I've just installed and configured Ubuntu 12.04 on my machine. I've changed all font sizes, with the myunity tool, and they're now all set to the Ubuntu font size 9.

However, I can't find anywhere in Ubuntu a way to change the HUGE dash search/UI font. Any idea on where I can change it? Any dconf/gconf setting option?

Here are some screenshots, compare the size of the dash fonts to desktops apps.

Dash font: enter image description here

Desktop font: first screen

second screen

  • It unfortunately seems that this bug still exists in Ubuntu, even with my freshly installed and configured copy of 15.10 :( Really big shame. Jan 23, 2016 at 1:05

5 Answers 5


Unfortunately, the current answer is: you cannot (unless you figure out and modify the source code).

In this answer, I list the ways which do not work, to save future reader-modders the time and trouble of trying and failing.

A. Existing bug report

  • Bug #756845 ("Unity dash search unable to change font/icon size") refers to this exact problem, as shown by part of the screenshot for the bug report:

    enter image description here

  • The bug has been confirmed and labeled "low importance", with no comments by developers or anyone else on a workaround or when it will be resolved.

B. Changing fonts or the scaling factor in gnome-tweak-tool

  • This does not work either:

    enter image description here

  • Changing the scaling factor appears to change everything BUT the dash/hud font size (that's a 1920x1080 screenshot below -- compare the terminal font size!):

    enter image description here

C. Editing dash-widgets.json in the Unity Theme folder

  • You can find a file called dash-widgets.json in /usr/share/unity/5/ and /usr/share/unity/themes. This contains a bunch of CSS-like settings that may give you hope, such as:

      "preview-heading-small"  : {
    "main-title-size"    : 23.0,

    but changing them does not work. (the Dash font is approximately size 22)

D. Changing the Launcher Icon size Doesn't Affect It

  • Since the dash text field is almost exactly the height of the Ubuntu launcher icon, you might think decreasing the icon size would change the height of the text field and make its font smaller.

    • Changing the icon size is easy from the Unity Plugin in CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm), or from its MyUnity frontend:

    enter image description here enter image description here

    • But decreasing to the minimum, 32, doesn't change the dash font size!

    enter image description here


A bug has been reported as "Unity dash search unable to change font/icon size" .

So right now you can not change tha default font size in dash search. you have to go with it :((

  • Correct - a bug report has been made - but this does not mean it is not possible. No response has been made as yet. This would be a better answer if you can point the OP to where in the unity code he should be looking to change/fix this.
    – fossfreedom
    May 28, 2012 at 6:03

Try tweaking the parameters in /usr/share/unity/5/dash-widgets.json.

  • 3
    It would be preferable to give guidance as to what you need to change in this file to actually answer the question.
    – fossfreedom
    May 27, 2012 at 21:40
  • Yes, and sorry, as the correct answer indicates that file-settings does nothing, maybe it is there for future use. A little curious here, this file contains the style information, but most of the settings-related functions there seem to be returning constant values. Can that be the reason?
    – Samik
    May 30, 2012 at 10:22

Nah, go to MyUnity, click on the tab "Dash" and change Dash size to Desktop. I assume you have 12.04 though.


You can do this by installing the Gnome-tweak-tool and change the default font.

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

enter image description here

  • it doesn't work :/ May 12, 2012 at 20:29
  • 1
    @MarcosRoriz Did you try logging out and back in (or rebooting) after making the changes? May 27, 2012 at 19:28
  • Yep! I tried that. No luck :( May 29, 2012 at 1:33

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