Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a way to turn off the boxes around the icons in Unity?

Clarification: I do not mean the backlight color -- there are plenty of questions about turning that off. I want the icons, and just the icons, to appear in the Unity bar, without any lights and shadows and borders. Can this be done?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The launcher icon overlays such as borders and highlights can be removed quite easily by changing 4 icon overlays in Unity.

1) Make a backup of the following image files in the folder /usr/share/unity/4/

launcher_icon_back_54.png

launcher_icon_edge_54.png

launcher_icon_glow_62.png

launcher_icon_shine_54.png

2) Either make your own transparent images of the same size or download and unzip this file http://ubuntuone.com/0CvxhLSPBpdxcAZ95FGoII (from omgubuntu :)

3) replace those 4 files with the same 4 files downloaded from the above link

4) restart unity by pressing Alt+F2 and typing setsid unity (or logging out and in again)

5) if you don't like it then just replace the icons with the backed up icons and restart unity.

Example:

Launcher with no borders around icons

share|improve this answer
2  
In 12.04, a bit of this has changed. The folder for the icons is now /usr/share/unity/5/ (as Unity has changed versions for 12.04), and there is now one additional icon to replace: launcher_icon_shadow_62.png. Using the method described above, one can simply copy any of the other blank icons to launcher_icon_shadow_62.png, so now there are five blank icons, and then use all five of them to replace the corresponding icons in /usr/share/unity/5/. –  Kelley Mar 19 '12 at 15:06
1  
In 14.04 images are stored in /usr/share/unity/icons. All have svg format instead of png. Additionally replace launcher_icon_shadow_62.svg, to get rid of a shadow. –  ezrepotein4 Jul 8 at 22:13

I scripted the removal of the boxes around the applications and the one around the ubuntu button (for 12.04):

cd /usr/share/unity/5
wget -O transparent54.png "https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=no_antivirus&id=0B7yJf19YNEeLV0Z6dGRXS2dMQ28"
wget -O transparent62.png "https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=no_antivirus&id=0B7yJf19YNEeLLVZPZmZPOVV5STA"

for name in squircle_shine squircle_edge squircle_base squircle_base_selected launcher_icon_back launcher_icon_edge launcher_icon_shine; do sudo mv ${name}_54.png ${name}_54.ori.png && sudo ln -s transparent54.png ${name}_54.png
done

for name in squircle_shadow launcher_icon_glow launcher_icon_shadow; do sudo mv ${name}_62.png ${name}_62.ori.png && sudo ln -s transparent62.png ${name}_62.png
done

(and restart unity with Alt-F2 and "setsid unity")

The result looks much cleaner to me: (sh.. I can't post the pictures inline)

Before: https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=no_antivirus&id=0B7yJf19YNEeLbTlXUkd6YXhtOVk

After: https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=no_antivirus&id=0B7yJf19YNEeLNGU3dGYyRW53VWc

(To switch back:

for name in squircle_shine squircle_edge squircle_base squircle_base_selected launcher_icon_back launcher_icon_edge launcher_icon_shine; do sudo rm ${name}_54.png && sudo mv ${name}_54.ori.png ${name}_54.png
done

for name in squircle_shadow launcher_icon_glow launcher_icon_shadow; do sudo rm ${name}_62.png && sudo mv ${name}_62.ori.png ${name}_62.png
done
share|improve this answer

It is possible, and rather simple.

First install compizconfig-settings-manager:

  • sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then run about:config in the run dialogue in Unity:

  • alt+f2 -> about:config

Ccsm will pop up with the Unity plugin open. Navigate to the experimental tab:

ccsm. it is open.

  • Now change the Backlight Mode to "Backlight Always Off".
  • Problem solved.

In light of your comment, the box never 100% goes away (by design).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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.