Thursday, 8 December 2011

How-to: Configure Unity in Ubuntu 11.10

You may be a little disappointed with this one, since it is really about how little you can configure, indeed, how little Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, want you to configure Unity.

You'll find various questions on this subject, most telling at Ask Ubuntu, a generally excellent knowledge-base, where a spokesperson for the Unity  development team is uncharacteristically blunt:

"I understand that people want the freedom to tweak their desktops, but as soon as you use CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM), you have basically opted out of Unity's future. The bugs you report will not matter since you're not running the defaults, and any input you may have will be skewed by the customized user experience you've devised."

So there! Yah-boo sucks! If you want to change it, you're not part of the future. There is an attempt to be a little more conciliatory however:

"Making a new desktop is challenging, and we can't do it without you. That means filing bugs, proposing new use cases with mock ups, and of course: running the defaults throughout your day." – ppetraki, Nov 22 at 15:50

None of which actually answers the question, however. Well, you could try elsewhere on Ask Ubuntu:

"There are multiple valid answers for this question spanning over several versions of Ubuntu. For your convenience an index of each below:
If you're looking to configure Unity 2D, look here."
Most of the answers listed there involve the use of Compiz Config Settings Manager, or some elements of Ubuntu Tweak. What they don't do is open up many features of Unity's behaviour since, well, Canonical just doesn't trust you to mess with them. It's Open Source, Jim, but not as we know it. RC