That's my blog… Life and Linux

Ubuntu goes GNOME, theming stays. Let’s test (and tune) it!

Hi guys! Again… Long time, no see you :-).

As you surely know, in the past weeks Ubuntu took the hard decision of stopping the development of Unity desktop environment, focusing again in shipping GNOME as default DE, and joining the upstream efforts.

While, in a personal note, after more than 6 years of involvement in the Unity development, this is a little heartbreaking, I also think that given the situation this is the right decision, and I’m quite excited to be able to work even closer to the whole opensource community!

Most of the aspects of the future Ubuntu desktop have to be defined yet, and I guess you know that there’s a survey going on I encourage you to participate in order to make your voice count…

One important aspect of this, is the visual appearance, and the Ubuntu Desktop team has decided that the default themes for Ubuntu 17.10 will continue to be the ones you always loved! Right now some work is being done to make sure Ambiance and Radiance look and work good in GNOME Shell.

In the past days I’ve released a  new version of ‘light-themes‘ to fix several theming problems in GNOME Shell.

This is already quite an improvement, but we can’t fix bugs we don’t know about… So this is where you can help make Ubuntu better!

Get Started

If you haven’t already, here’s how I recommend you get started.
Install the latest Ubuntu 17.10 daily image (if not going wild and trying this in 17.04).
After installing it, install gnome-shell.
Install gnome-tweak-tool if you want an easy way to change themes.
On the login screen, switch your session to GNOME and log in.

Report Bugs

Run this command to report bugs with Ambiance or Radiance:

ubuntu-bug light-themes

Attach a screenshot to the Launchpad issue.

Other info

Ubuntu’s default icon theme is ubuntu-mono-dark (or -light if you switch to Radiance) but most of Ubuntu’s customized icons are provided by humanity-icon-theme.

Helping with Themes development

If you want to help with the theming itself, you’re very welcome. Gtk themes are nowadays using CSS, so I’m pretty sure that any Web designer out there can help with them (these are the supported properties).

All you have to do, is simply use the Gtk Inspector that can be launched from any Gtk3 app, and write some CSS rules and see how they get applied on the fly. Once you’re happy with your solution, you can just create a MP for the Ubuntu Themes.

Let’s keep ubuntu, look ubuntu!

PS: thanks to Jeremy Bicha for the help in this post.