Ubuntu – How to disable all Unity animations


If it's not possible then maybe just the Dash show/hide animations. I simply find myself waiting for animations which is pointless.

Best Answer

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1. Why you cannot disable this Dash animation in Unity 12.04

  • Unfortunately, the fade/opacity animation and associated times are hard-coded in the Unity source code.
  • The actual code may be found in unity-5.12/plugins/unityshell/src/ShortcutController.cpp (this is what you would have to modify and recompile to get rid of the animations)
  • Some sample lines from this file demonstrating the hard-coding of the animation when you use the Super key to launch the Dash:

    30:const unsigned int SUPER_TAP_DURATION = 650;
    31:const unsigned int FADE_DURATION = 100;
    39:  , fade_in_animator_(FADE_DURATION)
    40:  , fade_out_animator_(FADE_DURATION)
    65:  fade_in_animator_.animation_updated.connect(sigc::mem_fun(this, &Controller::OnFadeInUpdated));
    66:  fade_in_animator_.animation_ended.connect(sigc::mem_fun(this, &Controller::OnFadeInEnded));
    67:  fade_out_animator_.animation_updated.connect(sigc::mem_fun(this, &Controller::OnFadeOutUpdated));
    68:  fade_out_animator_.animation_ended.connect(sigc::mem_fun(this, &Controller::OnFadeOutEnded));
    120:    show_timer_ = g_timeout_add(SUPER_TAP_DURATION, &Controller::OnShowTimer, this);
    149:    self->fade_out_animator_.Stop();
    150:    self->fade_in_animator_.Start(self->view_window_->GetOpacity());
    213:    fade_in_animator_.Stop();
    214:    fade_out_animator_.Start(1.0 - view_window_->GetOpacity());
    244:  .add("timeout_duration", SUPER_TAP_DURATION + FADE_DURATION)
    246:  .add("about_to_show", (Visible() && !fade_out_animator_.IsRunning() && view_window_ && view_window_->GetOpacity() != 1.0f))
    247:  .add("about_to_hide", (Visible() && !fade_in_animator_.IsRunning() && view_window_ && view_window_->GetOpacity() != 1.0f))
  • Of course, you would have to patch this and rebuild with every new Unity update...

  • No amount of meddling with Compiz can change this because all of it is hard-coded outside of the Compiz plugin.

2. Alternative A: Switch to Ubuntu 2D

Ubuntu 2D has different Unity Shell code, and there, launching the dash via Super is instantaneous and does not animate anything.

3. Alternative B: Use a custom shortcut to launch the Dash by clicking on the Ubuntu Logo, thus bypassing the animation

We can exploit the fact that the opacity/fade animation does not happen when you launch the Dash via the "start" button, or, if your cursor is on/around the launcher bar, even if you press Super:

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The animation will be delayed until your cursor actually moves inside the dash area.

  1. xdotool allows automation of keyboard and mouse clicks/movements; install it with sudo apt-get install xdotool
  2. Open Settings...Keyboard, and go to the Shortcuts tab. Create a custom shortcut, naming it whatever you want, and set the "Command" to:

    xdotool mousemove --sync 25 60 click 1 --delay 100  mousemove restore

    enter image description here

    • You may need to adjust the coordinates (25 60) a little if your screen resolution is below 1024x768 or so.
  3. Click Apply. The right-column will say "Disable", click on it and you'll see "New Accelerator": press your shortcut key combo. You cannot choose Super, even if you disable it in Compiz, because it is hard-captured by Unity. I chose Ctrl+Alt+Z since it's close to the Super key.

  4. Now your shortcut should launch the Dash much, much faster.

    • Here's a Youtube video demo. The first few times (when the launcher on the left blurs and darkens) is with the SUPER key; then its with the custom xdotool shortcut (notice the launcher no longer animates and the dash appears faster)
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