1. Introduction

Ubuntu is a well-known Linux distribution that offers a user-friendly interface and many customization options. One of these features is visual effects, such as animations and transitions, that aim to enrich the user experience. However, we can disable the visual effects if we prefer a more minimalist and simple look. Moreover, disabling visual effects may also free up memory, boosting the system’s performance, especially on older or low-spec hardware.

In this tutorial, we discuss different methods to disable visual effects in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS with the GNOME 42.9 desktop environment.

2. Using the Accessibility Settings

One common way to disable the visual effects in Ubuntu is by navigating to the Accessibility settings.

To do so, we can right-click on a free space on the Ubuntu Desktop and then choose Display Settings:

Opening display settings on ubuntu

Doing so opens a new window, where we scroll down and select the accessibility settings to turn off animations:

Accessibility settings disable animations

Let’s explore the visual effects that we disable:

  • windows animations: disables windows animations like opening, closing, minimizing, maximizing, and moving windows around
  • workspace animations: turn off smooth transitions between workspaces, resulting in immediate jumps from one workspace to the other
  • application launcher animations: application launcher appears or disappears instantly without any additional effects
  • menu, dialog boxes, notifications, and dock animations

Notably, in earlier versions of Ubuntu, the animation options were previously available in the gnome-tweaks tool which is now moved to Accessibility settings.

3. Using the dconf Editor

We can use the dconf Editor to view and modify settings stored in the dconf database. Further, the dconf database stores key values regarding the configuration settings of the GNOME desktop environment including visual settings.

First, we install the dconf Editor in Ubuntu using the apt package manager:

$ sudo apt install dconf-editor

Next, we launch the dconf Editor:

$ dconf-editor

Lastly, we write animation as a keyword in the search bar to display a list of options from which we can disable the GNOME desktop environment animations:

Disable gnome desktop animations Toggling the resulting setting effectively disables all the visual effects from the Ubuntu distribution.

4. Using the gsettings Command

GNOME uses the gsettings framework to manage and modify its settings. Further, we can use the command to disable visual effects in a fairly straightforward way.

Moreover, gsettings doesn’t usually require prior installation and can be executed directly:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface enable-animations false

So, let’s understand the command:

  • set: instructs gsettings to change a setting
  • org.gnome.desktop.interface: controls the desktop interface behavior
  • enable-animations false: turns off the animations

Thus, we disable visual effects such as windows, workspace, and application launcher animations, and similar using the command-line interface.

5. Conclusion

In this article, we discussed three different methods to disable GNOME visual effects in Ubuntu. These methods include using the GNOME Accessibility settings, using the dconf Editor, and the gsettings command.

Since each method can work effectively to disable the visual effects, we can pick one according to our preferences.

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