Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

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

I really dislike the slight dark-purple tint to the side-launcher bar and shell surrounding the menu after pressing the meta key. How can I set this to another color?

enter image description here

There are configure options available for Unity here but there is no option for this, so I am looking for pointers in the code where this can be set.

share|improve this question
I should add a comment to my own question, since I finally understand what's happening. My background image's "average color" is what's making the launcher purple. It's obviously an erroneous assumption that the average color of a background will always match where the launcher actually is on the image.. my screenshot just happens to be a great example of that. – tamale Dec 13 '11 at 19:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

(This is an incomplete answer that needs improvement and investigation, but should provide someone who knows C++ with enough detail to find the real answer)

By default the Launcher uses a light gray semi-transparent color. When you hit invoke the dash, the entire thing takes on a blurred look based on the averages of your wallpaper colors. I asked Marco Trevisan where this can be modified, but it's in a bunch of places.

However, for the launcher when it's just sitting there you need to look in Launcher.cpp:

First grab the code:

bzr branch lp:unity

Then look in unity/plugins/unityshell/src/Launcher.cpp for the _background_color variable and adjust accordingly.

share|improve this answer
IIRC there was a (test?) setting for the background color in the unityshell options in CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) for Unity trunk, so maybe the possibility to change the color will be there in 12.04. – htorque Dec 13 '11 at 18:58
Thanks Jorge, this is the detail I was hoping for. A few more relevant links I've found in my own investigations.. first, the original launchpad bug to make the launcher match the background: Second, a thread where this is mentioned: Lastly, another askubuntu question that SHOULD be marked as related or duplicate:… – tamale Dec 13 '11 at 19:36

My trick (has to be re-done every restart / log in):
* MyUnity (program) -> Dash -> Blur ON (or, at your own risk: ccsm -> unity plugin -> experimental -> blur -> static)
* prepare a bitmap (image) of your desired color and desktop size
* log out
* don't invoke the dash!
* open the prepared image in the default viewer, go full screen mode and press the WinKey

From now on the Dash will be almost the color you wanted to be.

share|improve this answer

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.