Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 Unity: How to Disable Unity Autohide

Ubuntu 11.04 comes default with Unity, a slick new user interface that helps for users with limited space, i.e. Netbooks. However, I have dual 23 inch monitors, I have more than enough space for menus and options, and when things are shrunk to please the un-power-users, it really pisses off the power-users. So, instead of griping and disabling Unity altogether, and going back to pure Gnome, I'll stick it out with Unity, lest I be ridiculed for being resistant to change. Plus, lots of man-hours went in to Unity, so I'll give it an honest attempt.

First Major Gripe: Unity auto-hides, and thus my taskbar is gone.
I do FAR MORE on my computer than just surf the web. I'm a programmer, so I have my editor windows open (atleast two), I have several terminal windows open. I also have several images open, I'm constantly taking screenshots. And I always have gedit open, for just pasting some text for a period of time. So, without a taskbar, I'm significantly hamstrung. And having to mouse over the Ubuntu icon, or mouse over it, and then jiggle it until the Unity bar full of installed applications pops up, is very very sucky.

FEATURE REQUEST: Allow me to right click somewhere in the Unity bar launcher and have an option for Preferences that takes me to the setting manager, and have the setting-manager installed by default.

1) To disable auto-hide, you first gotta install the setting manager for Unity.
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager


2a) Open System Settings (to eventually find compiz-config to eventually find unity-config)
To open the newly install setting manager, I've found it by clicking the power button in the top right corner, and going to System Settings.


2b) Find compiz config (so we can then find unity config)
From the System Settings, search for compiz, and click the first result.


2c) Find Unity config
From the CompizConfig Settings Manager, search for Unity, and click the first result.


3) From Ubuntu Unity Plugin, change Hide Launcher to: Never


Now, the Unity launcher will never autohide.

Future gripes:

  • where is the show desktop button?
  • how do I use Unity to switch between multiple instances of the same program open. 
    • i.e. Chrome window 1, and Chrome window 2. (assume I've never heard of Alt-Tab). 
    • Perhaps Unity UI team can borrow inspiration from Windows 7, and mousing over an icon in the Unity launcher will then show thumbnails of all running instances of that program.

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for that! You can also disable the Unity plugin so it goes away. I am warming to it, actually.

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  2. Worked great thanks!

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  3. just exactly what I am looking for. my sentiments exactly about the autohide.

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  4. Thank you! The Unity auto-hide was pissing me off! I like Unity a lot though, I like to have lots of space for my work.

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  5. Oh dumb me, stumbled upon this earlier but didnt realise it was what I needed :D

    BTW great theme - is it downloadable somewhere or custom?

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  6. Thank you, this was unbearable. It wouldn't even display half the time with my cursor over it.

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  7. Thanks for the post. Similar problem, needed to launch an additional instance of Terminal, was an adventure. Unity lacks polish ;(

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  8. If you go to Compizconfig > Extras > Window Previews it does exactly what you state in the second gripe

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  9. Not having configuration options publicised made me feel like a Windoze user. Big THANKS.

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  10. Hey as for the window 7 like alt tab thing. When you have multiple windows open u can click on the icon in launcher, it will show you all the windows for that instance (for example all your chrome windows).

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  11. Thanks. This had really been aggravating me. Plus when you change spaces it shows the launcher and causes the search box to appear which ruins everything.

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  12. Thanks. Xactly what i needed.

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  13. Thanks so much. I hate auto hide crap.

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  14. I'm ok w the autohide...but it's a bit sluggish on my netbook...if it was a bit snappier with the timing of autohiding & unhiding I'd like it a lot more...

    anyone??

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  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    That autohide was SOOOOO F@(*&^$(*&@^# ANNOYING!!!

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  16. Thank you for your post. Nice way of diabling it. TQ

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  17. thank you, auto hide was very annoying to me as well!!

    Andre Gabriel
    BH,MG - Brazil

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  18. Thanks. You saved me. I also waiting on how do I use Unity to switch between multiple instances of the same program open.

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  19. ooh, thank. I found it!!!

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  20. Plenty of bugs and goodness to accomplish, yet recent Ubuntu releases chosen to waste resources on productivity wasting gadgets to annoy uee with square wheels. When they realize easy to loose than to build a fan base, its already too late.

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  21. thanks

    I actually wanted the other way around and have it auto hide always

    now it works great

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  22. Thank you for this.
    Alt-tab then down to show multiple instances of the program, then use left/right to select.

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  23. OMFG thankyou, spent over a hour trying to disable this, I remote in locally to my Ubuntu box, and the autohide was so SO hard to get the menu to show. I never use AUTOHIDE on Windoze, why start on UNBUNTU??

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  24. Alt-` allows you to cycle through multiple wondiows of the same application, whilst Alt-Tab cycles through applications... just making the distinction...

    I have a problem that maximized windows fill the screen width, so if I go to the 'Back' button in Firefox for example, I often accidently summon the launcher, much to my frustration! I'm hoping turning off autohide may 'fix' this...

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  25. I tried the steps.. but still my task bar hides. Are there any other ways to accomplish this task?

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  26. That's easy. I have found another friendly guide for you at http://jslim28.blogspot.com/2011/10/locked-preferences-in-firefox-3-on.html

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