What If You Could Fully Customize Your Ubuntu Desktop Experience

Customize Ubuntu Desktop

9to5Linux was recently made aware of a new project that lets you customize your Ubuntu Desktop appearance to make it look and act just the way you wanted.

It turns out a college student frustrated by the limited customization options available on the latest Ubuntu Linux releases, and inspired by the settings offered by Linux hardware vendor System76 in their Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS Linux distribution, created an alternate version of the Ubuntu/GNOME settings app with new features.

He managed to modify GNOME Control Center and add in a new panel called Personalize, which includes four new pages that allow you to take full control over your Ubuntu Desktop. These include General, Appearance, Dock, and Multitasking.

From the General page, you will be able to enable or disable the Activities button and the application menu from the top bar, change the position of the date and time applet to either right or left side of the top bar, choose which desktop icons you want to see and change their sizes, change the alignment of new desktop icons, as well as to show newly added devices to the opposite side.

Next, it’s the Appearance page, where you’ll be able to switch between the light and dark Yaru themes, change the size of the font, as well as to enable dyslexia-friendly text (a feature inspired from elementary OS 6).

Then it’s the Dock page, where you will be able to change the layout of the Ubuntu Dock as Extended (default) or Compact (like in the screenshots below), enable auto-hide, change the click and scroll action behaviors, change the size of the icons and its position on the screen (left, right, or bottom), hide the applications button or move it at the beginning of the dock, choose to show the dock on all displays or only the primary one, disable the dock completely, as well as to choose to show or hide mounted drives and the Trash Can.

Lastly, the Multitasking page is something you’ve always wanted on your Ubuntu Desktop. It’s the Multitasking panel from GNOME 41, backported to the GNOME 40 desktop used in Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri), allowing you to enable the Hot Corner effect for opening the Activities Overview, enable or disable the active screen edges effect to resize windows, choose between dynamic or fixed workspaces, and enable various multi-monitor options for workspaces and applications.

On top of all these customization options, you’ll also get the GNOME Tour app, just in case you want to familiarize yourself with the many possibilities of the GNOME desktop environment and to inspire you to customize your Ubuntu Desktop.

All of this is available for installation on the Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) release, and some are also available for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), from the what-if PPA maintained by Muqtadir.

In fact, you don’t even have to install anything, just add the PPA by running the sudo add-apt-repository ppa:muqtxdir-m/what-if command in the Terminal app and then simply update your installation with the sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade command. Enjoy!

Update 01/02/2022: Accent colors are now supported in the Appearance panel on Ubuntu 21.10 systems. See it in action below!

Thanks Muqtadir for the tip!

Last updated 8 months ago