A perfect Unity adapted to you

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Installing Unity 8

After installing Ubuntu 16.04, at first you will see only the standard Unity interface. In most cases, version 7 is used. The easiest way to determine the installed version is to pop up a terminal and type the command apt policy unity (or apt-cache policy unity if you are using 15.10 or earlier). If your system is still using version 7, you can upgrade to the new version 8.

The new version is still under development, so you will want to use it only for testing purposes. To install the new version on Ubuntu, run the following two commands in a terminal for 16.04:

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo apt install unity8-desktop-session-mir

Or, type the following:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install unity8-desktop-session-mir

for 15.10 or earlier.

This command tells Ubuntu to update all the packages and install Unity 8. If the update was successful, and the installation worked, a new entry should appear in the desktop selection menu when you login after a reboot (Figure 1). Unity 7 will still be in the list.

Figure 1: After the installation, Unity 8 appears as a selection option in the login dialog.

After rebooting, you can check – by typing apt-cache policy unity again – whether the desired desktop launched. This update can even be launched via the Software Center on 15.10; however, the terminal-based approach is quicker.

You can uninstall Unity 8 using the Software Center on 15.10 or from a terminal. The command for removing all the packages for Unity 8 is:

sudo apt uninstall --purge unity8-desktop-session-mir


sudo apt-get uninstall --purge unity8-desktop-session-mir

If you run your Ubuntu system as a virtual server, for example, with Oracle's VirtualBox or VMware Workstation/Player, it makes sense to back up the virtual machine with a snapshot before installing Unity 8. If the upgrade does cause any problems, you may no longer have a working installation.

More Effects

The Compizconfig-Settings-Manager tool lets you optimally configure Unity to reflect your requirements (Figure 2). For example, the tool offers you animations when maximizing or minimizing windows and many other optional settings. After the install, you will find CompizConfig-Settings-Manager in the Dash search on Ubuntu (first icon on the left) by typing Compiz .

Figure 2: Compizconfig-Settings-Manager lets you configure Ubuntu to suit your preferences.

A warning indicating the potential risks appears on launching. Many options are available in the program, all of them grouped into various submenus. Numerous options are already enabled after installing the program.

Unchecking the boxes tells the program to disable the selected effects. The interface is largely self-explanatory. Along with gizmos for the desktop and some neat effects, the software also offers also help and improvements for barrier-free use of Ubuntu. Keyboard shortcuts let you zoom certain areas of the desktop, for example.

The Settings menu item has functions that let you export and import parameters as needed. This advantage lets you quickly and easily take your selected settings with you, if you are using the tool on multiple computers.

If you have experimented too much, and the GUI is no longer functional, you have the option of resetting everything. To do so, use the following command in a terminal:

gsettings reset -recursively org.compiz

This makes sense in combination with the import/export feature. The backed-up data lets you reproduce a desired state at any time. If something doesn't work, simply reset the settings and import your backup profile, which will still work.

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