How to Tweak And Perfect The Unity Desktop With Unity Tweak Tool [Linux/Ubuntu]

For tweaking Ubuntu in general, there is the Ubuntu Tweak that take care of most of the system tweak and configuration. However, if you are using the Unity desktop, there are some features that are not covered by Ubuntu Tweak. This is where Unity Tweak Tool comes in.

Unity Tweak Tool is a configuration tool for the Unity Desktop, providing users access to features and configuration options. While most of the configuration options are available in the System Settings as well, Unity Tweak Tool brings them all together in a single place so you don’t have to search high and low for each setting.


The Unity Tweak Tool is included in the Ubuntu Raring repository, so you can easily install from the Ubuntu Software Center or click this link or via the command:

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

For Ubuntu Quantal and below, you have to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freyja-dev/unity-tweak-tool-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool


When you open the Unity Tweak Tool, you will see a window with rows of icons. Each row represent one section of the system. You can click any of the icon to access the settings.


There are tons of things that you can tweak here. In the Launcher settings, you can customize the behavior of the launcher, like setting it to auto-hide, the auto-hide animation, reveal sensitivity, and more.


The Panel section is where you can configure the settings for the indicators in the system tray.


The next section is the Window Manager section where all the application window settings are found. The workspace is inactive by default in Ubuntu Raring, so this is where you can turn it on and set the number of horizontal and vertical workspace.


The Windows Spread, Windows snapping and Hot Corners sections are where I spent most of my time on because they helped me to improve my productivity.

  • Windows Spread is a feature where you can get an overview of all the opened applications with the shortcut key “Super + W”.
  • Windows snapping allows you to define the action when the application window is dragged to the various corners of the screen. For example, I can set it to maxmize the window when I drag it to the top of the screen.
  • Hot corners allows you to set the action when you move your mouse to the various corner of the screen. For example, I can get it to show the desktop when I move the mouse to the right-bottom corner.


The Appearance are general tweaks related to the look and feel of the desktop. I tend to leave them as default as I am pretty happy with the default theme in Ubuntu Raring.

For the System section, under the Scrolling icon, there is an option for you to configure touch scrolling. This is useless if you are using Ubuntu on a desktop, but since Canonical is merging Ubuntu Touch into the desktop version, this could come in handy for a touch-enabled device like your tablet or phone.



As mentioned in the name, this tool is a configuration tool for the Unity desktop, so you don’t expect to find system tweaking settings (like backing up or cleaning up of the system) here. Nevertheless, Unity Tweak Tool is a handy tool that helps me to get used to the Unity desktop faster. In the past, I used to loathe the Unity desktop because of the limited customization option. With tool like Unity Tweak Tool, it makes using Ubuntu (and Unity) fun again.


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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