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How can I configure Unity?

Now I updated to 12.10 and would like to adjust the desktop, well unity, appearance.

  • I know there is the theme setting, but I cannot adjust the symbol theme or windows decoration with the systemsettings.
  • I used to use the tool "unsettings" but it doesn't work with 12.10 anymore.
  • Ubuntu Tweak used to be an option but at this point many features are broken and a lot of settings seem to mess up my system or they don't change anything at all (I understand that there has been a design settings change - gsettings, dconf, something ...)
  • myunity has some options to change stuff but I couldn't find it for 12.10 ...
  • not to forget "gnome-tweak-tool" which seems to work for most settings but not for all, e.g. it doesn't change the mouse cursor and the windows decorations do not show some decorations I'd like to use and I am also afraid of messing things up because it is supposed to be used in gnomeshell ... actually as I found out right now it really messes things up: fonts get inverted, suddenly high contrast accessibility setings are used in some windows, nautilus has white fonts on white background and even the login manager is a mess now ...

So: How can I adjust the theme, symbol, decorations, fonts for the normal user and for the desktop and for the applications including the applications started as sudo user?

I should mention that I upgraded from 12.04 and that some applications like synaptic completely ignore any settings ... sadly it is a mess, there was a time when gnome theming was really well done and very adjustable, I wonder what happened ...

Just now I read that further development of Ubuntu Tweak has been stopped. The developer announced that he won't go any further with the software and the online services ... That is sad and destroys my hope for easy appearance editing just by waiting ... has been such a nice tool for 12.04 ... r.i.p.

  • This question is way to broad to be answerable (it's like really 5 or 6 individual questions wrapped into one), either split it up or it can be covered by the general config master question. – Jorge Castro Nov 26 '12 at 23:18

You can go into Tweak Tool and changes borders and fonts and what not. It's not at all difficult but it's lacking on the options. Be careful with what you put on there...I put on cairo dock and it led to a gpu fault that took two hours to get rid of. I'm a noob (in the highest degree-used to be a Windows disciple) and I had an easy time fiddling with the options. Have fun! Ubuntu is a good stable platform that I'm kicking myself for not discovering earlier.

  • 1
    thx for your suggestion, but I#d rather advise against using the ubuntu tweak at this point. In my book, the same applies to gnome tweak tool (is that what you're referring to?). I know there have been changes to how the settings are saved and processed. I don't know the exact details but if this tool handles the old way settings are saved and applied, this may work for the monḿent but hinder a proper way of succeding later. – piedro Oct 22 '12 at 20:16
  • Or it can't be reverted or whatever ... I#d really like some insight on where the 12.10 settings are stored and applied so I can adjust them manually without a tool that does things I can't comprehend ... but thx anyway, piedro – piedro Oct 22 '12 at 20:17
  • Try to use the tweak tool and set the themes to say "greybird". As you will notice the Unity panel doesn't change and shows different buttons. Once you look back into normal systemsettings there is no theme set there any more and obviously the settings of gnoe-tweak-tool are not reflected in systemsettings. Mouse cursor theme isn't applied at all. It's a mess! – piedro Oct 25 '12 at 11:30

Most of the applications you mentioned got updates (for 12.10) in the last weeks. Look for the new versions ;)

  • I ninstalled Ubuntu-tweak 0.8.2 and the newest version of Unsettings. Both are not very reliable and have some strange effects - maybe things get better within the next versions ... – piedro Nov 12 '12 at 15:17

Try uninstalling the current version of Ubuntu tweak and download the newest version from their website. This fixed all my problems I had originally with Ubuntu tweak on the update.

  • The newest version is 0.8.2 which I installed after deleting all config files of ubuntu tweak. this version still has a lot of issues: The software-sources management doesn't represent your present PPAs and the list provided by Ubuntu-Tweak seems not to be maintained anymore. On my system it often crashes. Also some functions to tweak the appearance can be adjusted but do not have any effect at all. I think you are right that you can use it to tweak some of the settings but you have to know which ones are without problems - here you can only go with trial and error. – piedro Nov 23 '12 at 13:33

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