I find the sidebar to appear and disappear terribly slow. How can I change the delay?
For 11.04 (Natty):
The Unity delay is intentional (Ayatana-Design bug 754583) but can be changed.
You can change the edge delay of Compiz:
“General Options” → “General” → “Edge Trigger Delay”: set to 0.
You can change this delay and other settings.
At the end of the answer by Octavian Damiean you will find this:
Launcher & Menus (unity-preferences)
There is another option to configure how to show the launcher then it is hidden.
Launcher & Menusconfiguration utility by pressing Alt + F2 and typing
Pushes the left edge of the screen will make the launcher appear about one second after pushing the cursor to the left edge of the screen.
Touches the top left corner of the screen will make the launcher appear immediately when the cursor touches the top left corner of the screen.
Select the desired option.
This is a workaround for “absolute zero” delay.
For 11.10 (Oneiric):
In Ubuntu 11.10 it is now possible to change the edge reveal time out using compizconfig-settings-manager .
To open it press Alt+F2,paste
about:config and hit enter.*
Then change the Edge Reveal Timeout in the Behaviour/Behavior tab.
* (You can also run
ccsm from a launcher such as synapse or from the terminal).
12.04 & Unity
The Unity Launcher delay is now a System Setting - Appearance option:
From the Behaviour tab you have the option to switch-on autohiding of the Launcher and using the slidebar to control the responsiveness to the reveal of the launcher.
The higher the sensitivity the quicker the launcher will reveal.
12.04 & Unity-2D
The Unity-2D Launcher delay is now a System Setting - Appearance option:
From the Behaviour tab you have the option to switch-on autohiding of the Launcher and by clicking the Low/High buttons to control the responsiveness to the reveal of the launcher.
As an alternative to Petko's suggestion, I recommend you enable the SCALE Compiz plugin triggered with the top-left edge of the window. You can choose to scale all windows from the active desktop, or all windows [from any desktop]. I prefer to scale all windows. This is better for users who do not use multiple desktops or use them infrequently. It allows you the additional advantage of selecting which app you want to work with at the same time as moving directly to the relevant workspace if it's on a different one.
This is similar to the behavior of the Gnome Shell. I have been using Gnome Shell for about half a year prior to just now switching to Unity. It took me a bit to get used to Gnome Shell's task switching paradigm but once I did I loved it and would have gone back if I weren't able to achieve the functionality that I state in the paragraph above.
Unity-2D I really recommend setting the Launcher to be always shown How do I configure Unity 2D? Soon you'll stop missing those millimeters and start appreciate better productivity. A delay to reveal the launcher is understandable but to have actual animations of the Launcher showing up and hiding back again is a misunderstanding productivity wise. I'd say that between the default configuration with animations and the always visible Launcher the latter is more optimal.