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Enable/Disable Auto Hide For Unity 2-D Launcher In Ubuntu 11.10 [Tip]

Since the inception of Ubuntu 11.10, users have had a number of complains regarding the bugs and UI issues. One such problem is the management of the auto hide feature of the Unity Launcher. While it was fairly easy to disable auto hide for the Unity Launcher in Ubuntu 11.04 with the help of Unity 2D-Desktop Settings tweak, it does not work with Ubuntu 11.10. Even the Unity Plugin does not disable the auto-hide feature for Oneiric. In this post we will provide you with instructions to disable the auto hide feature for the Unity Launcher in Ubuntu 11.10.

To begin, install dconf-tool by entering the following commands in Terminal.

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Once done, verify Unity 2D option using the following command:

dconf list /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/

This will display the following:




Disable Auto Hide

To disable auto-hide for Unity 2-D Launcher, enter the following commands in Terminal. It must be noted that the launcher may disappear and you might have to reboot your system for the changes to take effect. Once your system is restarted, the Unity Launcher will no longer remain auto hidden.

dconf write /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/use-strut true

To re-enable the auto hide feature, enter the following command in the Terminal. You won’t need to restart your system for re-enabling the Unity 2-D Launcher. The auto hide behavior will instantly become functional.

dconf write /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/use-strut 0

It is quite unfortunate that users have to perform such manual configurations for altering minor Ubuntu attributes and that no “functional” GUI (Graphical User Interface) based settings have been provided by Canonical to alter the behavior of Unity Launcher and other Ubuntu features. It will be worth the effort if Canonical concentrates more on providing a more stable operating system in the form of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot rather than working on Precision Pangolin (Ubuntu 12.04).

[via Ubuntu Sharing]

Leave a comment

  • jonathan

    Thanks so much, I tried to figure this out myself with dconf but it didn’t work. I agree that the lack of easy configuration for Unity is somewhat infuriating.

  • Alfred

    The Easy Configuration Tool mentioned above now works with 11.10
    Hope that helps 🙂

  • Anonymous


  • Ronal

    All this troubles just to enable/disable autohide of the launcher.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for this. It took me a considerable time to figure out that I was even using Unity 2D and that configuration is totally different from standard Unity. These instructions worked instantly for me without a reboot.

  • Noemail

    Looking for an alternative to ubuntu since the 11.x failures – the development path has taken a turn to the way of apple, which sucks.

  • Tatsu

    dude, this does not work for me… why? I’m on 11.10 and I ctr-c ctr-shift-v what you proposed, i even tried another the same thing but with hide-mode  0 but no cigar.

    Plus i cannot find this “Unity-2D Settings” it’s nowhere to be found, help!

  • Tatsu

    actually logging in to ubuntu 2-d showed that dconf write /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/use-strut true did not work but dconf write /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/hide-mode does, however since i have logged in as 2-d the windows no longer maximize with drag-to-edge is this linked to the 2-d or to the command? 

    plus 2-d configure utility although there is onboard settings, but it’s not the same thing

  • Anonymous

    it seems like this works fine in Compiz Config Settings Manager and under the Unity plugin settings now. Thats how I do it.

  • Anonymous

    it seems like this works fine in Compiz Config Settings Manager and under the Unity plugin settings now. Thats how I do it.

  • Andrew

    Thank you!

  • Dargam

    Thanx alot

  • Jakub Fojtik

    If you have the Unity launcher visible while executing the
    dconf write /com/canonical/unity-2d/launcher/use-strut truecommand, you wont need to restart (worked for me at least).

  • Erik August Moller

    thanks, this made exactly no difference

  • valentin

    i dont know what is wrong with ubuntu guys, how can you release a version like this , with that stupid feature enabled by default?? there must be some retard leader there who keep taking this retarded choices.