Further enhancements to the ability to customize Unity

Registered by Gary Ekker on 2011-10-25

For some derivative products based on Ubuntu, it is key to be able to offer some customization of Unity.
For example, business and government entities running Ubuntu would prefer to have other applications on the home lens than photo viewers and music players. It is also important for localized images for regions like China.

Blueprint information

Not started
John Lea
Gary Ekker
Series goal:
Milestone target:


Some ideas for discussion:

 - Allowing replacing the launcher with a custom component may be useful (it’s already doable in Unity-2d)?

 - Theming various UI elements (launcher, dash, …) using configuration files (i.e. without the need to edit and recompile C++ code)?

- Global-menu customizations or options, specially for large screens and for focus-follow-mouse.

- Allow business, government and users to customize or pin which lens the dash defaults to when it opens. Also when opening dash it should remember which was the last lens being browsed. Set it back to the default after X amount of inactivity (e.g. 10 minutes).

- Some workarounds available to make launcher movable, should this start becoming an official customization option?

Discussion Items:
 - Customizing the dash home
  - These launchers are customizable in Unity-2d
  - these may be removed for precise, where you would only have a search bar
 - Application Lens
   - Ability to specify scopes for custom backends
   - an example is adding a scope for a corporate file share in the places lens

- Themability of Unity
  - Not a priority for this cycle
  - Icons are themable today

- Animations
  - duration
  - these should be considerable in the future in gsettings
  - use cases should be considered

- Replacing the launcher with a custom component
  - configuring which elements are used at startup
  - This is risky due to interdependencies between UI elements

- lock down
  - this should be easy to achieve on a technical level
  - ability to lock apps into the launcher (company core app for example)

Work Items:
johnlea: follow-up when decision is final on removing launchers from dash home
gekker: follow-up on what can be locked down via gsettings
repete: documentation for developer.ubuntu.com, adding scopes, indicators, locking down sesssions


Work Items