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---
title: Configuring Ubuntu 17.10 to behave like Unity
date: "2018-04-02 14:16 UTC"
tags: Ubuntu
published: true
---
I've recently upgraded from Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 17.10. The new Ubuntu uses
Gnome desktop by default instead of Unity. Gnome is quite different but luckily
can be customized to match Unity's behaviour very closely. Here is how.
<a href="<%= image_path '2018-04-02-configuring-ubuntu-17-10-to-behave-like-unity/ubuntu17-like-unity.png' %>">
<%= article_image_tag 'ubuntu17-like-unity.png', class: 'img-fluid' %>
</a>
READMORE
## Goals
1. Show the current time in the top bar on the right.
2. Show legacy app indicators (tray icons) on the right.
3. Merge the window title bar with the top bar when maximized.
4. Hide the top-left *Activities* button.
5. Allow quick device selection via the top bar Sound button.
6. Place window buttons on the left.
## Setup guide
1. First, install *Tweaks*, a GNOME configuration UI that has options that are not
yet available in the default Settings app:
~~~ bash
sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool
~~~
Then install `x11-utils`, a package often required by Gnome extensions:
~~~ bash
sudo apt install x11-utils
~~~
You can install Gnome extensions from <https://extensions.gnome.org> and
manage and configure the installed extensions in *Tweaks -> Extensions*.
2. Install the [Unite extension][Unite] for goals 1-4.
Alternatively, e.g. if Unite doesn't work for you or you'd like more
customization, install the following plugins: [No title bar], [Hide
activities button], and [Frippery Move Clock].
3. Install the [Sound Input & Output Device Chooser] extension to add sound
device selection to the top bar sound menu.
4. To place window buttons on the left, adjust *Tweaks -> Windows -> Titlebar
Buttons -> Placement*.
## Other tips
If you use Google Chrome, enable "Use system title bar and borders" in
`chrome://settings` for consistency with other apps.
You can disable animations from *Tweaks -> Appearance -> Animations*.
You can change the default monospace font from *Tweaks -> Fonts*. I prefer *Hack
Regular* at 11pt:
~~~ bash
sudo apt install fonts-hack-ttf
~~~
To have your multi-monitor setup work on the login screen, run:
~~~ bash
sudo cp ~/.config/monitors.xml /var/lib/gdm3/.config/
~~~
Keyboard shortcuts can be configured in *Settings -> Devices -> Keyboard*. I
find it useful to remove *Maximise window* and instead set *Toggle maximisation
state* to <kbd>Super + Up</kbd>.
[unite]: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1287
[no title bar]: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1267
[hide activities button]: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/744
[frippery move clock]: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/2
[sound input & output device chooser]: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/906