Ubuntu – How to get Unity dash overlays maximized by default


In Unity, if you open the applications dash or even if you just press the meta key to open the search dash, they always pop out with a default size of something looking 800x600ish. In the lower right hand of the dash is an icon which maximizes the overlay to the whole screen.

Is there a way to get these dash overlays to pop out maximized by default?

Best Answer

The dash is designed to open "half-way" for screens that are larger than a standard netbook. This is called "Desktop" mode.

You can force it to use "netbook" mode through the following:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity form-factor 'Netbook'

If you want to reverse this try

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity form-factor 'Automatic'


gsettings set com.canonical.Unity form-factor 'Desktop'

Alternatively, you can install the configuration editor dconf-editor from the package dconf-tools and do the same the graphical way:

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for 12.04

For 12.04 and later you can use MyUnity: Install MyUnity

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There is also a rather neat overlooked method...

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Click the dash maximise button as shown, followed by the dash button itself. This changes from desktop to netbook and most importantly the setting is retained when you logout and login.

For other options: