stop Overcome Pressure - amount of mouse pressure required to push into the next monitor

  5. Pressure Decay Rate - the rate at which the mouse pressure decays

  6. Edge Stop Velocity - the maximum velocity at which the mouse will still be stopped

    • Fade on bfb and Slide - fades based on the position of your cursor in the bfb (big funny button - the one in the top left of your launcher with the Ubuntu circle of friends on it) and slides.
    • Slide only - it will only slide.
    • Fade only - it will only fade.
    • Fade and Slide - it will fade and slide.
  7. The Automaximize value sets the minimum value to trigger automaximize.

  8. Enable Shortcut Hints Overlay - pressing and holding the Super key displays the keyboard shortcuts overlay. This can be disabled through this setting.

  9. Menus Fade-in duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the global menu fade-in animation takes to display when the mouse moves into the global menu region.

  10. Menus Fade-out duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the global menu fade-out animation to display when the mouse moves into the global menu region.

  11. Menus discovery duration - number of seconds the global menu should display when an application is first started

  12. Menus discovery fade-in duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the fade-in animation takes when the global menu is displayed for an launched application

  13. Menus discovery fade-out duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the fade-out animation takes when the global menu is displayed for an launched application

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Unsettings

screenshot of Unsettings

Unsettings is a graphical configuration program for the Unity desktop environment that lets you change some of the Unity settings.

Unsettings can only change your users’s settings, you can’t use it to change global settings or do anything else that needs root privileges.

You can use Unsettings to change the themes for GTK, window manger, icons and cursors. But it doesn’t support the installation of new themes.

With Unsettings you can switch off the global menu and the overlay scrollbars used in Unity.

In addition to just applying the settings Unsettings lets you to save your settings into and load from a text file (JSON format) so you can easily backup you settings or copy them to a different account.

Unsettings is available for Ubuntu 11.10 and later.

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Thanks for writing a great configuration tool. Is it available in the repo yet? –  jokerdino Aug 24 '12 at 5:20
1  
As of now it's only available from my PPA or web page. There are still too many things I'd like to improve before I'd try to get it into the official repos. –  Florian Diesch Aug 25 '12 at 4:08
    
Alright. It is very much useful and thanks again for developing this! –  jokerdino Aug 25 '12 at 4:12

Ubuntu 12.10

overview

The default configuration option installed as standard is User Interface.

There are three further unity configuration options used in this answer that can be installed:

Note 1: In previous answers, the utility CCSM was extensively used as the primary configuration tool. The use of this tool is strongly not recommended and can break your desktop. In this answer, CCSM is only used where the other tools do not offer the configuration options discussed.

Note 2: Whilst Ubuntu Tweak is not in the official repositories, this answer makes extensive use of this GUI tool since the favoured tool - MyUnity was dropped from the 12.10 repositories due to stability issues.

Note that some changes only appear after logging out and in again (i.e. restarting X).

User Interface

  1. Hit the Dash and search for appearance

enter image description here

From the Appearance tab you can configure the:

  • wallpaper
  • theme
  • size of the launcher icons

enter image description here

From the Behaviour tab you can configure the:

  • how to invoke the launcher by moving the mouse (hot-spot) - either left-side of the screen or the top-left corner
  • how quickly the launcher is revealed - lower the slide bar, the longer the mouse needs to be at the hot-spot to be revealed.

Ubuntu Tweak

  1. Hit Alt+F2 and type ubuntu-tweak and hit enter or choose the Ubuntu-tweak icon found in the Session Settings

You can now configure quite a few different settings, like the Fonts, Themes, Unity tweaks, Window tweaks, Workspace settings, Indicator Session Tweaks

enter image description here

Fonts

enter image description here

  1. antialiasing - how smooth the fonts are displayed
  2. hinting - adjust the display of the outline font
  3. font options - change the font for the desktop type
  4. Text scaling factor - scale the text font size by the given value.

Themes

enter image description here

Any themes that you have installed or manually installed (/usr/share/themes or ~/.themes) together with manually installed icons (/usr/share/icons or ~/.icons) can be chosen.

Unity Tweaks

enter image description here

  1. HUD - Turn the Head-Up-Display on/off
  2. shortcut hints overlay - turn on/off the desktop short cuts display shown when pressing and holding Super
  3. Web Apps integration - turn on/off the HUD integration with various Web Apps enabled sites such as Google Apps, Facebook & Twitter
  4. *Disable "Show Desktop" in the switcher - hide the desktop icon displayed when Alt+Tab
  5. Launcher opacity - controls the transparency of the launcher icons
  6. Launcher icon backlight - controls the backlights of the launcher icons
  7. Dash size - controls whether the dash should open fullscreen or not for smaller display resolution screens
  8. Blur type - controls whether the dash should blur the background contents
  9. Panel opacitity - transparency of the top panel
  10. Panel opacity for maximized windows - respect the transparency settings of the panel for maximized windows

Window tweaks

enter image description here

  1. Window control button position - display the window close/minimize/maximize buttons on the left or right side of the window
  2. "Close" button only - only show a close button
  3. titlebar actions - what happens when performing various mouse actions on the title-bar

Workspace settings

enter image description here

  1. Edge trigger delay (ms) - delay in milliseconds before window is pushed into the next workspace
  2. Horizontal workspace - number of horizontally displayed workspaces
  3. Vertical workspace - number of vertically displayed workspaced

Indicator Session Tweaks

enter image description here

Various tweaks as shown in the image to control the session indicator

Configuration Editor (dconf-editor)

Where an option is not described, then this functionality can be achieved through Ubuntu-Tweak described above.

  1. Open up the Configuration Editor by pressing Alt + F2 and typing dconf-editor

  2. Navigate to com - canonical - unity to find the options below:

    • home-expanded - Whether the home screen of the Dash should be expanded (Expanded) or not (Not Expanded).
    • minimize-count - number of times a window has been minimized - this adjusts the animation speed by making the minimize action progressively faster the more it is used
    • minimize-fast-duration - This is the duration that the minimize animation will have when it has been used more than an number of times equal minimize-speed-threshold.
    • minimize-slow-duration - This is the duration that the minimize animation will have when it has never been used.
    • minimize-speed-threshold - The speed of the minimize animation will progressively get faster as minimize-count approaches this value.
    • sub-key Dash - home-lens-ordering - List of lens ids specifying how lenses should be ordered in the Dash home screen.
    • sub-key Devices - favorites - List of device uuid for favorites on the launcher.
    • sub-key Launcher - favorites - list of icons (their .desktop names) shown by default on the launcher
    • sub-key lenses - remote-content-search - "all" is to enable the supported default lens to search from remote and commercial sources. "none" will indicate the lenses to not perform that remote search at all.
    • sub-key Panel - systray-whitelist - List of client names, resource classes or wm classes to allow in the Panel's systray implementation. A value of [All] will allow any system-tray based application that is not by default a indicator to be displayed
    • sub-key webapps - allowed-domains - This key indicates which web applications (by domain) are allowed to access Unity integration features, such as Sound Menu, Messaging Indicator, etc...
    • dontask-domains - This key indicates web applications which the user has blacklisted from accessing Unity integration features.
    • index-update-time - Frequency (in seconds per job) with which unity-webapps-service will spawn the ubuntu-webapps-update-index job.
    • integration-allowed - Specifies if prompting for unity integration is enabled or not
    • preauthorized-domains - A list of domains which are preauthorized to access Unity Integration.
  3. Navigate to desktop - unity - lenses - applications to find the options below:

    • display-available-apps - Display Apps Available for Download in the Applications lens.
    • display-recent-apps - Display Recently Used apps in the Applications lens.
    • use-locate - Use locate during searches to make sure the lens is able to find most of their files even it they're not logged by Zeitgeist.

CompizConfig Settings Manager

  1. Hit Alt+F2 and type ccsm and hit enter.

Where an option is not described, then this functionality can be achieved through Ubuntu-Tweak or dconf-editor described above.

On the Behaviour tab you can configure:

enter image description here 1. The key to invoke the HUD - Head Up Display - by default this is the Alt key.

  1. The key to show the launcher which by default is the Super key. This will also affect the key used to show the dash (if tapped) and the shortcuts shown when keeping Super pressed.

  2. The key to put keyboard-focus on the launcher so you can navigate using your keyboard (default Alt + F1).

  3. The key to open a Search Command dash where you can enter a command name you want to execute. (dafault Alt + F2).

  4. The key to open the first panel menu (default F10).

  5. The key to define the Application switcher (default Super+Tab

  6. The key to define the Reverse the Application switcher (default Shift+Super+Tab

On the Switcher Tab:

Switcher tab of Unity plugin in CCSM

  1. Automatically grid windows on timer in switcher: Turn this off if you want don't want to automatically expand multiple windows in alt-tab.

  2. Bias alt-tab sorting to prefer windows on the current viewport: Check this if you want alt tab to show only applications in your current workspace, or uncheck it to show all open applications regardless of which workspace they're on.

  3. Show minimized windows in switcher: Turn this off if you don't want minimized windows appearing in the switcher

On the Experimental tab (might change hence the name):

enter image description here

enter image description here

  1. The Launch Animation sets how the icons are animated.

    • None - no animation will be shown.
    • Pulse Until Running - the icon's back light will pulse till it loads up.
    • Blink - the icon's back light will blink.
  2. The Urgent Animation sets how an icon will inform you of something important.

    • None - no animation.
    • Pulse - it will pulse.
    • Wiggle - it will wiggle.
  3. Launcher Reveal Pressure - amount of mouse pressure required to reveal the launcher when the mouse is located at the launcher hot-spot (Decreasing this value causes the launcher to reveal with very light touch of the cursor at the hot-spot or left-side, otherwise you have to travel the cursor a little way)

  4. Pressure Decay Rate - the rate at which the mouse pressure decays

  5. Edge Stop Velocity - the maximum velocity at which the mouse will still be stopped

  6. Duration of Sticky Edge Release after Break - delay after the sticky edge barrier is broken

  7. Hide Animation - launcher animation

    • Fade on bfb and Slide - fades based on the position of your cursor in the bfb (big funny button - the one in the top left of your launcher with the Ubuntu circle of friends on it) and slides.
    • Slide only - it will only slide.
    • Fade only - it will only fade.
    • Fade and Slide - it will fade and slide.
  8. The Automaximize value sets the minimum value to trigger automaximize.

  9. Enable Shortcut Hints Overlay - pressing and holding the Super key displays the keyboard shortcuts overlay. This can be disabled through this setting.

  10. Menus Fade-in duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the global menu fade-in animation takes to display when the mouse moves into the global menu region.

  11. Menus Fade-out duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the global menu fade-out animation to display when the mouse moves into the global menu region.

  12. Menus discovery duration - number of seconds the global menu should display when an application is first started

  13. Menus discovery fade-in duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the fade-in animation takes when the global menu is displayed for an launched application

  14. Menus discovery fade-out duration - duration (in milliseconds) that the fade-out animation takes when the global menu is displayed for an launched application

  15. Launcher Monitors - controls whether launcher should be displayed on multiple desktops

  16. Launcher Capture Mouse - determines if the launcher edges should capture the mouse

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13.04

Unity Tweak Tool can be used to configure Unity in Ubuntu 13.04 and later. It is also available in a PPA for 12.10 Ubuntu users.

installation

unity-tweak-tool Install unity-tweak-tool

or via the command sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

For installation on 12.10 you'll have to add the Unity Tweak Tool (UTT) from a PPA. Run

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freyja-dev/unity-tweak-tool-daily  

To add the PPA, and

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool  

To update the package list and install UTT.

Configuring Unity

As you can see UTT has quite a lot of options when it comes to configuring your desktop.

enter image description here

The main interface is divided into four main categories:

  • Unity

  • Window Manager

  • Appearance

  • System

note: There is a restore defaults button on every tab that will restore all settings to their default values for that tab.

Unity

The Unity section contains most of the Unity centric configuration options that Unity Tweak Tool offers.

Launcher

From the Launcher tab you can configure the elements of the Unity Launcher:

enter image description here

behaviour

  1. Auto-hide: Sets whether the launcher auto-hides when not in focus

  2. Auto-hide animation: Controls the animation used in auto-hiding the launcher if auto-hide is set to on.

  3. Reveal location: If auto-hide is activated, controls whether you can activate the launcher from the sides or only in the top left corner.

  4. Reveal sensitivity: If auto-hide is activated, controls the sensitivity of the launcher when giving it focus.

appearance

  1. Transparency: Controls whether the Launcher is transparent.

  2. Transparency level: If transparency is activated, controls the level of launcher transparency.

  3. Colour: Controls whether the color of the launcher is based on the current wallpaper or uses a custom color.

  4. Visibility: If multiple monitors are in use, controls whether the launcher is visible on all desktops or just the primary desktop.

icons

  1. Urgent animation: Controls the urgent animation of launcher icons.

  2. Launch animation: Controls the animation of a launcher icon when the application is being launched.

  3. Icon backgrounds: Controls when the icon backgrounds (called "backlight") is on.

  4. Icon size: Controls the size of launcher icons.

  5. "Show Desktop" icon: Controls whether the "Show Desktop" icon is visible in the launcher.

search

From the search tab you can configure Unity's search.

enter image description here

general

  1. Background blur: Controls whether the background of the dash is blurred or not.

  2. blur type: If background blur is enabled, controls whether the blur updates with the background or not.

  3. search online sources: Controls whether the launcher shows results from online sources.

applications

  1. Show "More Suggestions": Controls whether the "More Suggestions" category is displayed in dash results.

  2. Show "Recently Used" applications: Controls whether the applications lens shows your recently used applications.

files

  1. Enable search of your files: Enables or disables the ability to search unlogged files from the files lens.

run command

  1. Clear history: Clears your Alt+F2 command history.

panel

The panel tab controls the settings of Unity's panel.

enter image description here

general

  1. Menu visible for: Sets how long an application's menu is visible when it is first opened.

  2. Transparency: Enables or disables panel transparency.

  3. Transparency level: If transparency is enabled, controls the level of transparency.

  4. Opaque panel for maximized windows: If transparency is enabled, controls whether maximized panel of windows is transparent as well.

indicators

The indicators sections contains settings for fine tuning the indicators in Unity's panel.

Some of the things you can control include:

  • Fine tune the amount of detail the time and date indicator has, (date, 24 hour time, seconds etc)

  • Enable or disable the bluetooth indicator

  • Fine tune the power indicator

  • Enable or disable the volume indicator and change the default music player

  • Show your username in the panel

switcher

The switcher tab allows you to configure Unity's Alt+Tab switcher.

enter image description here

general

  1. Display "Show Desktop" icon Sets whether the "Display Desktop" icon is displayed in the switcher.

  2. Switch between windows on all workspaces: Controls whether the switcher shows applications on all workspaces or just the current workspace.

  3. Switch between minimized windows: Controls whether the switcher allows you to switch to minimized windows.

  4. Automatically expose windows: Controls whether the switcher exposes minimized windows.

Window switching shortcuts and Launcher switching shortcuts allow you to customize the keys used in the various switcher actions.

web apps

enter image description here

The web apps tab lets you customize several web app features, including prompts on supported sites.

  1. Integration prompts: Controls whether you get an installation prompt when visiting a site with a supported web app.

Additional

enter image description here

HUD

  1. Remember previous commands: Sets whether the HUD remembers previous commands you've used.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Hold Super for keyboard shortcuts: When activated, pressing Super will highlight the various Unity shortcuts.

enter image description here

You can also change a few of Unity's launcher keyboard shortcuts.

Notifications

Here you can set whether (in a multiply monitor display setup) notifications are displayed on the active display or all displays.


Unity Tweak Tool can do a lot more as well, and I hope to cover everything it can do eventually.

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protected by Community May 19 '11 at 12:05

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