Help with minor inconvenience - dconf has no means of changing menu icon

Hello friends,

I am currently using Ubuntu MATE 20.04. After installing it, I normally change to the Cupertino theme, but I do not like the menu it comes with so i remove it from the top panel, and add "Advanced MATE Menu" instead. This menu is great. However I also do not like the icon pack Mate comes with. The theme is very dated in MATE and could use some love. So I normally download the tela icon themepack. This theme is great, and has a nice dark green option. however there is a problem. it removes the mate logo from the advanced mate menu and replaces it with its own icon.

This does not peturb me, because I know how to use dconf-editor.
I open dconf-editor and can browse to the menu. In my case it is "org/mate/panel/objects/object-6/" I know it is object-6 because it is named "MateMenuAppletFactory::MateMenuApplet".

In dconf I can alter 3 settings.

  1. custom-icon - I set this to 'ubuntu-mate.svg' which is the icon I want to use.
  2. use-custom-icon - I set this value to "true"

Now the third option is a problem. These 2 changes above depend on object-type value.

"The location of the image file used as the icon for the object's button. This key is only relevant if the object_type key is "drawer-object" or "menu-object" and the use_custom_icon key is true."

In object-type value, I can change the object type from the default of "applet" to either drawer, or menu. If I do this and log out, and back in, the panel is reloaded and the correct desired icon is shown. However the type of menu is altered and is no longer the correct type of menu.

If I leave it on the correct type of menu I want (applet) then the 2 values to alter the icon do not take effect, and I am reverted back to the wrong icon.

So there is no method exposed to alter the icon to what I want, while preserving the menu style I would like to have.

The changes you make always require a log off and back on to check what has changed.

Is this a bug? Why can the menu type of "applet" not have a custom icon set? Why is it hard coded to prohibit me from enjoying the sweet branding of Ubuntu MATE, and instead forcing me to have a generic icon every day until I die? This travesty must be stopped! How can we resolve such a problem, and why would it be coded in such a way to prohibit one from altering the icon for the advanced mate menu? Why are we here? And when does a leaflet, become a pamphlet? These are the hard questions I put to you today. Please assist me in answering at least one of them.

Thank you friends in advance.

Bump if anyone has any ideas :frowning:

Please dont make me live 6 years without a mate logo :frowning:

Hi @pallebone,

Advanced MATE Menu used to allow you choosing the displayed icon. But now it shows the "start-here" icon provided by your theme. Please, check the discussion here.

You may remap the "start-here" icon from your theme to a desired icon. The default one from Ambiant-MATE theme is probably /usr/share/icons/Ambiant-MATE/apps/22/start-here.svg.


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Thanks for the info buddy, I will look into it. No clue how to do that at this stage.

Well, you downloaded some custom icon theme and you know its location. You may simply make a file search in your icon theme folder for icons containing "start-here" in their names
(something like find . -name 'start-here*' in terminal). Check them, find the one displayed by the menu. Then replace the detected icon with the icon you like.

I was able to change both default icon and text for Advanced MATE Menu in 20.04 daily build:

Good luck!

Thanks will check later when I get home. Will report back.

Many thanks @ironfoot - you are clearly a genius.

I was able to place the icon I wanted (a copy of the mate start here logo) in:


and indeed it updated the logo from just chekcered squares to the mate icon on a logoff, and login. I did have some further questions for you.

  1. How did you know the 22 directory would be the one to change? I also had a 16, 24 and 32 directory in that theme folder. How did you correctly guess 22 right off?

  2. it seems like a bit of a hack, having to edit in my own icon into the theme, which anytime I run a git update on would likely replace my icon :frowning:

  3. Hopefully you dont mind but I have a further question since you have been so good. When I open the menu the global top menu of the Cupertino theme (menus appear in the panel for the apps you open) has a "untitled window" when I open the menu. Here is a screenshot (note the menu dissapeared as I pressed print screen, but imagine the menu is open on the screenshot, it just dissapeared as I pressed the key, but luckily it captured the untitled bit):

How can I name the menu so it is not an untitled window?

Thanks in advance, you were really helpful :slight_smile:

Hi @pallebone,
thanks for good words. I am glad my tips helped you.

I didn't :slight_smile: . The idea was to locate the icon displayed by menu and replace it. As described above, I searched through default icon theme and found only one candidate. As one can see, it was in 22 folder.
I believe application searches for an appropriate icon in several locations within icon theme folder if the target icon is missing, but I never had a need to study this mechanism so I'm not familiar with it.

Hack -- yes and no, depends on point of view. Default Ubuntu MATE themes provide all necessary icons which are adapted for Ubuntu MATE desktop. If you are using a custom theme which provides more distro-agnostic icons, you take some risks.
I believe the update process will most likely overwrite your changes. Hopefully you now know which icon and where you need to copy. So a simple script doing this seems like a solution.

This is another applet -- the global menu applet -- trying to display an active window title. Since advanced MATE menu window doesn't use titlebar, so its title is probably not specified and it appears as "untitled window". You may try to open an issue in github repo. Maybe @vkareh can estimate whether it will be a tricky fix and worth asking.

Best regards

Oof, I guess I will go open a bug on github and hope for the best.

Sent in some fixes now:


@vkareh Thanks man, you are a legend.

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That was blazing fast. You are awesome @vkareh!

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I found a solution, it's way easier than I thought:

  1. Put your desired icon into ~/.icons
  2. Rename it to start-here.svg
  3. Remove "Advanced MATE Menu" applet and add it again (restarting/login out and back in will probably work too)

I did this on Ubuntu Mate 20.10 with Advanced MATE Menu applet and Numix-Circle icon set.