Is there any way to reduce the size of the default Ubuntu 13.04 window switcher icons, shown when pressing ALT+TAB? Changing Compiz settings (with a text editor, if not in the CCSM GUI) or installing a different window switcher, for example. Thank you for your help, have a good day.


As far as I know...the size of the default "Switcher View (Alt+Tab)" is hardcoded in the Unity source.
You can try to edit the source code to change the size according to your needs.

NOTE: I recommend you to do this in a Virtual Machine or in a Test Machine to see if you get the desired results.
In this example I'm running Ubuntu 13.04 with unity 7.0.0 and I will change the "Switcher View" (icons, tiles, etc.) to the half-size.

1) Make sure you have enable the Source code repository.

  • Open the Ubuntu Software Center
  • In the Menu Bar choose Edit -> Software Sources. Click to enable "Source code repository". Just in case I use the "Main Server" to Download.

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Open a Terminal window Ctrl+Alt+T and type:

  • sudo apt-get update

2) In the Terminal type the following to install the necessary packages.

  • sudo apt-get install build-essential python-windowmocker quilt

3) Install build dependencies.

  • sudo apt-get build-dep unity

4) Create a folder to download the source code.

  • mkdir ~/Downloads/src

  • cd ~/Downloads/src

5) Download the source code & Export variables.

  • apt-get source unity

  • export QUILT_PATCHES=debian/patches

  • export EDITOR=gedit

6) Create the patch and Edit the source code.

  • cd unity-7.0.0daily13.06.19~13.04/

  • quilt new 99-custon-switcher-size.patch

  • quilt edit launcher/SwitcherView.cpp

Edit the lines... 46 to 50.

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I changed them from:

  , border_size(50)
  , flat_spacing(20)
  , icon_size(128)
  , minimum_spacing(10)
  , tile_size(150)


  , border_size(25)
  , flat_spacing(10)
  , icon_size(64)
  , minimum_spacing(10)
  , tile_size(75)

7) Build the deb packages.

  • quilt refresh
  • fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage

8) Install the deb packages.

  • cd ..

  • sudo dpkg -i *deb

9) Finally you can Restart your machine to see the changes.


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Hope this helps.

  • It's been almost 3 years I've been using Ubuntu. Almost ever since, I wanted to look up how to use the src packages. 3 years I've been procrastinating. Now I have a starting point. Thank you! – Dan Oct 25 '13 at 14:09
  • Thank you Roman Raguet. Definitely not an operation for a common user. :-) – Andrew Nov 12 '13 at 16:25
  • 2
    @Andrew...Well I wrote and step by step so a user can follow it. you can give it a try. – Roman Raguet Nov 12 '13 at 16:59
  • @Roman: What happens if I do it and then Ubuntu updates are available and I install them? I think I'll have to install the patch again, is it true? And in this case, do you know how much often that/those packages are updated? Thank you very much. – Andrew Nov 13 '13 at 12:25
  • @RomanRaguet Please mention fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage will be run with sudo... – Shashi Dec 3 '13 at 12:17

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