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The Dash is overloading me with stuff I don't need, down to the weather and food recipes (?!) when I'm just looking for a file or app. Also I can't figure out how to set it to include music files without getting results from files I don't even have.

Is there a way to go back to how it worked in 13.04, where the app launcher actually launches apps? (So get rid of ALL the filters, especially results that have nothing to do with my computer.)

It also just doesn't seem to work; I go through the list of filters trying to click everything off, but then I type something to search for and it turns it back on?

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4 Answers 4

You pretty much want these three commands. And you don't need to install anything.

sudo apt-get remove $(dpkg --get-selections | cut -f1 | grep -P "^unity-(lens|scope)-" | grep -vP "unity-(lens|scope)-(home|applications|files)" | tr "\n" " ";
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses always-search ['applications.scope'];
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Dash scopes ['home.scope', 'applications.scope', 'files.scope'];

I will explain in detail what these commands do, and how you can tweak it to whatever you want.


the following command will automatically remove any unity-lens-* and unity-scope-* package, with the exception of unity--home, unity--application, unity-*-files

sudo apt-get remove $(dpkg --get-selections | cut -f1 | grep -P "^unity-(lens|scope)-" | grep -vP "unity-(lens|scope)-(home|applications|files)" | tr "\n" " "


the second thing you need to do is edit the gnome configuration for unity. we will use dconf-editor which is not installed by default (install it by running sudo apt-get install dconf-editor), but remember you can still apply the changes directly from the command line with the gsettings commands mentioned above.

Launch dconf-editor by running: sudo dconf-editor


and go to com > canonical > unity > lenses : edit always search to have the ones you want by default, I chose this one to be ['applications.scope'], but it can have more values (I'm only interested in searching applications with unity, no files, or any other stuff)


lastly, go to com > canonical > unity > dash : edit scopes and leave it as ['home.scope', 'applications.scope', 'files.scope']

that's all you need

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find /usr/share/unity/scopes/ -name \*.scope -printf "%P "|sed -es':/:-:g'

lists all of your installed scopes.

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses disabled-scopes "[$(find /usr/share/unity/scopes/ -name \*.scope -printf "'%P',"|sed -es':/:-:g' -e's/,$//')]"

With this you can disable scopes altogether, so you can just enable the ones you want. You need to have at least applications-scopes.scope enabled to use the Dash to manage Scopes.

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You can use:

dpkg -l | grep scope

to list all scopes installed on your computer.

For 13.10, all you really need is: libunity-scopes-json-def-desktop, unity-scope-home, unity-scopes-master-default, unity-scopes-runner.

You can safely uninstall all the other scopes and still have a working dash that will only search installed applications.

You should probably be interested to know what "intrusive" lens application exist as well.

dpkg -l | grep lens

will list all installed lens applicaions

For 13.10, all you really need is: unity-lens-applications and maybe unity-lens-files as well.

Again, you can safely uninstall all the other lens applications and still have a working dash that will search installed applications.

To remove those applications, copy/paste this entire command into an open terminal.

sudo apt-get purge unity-lens-friends unity-scope-audacious unity-scope-chromiumbookmarks unity-scope-clementine unity-scope-colourlovers unity-scope-devhelp unity-scope-firefoxbookmarks unity-scope-gdrive unity-scope-gmusicbrowser unity-scope-gourmet unity-scope-guayadeque unity-scope-manpages unity-scope-musicstores unity-scope-musique unity-scope-openclipart unity-scope-texdoc unity-scope-tomboy unity-scope-video-remote unity-scope-virtualbox unity-scope-yelp unity-scope-zotero unity-lens-friends unity-lens-music unity-lens-photos unity-lens-video

Always pay attention to the following prompts to ensure you do not uninstall something you wish to keep on your system in the process.

I just use nautilus to search files but I'm sure you'll get the just of what you need to do here. Also, you still have to change privacy settings to "do not include online results" to maintain your privacy.

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Thanks for including a command that deletes most of these scopes. I still don't like the unity dash for anything other than quick type-search of applications. Everything thing else is trash to me. –  Lonnie Best Jun 18 '14 at 20:23
It worked :) Thank you –  GeoMint Nov 28 '14 at 22:25

First of all, filters and scopes are two different things.

From what you say, it seems your problem is with scopes rather than filters.

To disable them, simply go to Settings, Privacy and security and turn off include online search results.

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my "dash plugins" were not showing up (I think there is some other problem here), and this helped to speed up dash (I was trying to disable these plugins individually), thanks! –  Aquarius Power Apr 11 at 19:56

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