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Fixing Ubuntu Unity

November 16, 2012

If you’re like me, you like to be able to see the controls that are part of the User Interfaces on your computer screen.  If you’ve recently upgraded to the Ubuntu Unity desktop you’ve realized that not everyone cares as much about this as you do.  Least of all the Unity developers.  Here are a few tips to help you restore some sanity to your Unity desktop.

  1. Scroll Bars
    Unity comes with scroll bars that hide themselves until you move the mouse over them.  This is stoopid.  To be fair, this isn’t a feature of Unity, because if you switch to a different window manager like xfce they’ll still be there.  Anyway,  do this to restore sanity:

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface ubuntu-overlay-scrollbars false

    Now log out and log back in.  Voilà!  Sanity restored!

  2. Application Menus
    Unity developers thought it would be awesome if you had no idea where the application menu was, so they moved it to the top task bar and made it invisible, unless you move the mouse over it by accident.  Nice going Unity developers!

    sudo apt-get remove indicator-appmenu

    Now log out and then back in.  Sanity restored!

  3. Task Switcher
    Naturally when you’re using the Alt-Tab task switcher you don’t give a care about being able to tell which application icon is highlighted, amiright?  Unity developers agreed!  Anyway, the easiest way I found to fix this problem (far easier than editing PNG files in gimp, thank you very much) is to log out and next to your name where you can login again is a cryptic icon.  Click it and select “Ubuntu 2D”.Sanity restored!

You’re welcome.

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