I am doing a project in which my application has the ability to spread, similar to effect of pressing Super+W. I was wondering how it can be done programmatically, preferably using python. Can it be done?

I am doing it on Ubuntu and for Ubuntu. So anything that ranges from shell script to advanced Unity core is welcome!

  • Once it was possible to activate the scale plugin via dbus (after enabling the dbus plugin). I'm not sure if this is doable anymore due to the compiz changes... See wiki.compiz.org/Plugins/Dbus
    – Treviño
    Dec 19, 2012 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


I talked to one of the Unity developers and at this time it's not possible to talk to the spread programmatically in Unity 3d, sorry!


The beauty of Ubuntu is that everything is free and open source. So why don't you read Unity's source code, get the relevant blocks you want, and adapt it to your uses?

Just notice Unity was not made in Python, but in C/C++. But you should be able to find python bindings for all the libraries used.

Unity is, formally, "just" a Compiz plugin... so your best start would be to download its source code, study it, and learn how compiz plugins work.

apt-get source unity unity-2d-spread 

Compiz also have (or had, prior to Gnome 3) other plugins with a similar effect, for example, Expo. So it's worth investigating it.

Find out which libraries they use, and search for documentation (wikis, forums, IRC channels) for those libraries.

  • 1
    Actually this is Ubuntu related. This involves knowledge of Ubuntu bindings, so this is the best place where I can this question. If I ask in stackoverflow, people might not even know what spread is... Sep 19, 2012 at 19:48
  • @ViswanathKuchibhotla Reading the FAQ, that is not the case. you are trying to mimic Ubuntu using a program you want to write. Ask Ubuntu is not programming advice. Therefore, it is off-topic as per the FAQ. If people don't understand it at SO (which I doubt), then you can explain it to anyone trying to answer.
    – nanofarad
    Sep 19, 2012 at 20:06
  • Oh alright thanks. I thought I could ask about Ubuntu programming too :) Sep 19, 2012 at 20:37
  • 4
    Your question is ontopic here, as it's related to developing on Ubuntu the platform, it's in the FAQ. Sep 20, 2012 at 0:26
  • Agree with @Jorge castro, this website is suitable for both developers and users. But stackoverflow is better for more advanced programming question
    – Tachyons
    Sep 20, 2012 at 0:50

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