Pressing and holding Alt + scrolling with the mouse wheel used to give me a transparent window, is there any way I can get that or something similar in Ubuntu 12.04?

1 Answer 1


Install these packages with the command

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra

This will install the CompizConfig-Settings-Manager and necessary plugins required.

Open the CompizConfig-Settings-Manager by typing ccsm in the dash. In the CCSM's window, under the Accessibility section, enable the Opacity, Brightness and Satuaration by placing a tick mark on the corresponding checkbox.


This should automatically enable the plugin, if it does not, press Alt+F2 and type compiz --replace to restart compiz. A nicer way would be logout and login again.

Now you can increase or decrease the transparency of any window by holding the Alt key and scrolling mouse wheel.

Note: If Unity seems crashed, don't be bothered. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring logout window, and press Enter to logout from your session. Then login again.

For Non-Unity users

Users who are using Lubuntu or Xubuntu, they will miss this feature because those flavor doesn't use Compiz as the window manager. Lubuntu uses OpenBox and Xubuntu uses XFWM window manager. To be able to use this feature, compiz should be used as the window manager.

One way to achieve this is adding a compiz --replace command in startup of the session. (There are neat way of replacing default wm with compiz, but this will do the job)

After enabling compiz, you need to enable some basic plugin using CompizConfig-SettingsManager. These plugins are -

  • Window Decoration (For decorating windows)
  • Animations
  • Maximumize (for maximize)
  • Move Window (enable moving)
  • Place Window (will place new window in suitable place)
  • Resize Window (to be able to resize)
  • Application Switcher (Alt-Tab functionality)
  • Composite
  • OpenGL

These are basics. But you can try others too. I would recommend enabling Scale, Expo, Desktop Wall too.

After enabling these and getting a stable compiz working in your LX/XFCE DE, proceed with the instruction above.

  • @Eccentric_Geek A little nice tutorial, on how to do it per app: cupugila.blogspot.de/2012/08/make-ubuntu-unity-window-look.html
    – Radu Maris
    Feb 18, 2013 at 11:53
  • @Anwar Shah, immediately after I press Alt+F2 and type compiz --replace(otherwise the opacity doesn't work) the x(close) ,minimize and resize from top-right of all the open windows disappear and I can't resize any more any windows even with pulling the margins with the mouse, and the alt key doesn't work any more in any windows.
    – XPDIN
    Apr 24, 2016 at 11:08
  • 1
    @XPDIN which version of Ubuntu are you using? There should be a unity --reset command in newer versions of Ubuntu. I'm on 14.04
    – Anwar
    Apr 24, 2016 at 14:52
  • @Anwar Shah For the moment I am using Lubuntu 15.10, tell me please, what should I do? I am Linux beginner user.
    – XPDIN
    Apr 24, 2016 at 19:07
  • 1
    Can you log out and login again. If not, use ctrl-alt-del key combo. If you still having problem, install compizconfig-settings-manager and in the advanced tab, select unity problem and click reset button.
    – Anwar
    Apr 24, 2016 at 19:30

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