I want to change the size of the shadow of windows in Unity, the default is a bit too big for me.

Launching CCSM and playing with the options under "Window Decoration" does not seem to make a difference and disabling that plugin leaves me with no window decoration at all.

2 Answers 2


The setting is not controlled by Compiz; they are part of the ambiance theme. Here is what I did to tame the shadows. Open a terminal and complete the following:

cd /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/metacity-1
sudo nano metacity-theme-1.xml

Find the line (use cntl+w) that says:

<shadow radius=”45.0″ opacity=”0.75″ color=”#abde4f” x_offset=”1″ y_offset=”4″/>

Change the radius to a value you can deal with… I chose 10.

You may also want to move this theme to your local .themes folder.


Open up gconf-editor (ALT+F2 > gconf-editor)

Navigate to /apps/compiz/plugins/decoration/allscreens/options/

Change 'shadow_radius' value.

does this work for you?

  • This doesn't seem to work for me
    – TREllis
    Apr 27, 2011 at 15:21
  • I see this is actually a duplicate of 36662
    – TREllis
    Apr 27, 2011 at 16:05

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