Ubuntu – How to make ALT+TAB switcher icons smaller


Is there any way to reduce the size of the default Ubuntu 13.04 window switcher icons, shown when pressing ALT+TAB? Changing Compiz settings (with a text editor, if not in the CCSM GUI) or installing a different window switcher, for example.
Thank you for your help, have a good day.

Best Answer

  • As far as I know...the size of the default "Switcher View (Alt+Tab)" is hardcoded in the Unity source.
    You can try to edit the source code to change the size according to your needs.

    NOTE: I recommend you to do this in a Virtual Machine or in a Test Machine to see if you get the desired results.
    In this example I'm running Ubuntu 13.04 with unity 7.0.0 and I will change the "Switcher View" (icons, tiles, etc.) to the half-size.

    1) Make sure you have enable the Source code repository.

    • Open the Ubuntu Software Center
    • In the Menu Bar choose Edit -> Software Sources. Click to enable "Source code repository". Just in case I use the "Main Server" to Download.

    enter image description here

    Open a Terminal window Ctrl+Alt+T and type:

    • sudo apt-get update

    2) In the Terminal type the following to install the necessary packages.

    • sudo apt-get install build-essential python-windowmocker quilt

    3) Install build dependencies.

    • sudo apt-get build-dep unity

    4) Create a folder to download the source code.

    • mkdir ~/Downloads/src

    • cd ~/Downloads/src

    5) Download the source code & Export variables.

    • apt-get source unity

    • export QUILT_PATCHES=debian/patches

    • export EDITOR=gedit

    6) Create the patch and Edit the source code.

    • cd unity-7.0.0daily13.06.19~13.04/

    • quilt new 99-custon-switcher-size.patch

    • quilt edit launcher/SwitcherView.cpp

    Edit the lines... 46 to 50.

    enter image description here

    I changed them from:

      , border_size(50)
      , flat_spacing(20)
      , icon_size(128)
      , minimum_spacing(10)
      , tile_size(150)


      , border_size(25)
      , flat_spacing(10)
      , icon_size(64)
      , minimum_spacing(10)
      , tile_size(75)

    7) Build the deb packages.

    • quilt refresh
    • fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage

    8) Install the deb packages.

    • cd ..

    • sudo dpkg -i *deb

    9) Finally you can Restart your machine to see the changes.


    enter image description here


    enter image description here

    Hope this helps.