Unity Shadow Tweak

One of the first things I noticed when I loaded Unity on my ‘production’ laptop was that the active window shadows were HUGE. I figured I could just use gconf-editor to fix these, but I found that they were part of the ambiance theme, not part of compiz. Here is what I did to tame the shadows. Open a terminal and complete the following:

cd /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/metacity-1
sudo nano metacity-theme-1.xml

Find the line (use cntl+w) that says:

<shadow radius=”45.0″ opacity=”0.75″ color=”#abde4f” x_offset=”1″ y_offset=”4″/>

Change the radius to a value you can deal with… I chose 10.

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6 Responses to Unity Shadow Tweak

  1. Giulio says:

    Thanks, very useful🙂 That’s exactly what I was looking for!

  2. Joel P says:

    Thanks for the tip. By default there’s way too much shadow/aura around windows…

  3. molecule-eye says:

    I think they’re really trying to mimic OS X shadows which are enormous. However, I find the default large shadows at least more realistic than KDE’s (without active window glow), which don’t look realistic at all. Anyway, nice tip.

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  5. Connor says:

    Do yourself a favor and make a copy of the Ambiance theme in ~/.themes, then edit that instead of the system-wide copy. Otherwise the next update will just overwrite all of your changes.

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