Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Here are the questions about persistent dash customization for my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:

  1. Assign the Application Lens as the default lens selected when the dash is called with Super or other assigned key OR, assign a different lens as my dash home;

  2. Show the full list of the installed applications as in the snapshot below (I am looking for a customization where full app list would be the default);

  3. The Filter results should too come up pre-selected with the dash.


share|improve this question
You can Set via gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Dash scopes <your order> where you can select as you want in <your order>. To get current setting, run gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Dash scopes. – Pandya Jun 27 '14 at 16:39
@Pandya the value set for com.canonical.Unity.Dash's only key (in my 12.04 system) home-lens-ordering is ['applications.lens', 'files.lens', 'music.lens'].. yes app-lens is the first, but still it's not the default that shows up when I call the dash with Super.. – precise Jun 28 '14 at 4:50

This is quite a hacky answer.

I would suggest you assign this script to another key, such as a function key. I went for F3 because it doesn't do much in any applications I use.

You need to install xdotool:

sudo apt-get install xdotool

First run the commands

touch .dashopen
gedit .dashopen

and write into it


And the commands

touch .filteropen

Now you need to create a cron job. Run:

crontab -e

and into it, write

@reboot echo 'closed' > .filteropen

then do


into that you need to put the following:

#! /bin/bash


# get the state of the dash.

# if it is closed:
if [ $do = 'closed' ]; then
    # open the applications pane
    xdotool key super+a
    # and record that it is open
    echo 'open' > .dashopen
# if it is open
    # close it with the super key
    xdotool key super
    # record that it is closed
    echo 'closed' > .dashopen


# if it is closed:
if [ $fo = 'closed' ]; then
    # get the mouse location
    eval $(xdotool getmouselocation --shell)
    # move to the filter button and click
    xdotool mousemove 1000 60 # CHANGE THIS LINE TO WORK ON YOUR SCREEN.
    # click after 1 second
    sleep 1 && xdotool click 1
    # and record that it is open
    echo 'open' > .filteropen
    # move back to original location
    xdotool mousemove $X $Y

make it executable:

chmod +x

Now you need to add the keyboard shortcut:

Open system settings, and click keyboard.

enter image description here

Click Shortcuts, then custom shortcuts.

enter image description here

Click [+] then type the following:

Dash Application


enter image description here

Click disabled and press your chosen shortcut key:

enter image description here

Please comment if I've made a mistake

share|improve this answer
Isn't your script just a new way of opening Dash? – LittleByBlue Aug 6 '14 at 8:27
it's not exactly the one.. – precise Aug 6 '14 at 11:12
@LittleByBlue My script opens the application pane by default using the keyboard shortcut Super+A. – Tim Aug 6 '14 at 11:37
@rusty I have done quite a bit of research and can't see another way... – Tim Aug 6 '14 at 11:39
Not sure if this would be easier. Get xdotool, use the xtool command in your script, set custom keybind as Super, use ccsm (CompizConfigSettingsManager) to change launcher open to different binding (mines Super F). Not sure about how this is expanding the "Full List of Installed.." and filter, but I think they edited post. I can't test this right now, as my apt-get is not working all of a sudden – No Time Aug 8 '14 at 7:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.