Ubuntu Tweak (Tweak Unity)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

One of the immediate drawbacks of Ubuntu’s Unity is that customization is not as easy as it used to be. There is a fix for that – a third party app called Ubuntu Tweak which will allow you to tweak Unity.

To start, download and run the debian installer package which will open you to the utility’s install page in the Ubuntu Software Center. Give the utility a chance to install and then run it from the dashboard.

Download Ubuntu Tweak

Ubuntu Tweak

When you start the program you will be greeted with a summary page that shows you some information about your system and Ubuntu distro.

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The place you want to go to, however, is the tweaks tab which is loaded with all of the tweaks that are available in one control panel setting.

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In Ubuntu’s Appearance settings, you can change the overall theme to Ambiance or Radiance but in Ubuntu Tweak, you can modify individual features like the way the cursors look or the way the windows look and so on. The changes are live.

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Say that I change the Icon theme from ubuntu-mono-dark to Humanity and say that I also change the window theme from Ambiance to Crux, here is how my new configuration will look like.

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You can change the login theme to make Ubuntu start up the way you want it to.

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You can also adjust compiz settings to add certain affects – graphics compatibility varies.

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Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for: Unity.

You can change the icon size, transparency of the Launcher and Dashboard, and change the functions of Unity.

If I adjust the opacity of my panel, dash, and launcher, along with the size of icons and set it to Netbook mode, here is how it will look like.

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If you go to the Window Manager Settings, you can change the active buttons and make the chrome of your Windows more transparent. You will have to be patient in this tweak menu as it has the tendency to crash Ubuntu Tweak quite often.

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In the Admins tab, you can customize settings pertaining to folder locations and keyboard shortcuts.

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Ubuntu Tweak is a powerful third party tool for getting around Unity’s lack of customization. One drawback is that you cannot change the color tint with this program, nor can you change the place of the Unity launcher.

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