Is it possible for windows to be transparent by default in Unity 7.4 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS? I used the opacity tool in CompizConfig Settings Manager to set up a keyboard shortcut, but is there a way to have windows be transparent by default?

  • Related: docs.unity3d.com/Manual/…
    – Elder Geek
    Nov 23, 2016 at 17:19
  • question has been revised, no longer a duplicate Nov 23, 2016 at 19:09
  • Do you mean the transparency applied to all window?
    – Liso
    Jan 10, 2017 at 7:38
  • @Liso I want all windows to be slightly seethrough when they're opened - right now they're all completely opaque by default but I can use a keyboard command to change it - I don't want to have to use a keyboard command, I want it to be transparent by default when I first open a window Jan 10, 2017 at 7:51

2 Answers 2


NOTE: For those who interested on getting transparent window, you might want to install Compiz Settings and its plugins:

sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins

  1. Press Alt + F2, type ccsm on field to launch Compiz Setting.

  2. On Accessibility section, click Opacity Brightness & Saturation plugin.

  3. On the current tab, expand Window Specific Settings.

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  1. Click New button, then click + and Edit Match window will be appear.

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  1. On Type field, change value from "Window Class" to "Window Type". Then type "Normal" on Value field. Don't forget to click Add when you're done.

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  1. Back to edit window, you have to set your preferred opacity values, you can set the values from 0 to 100. Less values make the window more transparent, we'll use 80 for example.

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  1. Click Close then, as you can see there are new defined specific settings.

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Before effect

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After effect

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  • Good answer ! You might also mention that ccsm is not installed by default so user will likely need to run sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager Jan 10, 2017 at 10:27
  • @Serg nah I have ccsm Jan 10, 2017 at 22:14
  • 2
    @ChristianF97 Sure, you have, but other users who find this answer via Google might not have it. It's always best to make answers as general as possible Jan 11, 2017 at 1:09
  • Does this work on ubuntu 19.04? Jul 27, 2019 at 11:15

Does not work any more on Ubuntu 18.04 and later, because ccsm works only on Unity desktop environment, and latest versions switched to GNOME.

As this site says, you can enter this line on your terminal:

xprop -f _NET_WM_WINDOW_OPACITY 32c -set _NET_WM_WINDOW_OPACITY `printf 0x%x $((0xfffffff * 80 / 100))`

Of course you can replace 80 in the command with whatever value you want, in percentage.

Then the cursor will become a cross, and you can click a window to change its opacity.

NOTE: You have to run this command for every window you have open or you wish to apply that opacity setting to. Once a window is clicked, the cursor becomes back normal.

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