I see that I can install 'myunity', and that seems like it will be overkill for my problem.

Here is what happened:

I was using 2 monitors with different desktop backgrounds using nitrogen, and the unity launcher was colored the prevailing color of my backgrounds (great).

Then, I added a third monitor. When I did that, things got a little screwed up, because I had to unplug everything, plug it back in...and I plugged in the wrong hdmi cable...anyways, got it sorted out; all the resolutions correct...and then got nitrogen set up with a different desktop for each monitor.

Only problem is that now the unity launcher (vertical portion on the left side) is this annoying original ubuntu pink/purple, even though the rest of the theme is silver.

How do I force the unity launcher to take on the right color?

(I found the 'Appearence' section, changed the theme, but no luck)

Here is a screenshot (the wall paper is all black and white; no color):

enter image description here

  • There should be a setting for that via compiz config settings manager ,I'll check thatband let you know. Um, if you'd like , i can add a manual way of setting the color – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy May 8 '16 at 3:11
  • Hi bordeo, what is your Ubuntu version? – Jacob Vlijm May 8 '16 at 7:59
  • @JacobVlijm hey, the os is 15.10 – Chris May 8 '16 at 13:18

Simple solution

Install Unity Tweak Tool and under launcher settings select Colour: Based on Wallpaper option

enter image description here

Command-line solution

There is a dconf schema that corresponds to the color of the launcher.


The colors are 32-bit hex values. The last byte ( two numbers ) stand for the color on which the launcher is based. ff means solid color defined by the other bytes, 00 means based on wallpaper.

You can run

dconf write /org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/unityshell/background-color "'#00000000'"

to make color based on background

Note that gsettings is preferred for such actions. Both dconf and gsettings do the same thing, except that gsettings has sanity checks, but in my experience I've not ran into any issues with dconf and been using it successfully to alter all sorts of functionalities.

I frequently alter the color via command line, so I use the following function in my .bashrc:

#  echo $hex_string
  dconf write "$key" "$hex_string"

To make launcher black , call the function as so

 unity_launcher_color 000000ff 
  • We've discussed this before, but you really shouldn't suggest people to use dconf write, (use gsetings set instead) and the key you are referring to does not exist in 16.04 (if he is using that) – Jacob Vlijm May 8 '16 at 7:59
  • @JacobVlijm by default it doesn't exist, if it's written to, then it will be created, and color will be set. If you want I can provide screenshot of my VM right now. As for dconf , tons of people used without issue. I just don't see a reason why it's being criticized ? – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy May 8 '16 at 8:06
  • Like earlier discussed in chat, gsettings provides integrity checks, and protects the dconf database, while writing directly to dconf does not. The same argument you are using now is used by people "I always used sudo nautilus, tons of people do, I don't see why I wouldn't". Adding a non-existent key is an attempt to fix what is broken without fixing. obviously something went wrong in the current settings. – Jacob Vlijm May 8 '16 at 8:17

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