The new compiz version of Unity has a different looking launcher. Before it was similar to the ambiance theme used in unity. Now it's flat black with thin little lines around the launcher and icons.

Mainly, I'm just wondering if either:

  1. devs haven't gotten to adapting or designing the final look of the launcher(/icons).

  2. it is an intended change based on someone's personal aesthetic/design preferences

  3. it was a change based on temporary or permanent technical limitations?

  4. other


PREVIOUS Mutter Unity Launcher
This is Mutter Unity launcher in various situations. (my opinion: You can see how, in a variety of situations, the launch bar fits in with the smooth theme perfectly, and also that the launcher meets up with the ubuntu dash iconfittingly)

alt text alt text alt text

CURRENT Compiz Unity Launcher
This is what it looks like now, flat black with lines around the icons and launcher. (my opinion: this looks like it belongs to a different style of theme, and when a window is next to it, it looks like two themes are clashing.)
alt text alt text

This will look way better when maximized windows share titlebar and menu with the panel. I think even after maximized windows share controls and menu, the smooth look will still always fit better though

  • I found this comment from docky (and i assume unity) developer Jason Smith----"Docky author here. The new Unity theme is amazingly similar to some of the latest docky themes actually. We intend to move to having Unity draw itself using svg's, the same way Docky does. We couldn't use Docky because we wanted to have the full integration of the window manager. Docky being stand-alone will always be limited in what it can do for window management."----- i wonder if this is an indicaiton that the new launcher is themed intentionally and permanently? can anyone ask him? (i hope not but no biggie)
    – Ike
    Dec 8, 2010 at 8:37

2 Answers 2


The theme is not final. We don't have design resources yet.

Currently it is just me drawing what I think looks okay without putting a lot of time into it. It could probably use a gradient or two...

  • thanks for the reply. I want you to know that I don't speak for everyone of course. but i did want to know the motivation/status. I think both ways do look good. But since one was already established that fit perfectly to the theme, i wasn't sure if there was a specific motivation. I'm a happy camper with unity either way.
    – Ike
    Dec 10, 2010 at 0:55
  • Thanks for the answer, Jason. I was wondering this same thing :) Dec 10, 2010 at 5:33

I'm not sure I completely understand your question, but you may like to take a look at the "blog" post "Window controls will show in Unity panel for maximised apps" which may address your question about the window titlebar.

  • there was never a question about the title bar. I simply said that when (not if) they combine the title bar/menu/controls, the launcher may look a little bit better. I think it's a really simple question but there are only a few that may have the answer. I added pictures to help aid in interpreting my cryptic writing stylings.
    – Ike
    Dec 6, 2010 at 22:50

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