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I want to make window backgrounds semi-transparent while keeping the window elements such as text and icons and other stuff(like controls) on top of it opaque. Till now, I have stumbled upon ways to make the entire window transparent, but not a part of it.

  • You should look for compiz config settings.. – hunch Mar 8 '16 at 15:53
  • couldn't find anything relating to localized transparency in a window – akxer Mar 8 '16 at 16:04
  • opacity settings control the opacity of entire window – akxer Mar 8 '16 at 16:05
  • Not sure about icons in window but menu bar ,text can be separately set for opacity--askubuntu.com/questions/224865/how-to-change-menu-opacity, you can take some idea from the link. Check for opacity and brightness section in compiz official page for detailed things.. – hunch Mar 8 '16 at 17:05
  • Opacity seems to have been removed from CCSM - on 16.04 it no longer appears for me. – Justin Myles Holmes Dec 14 '16 at 19:36
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So, there's a package, compizconfig-settings-manager, which installs a program, ccsm. In previous versions of Ubuntu, this included, in the "Accessibility" section, a feature, "Opacity, Brightness, and Saturation."

Now, you need to additionally install the package compiz-plugins in order for this to appear.

So:

  • sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins
  • Then, run ccsm.
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