Users of Unity 2D might not be able to tweak as much of their desktop as those running the resource-requiring 3D version, but options are available.

Most of these options are grouped together by the third-party tool – Unity 2D Settings – a small app that saves the need for entering terminal commands or messing around with advanced configuration editors by grouping common customisation choices under one window.

unity 2d settings in Ubuntu oneiric

Latest Update

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Unity 2D Settings – but as it’s just gained a minor update with a couple of new features we felt the time was ripe for revisiting.

2D Desktop Settings lets you adjust the following parts of the Unity 2D desktop:

  • Set Launcher hiding behaviour
  • Disable/enable ‘Super Key’ Dash shortcut
  • Show mounted volumes and/or icons on the desktop
  • Enable Metacity compositing and effects (for window shadows)

For the most part the application works as intended, but the developer does note that a number of minor anomalies may be countered during its use.


The tool isn’t available to install from the Ubuntu Software Center yet, mores the pity, but you can add and install from the following PPA in Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10 and 12.04. Do note that not all features are available on Ubuntu 11.04: –

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:krytarik/tuxgarage
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unity-2d-settings

PPA shy? No worries. You can grab a standalone .deb file from the link below.

Alternative Version

Mariano Chavero has developed a similar, but Unity-integrated, version of the tool. Mariano’s version adds launcher quicklist for and Dash-searchable commands.

unity 2d tool super version

Click to download Unity 2d Tweak Tool

Thanks to tuxgarage

Apps Download unity2d