Installing Mint themes in 18.04.1 LTS


#1

Introduction

Once again, another “Make Ubuntu MATE look like Mint” thread. I know, the Internet is littered with cosmetic guides like this, as is this section but bear with me, because this one is very simple, and to the point. First, a basic understanding of changes to my system because I feel this may be important to distinguish my results from yours:

  • I don’t use XApps, which might look best using Mint themes
  • I don’t use Firefox so some browser tinkering was required later
  • I use MATE menu (a Mint Menu fork, supplied with Ubuntu MATE)
  • I use Compiz 0.8 (Compiz Reloaded)

With that out of the way, let’s get on with it.

Script for automation

Are you lazy? Don’t want to read through this whole guide? Is it necessary for you to deploy these themes on a lot of systems, for some reason? Here’s your tl;dr:

wget http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mint-x-icons/mint-x-icons_1.5.1_all.deb
wget http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mint-y-icons/mint-y-icons_1.3.2_all.deb
wget http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mint-themes/mint-themes_1.7.6_all.deb
# This command can be simplified with regex. BE CAREFUL.
sudo dpkg -i mint-x-icons_1.5.1_all.deb mint-y-icons_1.3.2_all.deb mint-themes_1.7.6_all.deb

Don’t forget to sudo chmod +x your .sh file after you make it before running with sh.

Acquiring the themes

Fetching files

YMMV if you visit https://packages.linuxmint.com and install the packages below for Linux Mint Tessa using gdebi-gtk; mint-y-icons wasn’t cooperating with it, and it wasn’t working regardless for me.

Download the following using your terminal, cd to where you want to keep them:

wget http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mint-x-icons/mint-x-icons_1.5.1_all.deb
wget http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mint-y-icons/mint-y-icons_1.3.2_all.deb
wget http://packages.linuxmint.com/pool/main/m/mint-themes/mint-themes_1.7.6_all.deb

Installation will be easier if you use mkdir to make a directory, so you can cd into it and download all files there. As an example:
mkdir ~/mint-themes && cd ~/mint-themes

Installation

Where gdebi-gtk failed me even when opened as sudo, dpkg succeded so that’s all which matters here.

Once the packages are on your system, you can then use the following command to install all three:

sudo dpkg -i mint-*-icons_*.deb mint-themes_1.7.6_all.deb

Icon packs are necessary as mint-themes relies on them as dependencies.

If following prior advice about making a new directory, using the previous example this is all you’d need to do; sudo apt dpkg -i *

Expand to see warnings and recommendations for commands with regular expressions

This is dangerous. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, you may inadvertently install other packages in whatever directory you executed that command in, as bash will interpret the above as follows:
As superuser, open job dpkg to install all packages in current directory.

Further, this requires regex (regular expressions) to be enabled in whatever shell you use, which Bash allows by default.

Applying the theme

Once finished with installing via dpkg, open mate-appearance-properties and prepare to be overwhelmed with the breadth of selection available to you. For people who like Linux Mint’s original look they can go with Mint-X themes, whereas for people who want a flat theme they can use Mint-Y. (It’s also the only theme with a dark variant.)

For people wanting more specifics about each theme, as follows;
Mint-X uses Greybird as a base with Faenza icons.
Mint-Y uses Arc as a base with Moka and some Faenza icons.

For fans of either, both themes are brighter than their contemporaries, and Mint-Y uses a bright titlebar, rather than a dark one like Arc and other Arc variants do. Mint-Y dark themes also drop the hint of blue colour in favour of a dark gunmetal grey.

Caveats

What good cross-pollination doesn’t come with its own share of problems? Aside from the issues with gdebi-gtk in 18.04.1 LTS, changing the theme, Compiz 0.8 was also crashing for me initially. If this doesn’t happen to you while using Compiz 0.8 cool it’s probably an issue on my end, then.

If you’re using Mint-X or Mint-Y themes and coming from a dark theme, whatever icon you assigned for MATE menu may need to be changed. YMMV depending on previous preference.

Corrections

In a previous version of this guide I listed one of my commands as requiring apkg, apologies for any confusion that came from it, the application for installing mint-themes is the same as the icon packs.

In the last version of this guide, some places looked a little bare so I added more details and added a complete script people can copy and paste into a .sh file.


#2

Thanks for this post, it really is a good tutorial.


#3

I intend to test for 18.10 soon if someone doesn’t report on it. If this guide worked outside of 18.04.1 (I assume 18.04 will also work with the provided packages), let me know! If you had to install Mint’s LibreOffice Human theme then you’re too outdated for me to worry about.