Ubuntu – How to enhance the transparency of the Unity 3D launcher


Where is the background of the Unity (3D) launcher located? I would like to enhance the transparency of the launcher to make it fit better with light themes (such as Radiance). The actual transparency of the launcher suits only with darker themes (like Ambiance).

The file "launcher_background_middle.png" in /usr/share/unity/themes doesn't seem to affect the launcher transparency, and I haven't yet found out where the launcher background is. It should be a picture that can be edited with Gimp.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Best Answer

Not for the faint of heart. You will have to compile unity from source. There is a script that does this automatically. You have to download this file.

Then open the terminal and cd to the directory you downloaded it to.

  • Now type ./build-unity.sh prerequisites
  • When finished type ./build-unity.sh clone

Now after it is done cloning, the fun can start. Browse to the directory you downloaded the build-unity.sh file and open the unity folder. Then open the src folder and open file launcher.cpp.

Search for this string

gPainter.Paint2DQuadColor (GfxContext, bkg_box, nux::Color(0xAA000000)

You can change the argb hex decimal to any color you want, A = alpha R = red G = green B = blue:


example 0x88008800 would about equal a green plus alpha

To color the dash, open PlacesView.cpp and search for

nux::Color (0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f, 0.9f) 

example nux::Color (0.0f, 0.5f, 0.0f, 0.7f) which again equals green plus alpha

  • now you can type ./build-unity.sh configure
  • and when finished type `./build-unity.sh run

Here's the results enter image description here