Ubuntu Discussion on Ubuntu on the Dell Inspiron Mini range of netbooks.

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meridianblade meridianblade is offline
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Posts: 4
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default How to: Change netbook-remix Launcher Opacity - 01-24-2009, 07:16 PM

Hey guys, i wrote a How to on changing the opacity of netbook remix. I hate how its hard to see the background so the method below is a nice workaround to make things more transparent.

You can get the actual file that you need to overwrite from my site, along with the guide and pictures if you don't want to make the changes yourself, here: http://www.raydetwiler.net/post/How-...r-Opacity.aspx

But i'll copy and paste it below:

I love the netbook-remix launcher for Ubuntu, but I think the opacity on all the launcher windows are a bit to high. I like to be able to see the background image on the desktop, but Canonical didn't include any type of settings for changing the clearness of the launcher. Fortunately, the images used are in the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Format, so changing the opacity is easy.

First, install Inkscape Vector Graphics Editor (i'll assume the reader can handle this part)

The file we need to modify is: (back up this file)


Now since this file belongs to root, we'll run inkscape as root:

sudo inkscape /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg

Right click on the big gray box, click Fill and Stroke, then drag the Opacity slider down to about 30% (experiment to see what works best for you.)

Save the file, close out inkscape, then restart X:


After X reloads, you should notice the window is much more transparent.

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hircus hircus is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
Default Re: How to: Change netbook-remix Launcher Opacity - 04-30-2009, 06:04 PM

Thank you! I'm using netbook-launcher on my (full-sized) laptop, and while having no background on a netbook is no big deal, it's rather out-of-place on a larger screen.

Have you filed a feature request for opacity setting on Launchpad?
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jej.514 jej.514 is offline
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Posts: 282
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DeKalb, IL (near Chicago)
Default Re: How to: Change netbook-remix Launcher Opacity - 04-30-2009, 06:27 PM

Good guide! When I had the netbook launcher installed (to try it out), I followed your guide for a much prettier experience.

I forget the name of the exact file, but in the same folder as the window.svg file you modify below is another file that is the background behind the icons (the middle section of the screen.) It is a PNG file, and the opacity of that one can be changed in gimp. (I no longer have the netbook launcher installed, or I would give more specifics). (3 Notes: 1) gimp is not installed on the netbook version by default; 2) you need to edit the PNG file as root; 3) in gimp you'll have to do a "Save as" PNG to get around some warning message about the plug-in. But it does work!)

Enjoy, and thanks for the guide!


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bowill bowill is offline
Posts: 54
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Re: How to: Change netbook-remix Launcher Opacity - 05-01-2009, 02:06 AM

Thanks for the guide. I've wondered about that myself.

One thing I would add is that you should divert the files you've changed so that an upgrade to netbook-launcher doesn't overwrite them. These commands will set up diversions for both files you want to modify and copy the diverted files back to the original install location so they can be modified in place.

$  sudo dpkg-divert --local --rename --divert /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg-dpkg --add /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg
$ sudo dpkg-divert --local --rename --divert /usr/share/netbook-launcher/iconviewbg.png-dpkg --add /usr/share/netbook-launcher/iconviewbg.png 
$ sudo cp /usr/share/netbook-launcher/iconviewbg.png-dpkg /usr/share/netbook-launcher/iconviewbg.png
$ sudo cp /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg-dpkg /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg

If you want to remove the diversions and go back to the original files:

$ sudo rm /usr/share/netbook-launcher/iconviewbg.png
$ sudo dpkg-divert --local --rename --divert /usr/share/netbook-launcher/iconviewbg.png-dpkg --remove /usr/share/netbook-launcher/iconviewbg.png
$ sudo rm /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg
$ sudo dpkg-divert --local --rename --divert /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg-dpkg --remove /usr/share/netbook-launcher/window.svg
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