Adjust Ubuntu Unity’s Settings Easily With GUnity

If you are using Ubuntu Natty, and the Unity desktop, you will surely know that there are very little configuration options available. If you wanted to make any change, your best bet is to install the CompizConfig Setting Manager and search through the vast list for the options that you want to change. If you are looking for something simpler, GUnity is the one for you.

GUnity is a third party application with various options for you to customize the Unity setting. In short, it is the Compiz Config Settings Manager specially for Unity.

1. Download the GUnity .deb file (the deb file is from a non-trusted source. Use with caution).

2. Install (double-click to install) the deb file in your Ubuntu machine.

3. Since GUnity does not add itself to the Applications Menu, the only way to launch it is to press “Alt + F2“, type “gunity” (without the quotes) and press Enter.

4. Once the app launched, you should see three tabs on the sidebar, namely Unity Shell, Grab Handles and Desktop. The Unity Shell tab is where you can configure the various options of Unity, including its animation, the behavior of the launcher (to autohide or to dodge window), the launcher icon size, backlight mode, panel opacity and many more.


5. The grab handle tab is for you to set the handles shortcut key. In case you are not aware, the handles function is a new feature in Unity to help you to resize a window easily. Simply press the hotkey and you can drag the various corner to resize the window.


To configure the shortcut key, you can make use of the syntax <Control>, <Alt>, <Shift>, <Super> to represent the Control, Alt, Shift and Super buttons respectively. You also need to specify a single character key to complete the configuration. For example: <Control><Alt>j means Control + Alt + j button.

Once you have entered your shortcut key combo, remember to press “Enter” to confirm the changes, else your setting will be deleted when you close the app.

6. The desktop tab is where you can configure the number of desktop (virtual workspace) you want. You can specify the columns and rows. The default is 2 columns by 2 rows.


If you are very familiar with the Compiz Config Settings Manager, then this GUnity app is probably useless to you. However, if you just want a simple GUI to adjust all the Unity settings, then this app is the one for you.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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