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My question is simple. What are the different colors representing in the unity launcher background for each icon. I mean, it seems consistent (firefox is always orange), but it's not jumping out at me what the pattern is. On my screen, it's:

  • Firefox: Orange
  • Chrome: Yellow
  • Terminal: Grey
  • RDP App: Blue
  • KeyPassX: Green
  • NetBeans: Blue

I'd like to turn it off if possible, but first I'd like to understand more about it.

Any launcher experts?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can turn off the backlight by firing up compizconfg-settings-manager Install compizconfg-settings-manager and turning off the backlight or toggling it:

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More information here:

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Thanks for the details, also for the term "Backlight" which helps me search for this thing. Including a lot of list discussion about why it's cluttered and probably needs a bit of an overhaul. Thanks! – dpb Apr 29 '11 at 16:16
That's really good. Still I hope they improve the color in the future. Win7 just nailed it right, Ubuntu doesn't have to follow but shouldn't make the icon border and background too prominent. – Wernight Aug 22 '13 at 8:28

Those are just the colors that are supposed to be representing the application and they are extracted for the app's icon using some algorythm.

You can turn it off in the Unity plugin configuration on compizconfig-settings-manager

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Where in the Unity config? – James Apr 28 '11 at 21:42
Thanks for the details about the programatic extraction. I agree that from what I can discover, it appears to be an algorithm run over the icon to determine what the background should be. Not entirely useful or attractive looking, IMO. If you search it looks like there are some alternate ideas for the future. – dpb Apr 29 '11 at 16:20

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