Colour problems with Yaru theme

Hi all:

I recently upgraded several computers from Ubuntu MATE 20.04.5 to 22.04.1, and I started having colour problems with the Yaru theme. For details, see: Text selection color problem with Tk applications · Issue #3767 · ubuntu/yaru · GitHub

There is one thing I would like somebody here to at least confirm. When I open "Control Center", "Appearance", theme "Custom" (the first theme in the list) is selected, even though I never customised anything in this respect.

If I then click on another theme, like "Yaru-bark", then the "Custom" theme is selected again. However, a second click on "Yaru-bark" does make it selected.

Say I close the "Appearance" window, and open it again. Then the "Custom" theme is selected again!

If I then install package mate-themes, I get other themes like "Menta". I believe that those are GTK 2 themes, but I am no expert in this area. In any case, they behave differently: when I select one of those themes, then the "Custom" theme disappears, and there is no strange behaviour anymore.

Can someone at least confirm this behaviour?

Thanks in advance,

custom assumes you will make changes to the current theme and save that. If you had made no changes in Custom then the current theme displayed is the same as you picked previously and custom is the same theme as well, providing you don't change the custom theme, at which point that would stay as custom theme until you save and name it.


First of all, thanks for your answer confirming what I am seeing. Follow-up questions are:

a) Is this behaviour not counterintuitive?

b) Why is that "Custom" theme behaviour not happening with all themes?

I just tried "Numix" (package numix-gtk-theme), of which website states "GTK+ 3.18 or above", and it does not do that.

hmmm. not sure it does it for all the themes I have installed and I have more than just the preinstalled ones

This one has the same behaviour as Yaru:

  • 'Arc' (package arc-theme)

But these do not do it, at least on my system:

  • Clearlooks-Phénix (package clearlooks-phenix-theme)
  • Numix (package numix-gtk-theme)
  • Adapta (package name adapta-gtk-theme)

I mean that, when clicking on them, the "Custom" theme may appear, depending on the theme, but is not automatically selected. With "Numix", it does not appear at all when reopening the "Appearance" window.

I would be grateful if you could confirm that, on your system, at least one of those 3 do not automatically jump to the "Custom" theme on the first click.

Here is what I always see... upon launching Appearance

Could you try with theme "Numix"? Its package "numix-gtk-theme" is in the standard repository, it installs quickly, and no reboot is necessary.

I am looking for confirmation that the behaviour is different with "Numix":

a) When you click on "Numix" the first time (in the "Appearance Preferences" window), it does not select "Custom" instead.

b) When you close and reopen the "Apparence Preferences" window, and "Numix" is selected, then theme "Custom" does not appear as the first entry in the theme list.

I upgraded my Ubuntu MATE a few times, and tweaked things here and there, and I am worried that the behaviour on my system may be different to other installations.

I will try when I am back home +8hrs from now

Just a thought, Numix is a third party theme which developement has stopped and most likely doesn't have features available for UM to fully integrate. Lot has changed in 6 years.

From 2019:

And from Github:

1 Like

I am not advocating for Numix. If you follow the first link I posted in this thread, you will see that I am having colour problems with Emacs (which should use GTK3) and with Tk applications like Git Gui. All that with supposedly modern and properly-maintained Ubuntu MATE, and its default Yaru theme. The Tk problems have been there for years, apparently.

I haven't found yet a good overview about themes and how to troubleshoot them. I noticed that some themes behave differently in some respects, and I wanted to collect more information about it. Hopefully, that will help me pin-point the problem.

You are correct, numix did not offer to be customized

Thanks for confirming this behaviour.

I wouldn't say "did not offer to be customized" though. I can still click on the "Customize..." button, and then the "Custom" theme does appear.

This is actually the behaviour you would expect for all themes.

@rdiez you may want to file a bug. You will have to setup an account for launchpad. Worth it to let the devs know of issues.