Depending on the application that is running when I open the dash it is sometimes nearly impossible to read the icons due to the transparency of the dash background. Is there a way to change the transparency?


If you choose the "Static blur" option the the Dash blur is set the 1st time you use the Dash per session.

So if you open the Dash over an appropriate background then that's what you'll get for the rest of the session, what you then open the Dash over won't matter

For a short time in 11.10 the "No Blur"; option used to provide a dark,solid dash, that's fallen by the wayside & no blur is pretty much worthless

Can be adjusted in the unity plugin > experimental settings in ccsm

If ccsm, (compizconfig-settings-manager) is installed & you wish to go directly to the unity settings then

Alt+F2, type in about:config and hit Enter.

It can also be set from terminal, 0=no blur, 1=static blur, 2=active blur (the default

Open a terminal and type the below command

gconftool-2 -s -t integer /apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options/dash_blur_experimental 1
  • Thanks a lot, but actually the option no blu gives a much better result in my opinion. – dago Nov 14 '11 at 22:40
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    Blurring is nothing to do with transparency, the question was about transparency – Anwar May 30 '12 at 4:26
  • The gconftool command does not work anymore in 14.04. Can you please update it? – king_julien Jul 4 '14 at 7:53
  • The gconftool command does not work anymore in 14.04. Can you please update it? – king_julien - No reason to do so. This question is 2.5 yr.s old & for 11.10. Maybe ask a new question (hint: Dash opacity is controlled by the opacity level of the 'background' color, ie. only can be adjusted when using a custom or black background color – doug Jul 4 '14 at 22:09

There is no way to manage the Dash transparency as yet, though you can change the blur. The Dash colour is affected by your wallpaper though, so you may need to change the wallpaper.

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    Not the answer I was hoping for, but thanks. – dago Nov 14 '11 at 20:22
  • The answer, though I was not hoping this. – Anwar May 23 '12 at 14:40
  • This has already been there for more than a year. Do we have any news about changing Dash transparency? – lefterav Apr 12 '13 at 12:32
  • Unfortunately no change yet. – RolandiXor Apr 13 '13 at 1:47
  • Which file has the styling rules for Unity Dash? – thewebjackal Apr 28 '17 at 14:39

I found this one.

Just put in your ~/.xprofile (make new file if it doesn't exist):


It also disables other animations like pop-up blur etc. It works with Ubuntu 13.04, maybe also with previous versions.



Not perfect solution, but works likewise.

In 13.10,

  • Install unity tweak tool.
  • change launcher background setting.
  • select dark custom color for background.

dash window background also would be affected by that setting.

unity tweak tool launcher setting

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