Install Unity Tweak Tool In Ubuntu – Unity Desktop Environment

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install Unity Tweak Tool in Ubuntu to get the favorite Unity Desktop environment back on your Linux machine. Also, you can restore the previously used Unity login screen as it used to appear better than Gnome login screen. So, let’s check out the details here.

Introduction to Unity Tweak Tool

Unity Tweak utility is basically a free application developed by Freyja Team. It helps users to customize their Ubuntu Unity GUI. This application is actually quite famous since a long time and offers users to change their Ubuntu themes, icons, cursors, and fonts as well.

Apart from above mentioned benefits, there’s also too many reasons why a user would like to prefer Unity over Gnome, and here includes some points that makes Unity a great option:

  • Unity omits the distraction caused by movements when switching between programs, which is common in Gnome.
  • With the Gnome, there’s many functions removed which most of the people love over the years.
  • With Unity, you can simply click on the USB icon in the left launcher bar to access just inserted USB stick, while the Gnome displays it on desktop.
  • Unity allows you to get a program’s menu bar on top bar.
  • Many people still like the window control buttons (minimize, maximize, close) on the left side of title bar.
  • Hiding the clock on top bar when required to focus on time and avoid worrying about deadlines, is quite easy with Unity, but a difficult task with Gnome.

Speaking about overall, the Gnome might become the default desktop environment in most of the latest Linux distributions, specifically since Ubuntu 17.10, still there are some features which can be easily availed with Unity desktop environment. However, the Gnome is also being improved day by day, and even most of the people also started moving to Gnome. If you prefer to install Gnome Tweaks, just run “sudo apt install gnome-tweaks” in order to customize your desktop.

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How to install Unity Desktop on Ubuntu

If you still want to use Unity Desktop on your Ubuntu machine, then open your terminal and install the package by running commands here:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop

This will begin the installation process and you may be asked a number of questions later, once you type ‘y’ to confirm the installation. At first, you may be asked to choose a display manager and you should select lightdm display manager. It will provide you access to Unity login screen. gdm as another option is actually the default display manager of Gnome.

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configure display manager

choose lightdm

After the installation is complete, restart the Ubuntu machine. You can also run the following command in terminal to do so:

sudo shutdown -r now

Now, you can easily notice the changes in form of new Unity login screen which welcomes you when the system starts.

Unity desktop

Also, you can choose among other desktop environment too if you prefer later on with the following option.

choose among desktop environments

Important Note

In case if you have upgraded your Ubuntu OS from older versions, then Gnome desktop might be set as default, and you may encounter issues to get Unity login screen after the installation. If yes, then run “sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm” command in terminal and it will restore Unity login screen.

How to check Unity version

In order to identity the Unity version installed on your machine, run the following command in terminal:

unity –version

In addition, if you further want to tweak Unity, you can also install Unity Tweak tool by just running:

sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool

How to remove Gnome Desktop from Ubuntu

Although, you have installed Unity desktop environment on your Ubuntu, Gnome will still be existing there, and you can easily switch between both. But if you prefer to remove Gnome completely from your system, you should remove the gnome-shell with command here:

sudo apt remove gnome-shell

This will remove the Gnome desktop completely. But, if you end up to see a blank screen after restarting your system after removing Gnome, then lightdm might failed to start successfully. To sort out this issue, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 key combination to log in to your system, and run the following command to restart lightdm successfully.

sudo systemctl restart lightdm


Unity Tweak tool is a good option for those who prefer to tweak with Unity desktop environment on their Ubuntu system. Although, this desktop environment is now replaced with new Gnome, still many users like the older screen and desktop offered by Unity, and the above instructions might helped you to restore your older Ubuntu desktop or login screen easily. Do share this tutorial with your friends. If you have any question, you can click to Visit Our Discussion Board.


Nishant Verma is a senior web developer who love to share his knowledge about Linux, SysAdmin, and more other web handlers. Currently, he loves to write as content contributor for ServoNode.