My notebook has a widescreen display so vertical space is an absolute premium for me. When I installed Ubuntu 11.10 I was disappointed to see that a new icon confusingly named "Dash Home" had been added to the very top of the Unity launcher. I can't move it to the bottom (by dragging it) and it doesn't have a context menu with which to remove it (by unchecking "Keep In Launcher"). It's horrible.

How can I remove it from the Unity launcher and reclaim the space that was taken from me? (I realize that if it's removed I'll have to open the dashboard with the super key - I'm fine with that)

  • 1
    off the topic but related to the space saving aspect. You may want to keep an eye of this merge request which will allow you to adjust the launcher icon size. Atm still under review/fixing though I've been using & am happy with it, Using here as of the r768, set to '56' which is about 38 in unity-3d. code.launchpad.net/~thiago-nsantos/unity-2d/launcher-width/…
    – doug
    Nov 9, 2011 at 8:04

3 Answers 3


I wasn't satisfied with the answers so I compared the 11.10 Unity-2D source with earlier versions. It can be done. Here's how to do it:

(for 11.04/11.10)

gksudo gedit /usr/share/unity-2d/launcher/Launcher.qml

(for 12.04)

gksudo gedit /usr/share/unity-2d/shell/launcher/Launcher.qml

Scroll down until you find the following section:

    Component.onCompleted: {

items.appendModel(bfbModel); is the offending line of code. Remove this line (or comment it out). Save your changes and close the file.

Restart Unity-2D with:

killall unity-2d-launcher


killall unity-2d-shell

Let's hope someone adds a way to toggle this feature in the upcoming Unity settings manager. Cheers!


As far as I know, you can't remove it. I don't see whats the big deal, though. In 11.04 there were buttons for the Applications and Files lenses; those have been integrated to the Dash itself in 11.10, so one button has been added but two are gone. Perhaps you should remove some of the apps that are pinned by default? You can literally have only the dash launcher, the workspace switcher and the trash if you want to.

Alternatively, install ccsm and go to the Unity plugin settings, you can make the icons in the launcher as small as 16px for maximum screen real estate.

  • I don't see how this being an 'improvement' over 11.04 is relevant. in 11.04, I was still using gnome and it was working fine. Now, I've been pushed to move to unity, and I want to customise it... In my case, I have replaced the dash home functionality with cardapio so removing this default icon will help me too, even though I have a different reason. I see no justification for any element in a list being 'special', just because the application designer thinks they know the best way of using an app Oct 18, 2011 at 8:04
  • I guess the question has been answered, then, and this is now a matter of personal preference. You are encouraged to use whatever DE, Shell or distro you want. Cheers.
    – jerivas
    Oct 18, 2011 at 17:56
  • 1
    @eRivas - there are crucial differences between the new "Dash Home" button and the two previous Application and File lenses. Any applications that I wanted to add to the Unity launcher could be moved ABOVE the lenses. The lenses also had the "Keep In Launcher" option in their context menu. In contrast the new "Dash Home" is fixed (I can't move my "Home Folder" to the top where it was before) and it doesn't have a context menu with the "Keep In Launcher" option.
    – user27451
    Oct 19, 2011 at 9:50

You cannot remove it as it is a part of the Unity Launcher code, Mark Shuttleworth explained the reasons behind the Dash icon and the Launcher in his blog post here.

  • In that post Mark admits that "[it's ] a slightly less of a Fitts-fantastic location" and "the Dash is best invoked with the Super key". I agree with him 100% on both points. Since I don't mind using the super key and it's introduction has supplanted my "Home Folder" I simply want to remove the icon. Isn't there a configuration file I can edit?
    – user27451
    Oct 19, 2011 at 10:06
  • @user27451 No, there isn't.
    – htorque
    Oct 24, 2011 at 7:24

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