Make Ubuntu Mate look like Linux Mint

For people coming from Linux Mint, or who think that the stock MATE stuff sucks, or who knows of a Mint user and would rather sneakily make them use Ubuntu for some reason, then perform the following and you’ll have most of what you need to make Ubuntu Mate look and feel like Linux Mint:

  • Download packages mint-themes, mint-themes-gtk3, mint-x-icons and libreoffice-style-mint from (preferably for a version matching or similar to your Ubuntu version which Linux Mint uses)
  • Do not install these packages; things could break, and the packages aren’t being installed from their host repository anyway, so while you can install the theme packages with dpkg or gdebi, libreoffice-style-mint conflicts with libreoffice-style, which will be resolved later, and it’s just as easy to manually add the theme files.
  • Run one of the archive tools available to you as superuser (example: gksu engrampa) to open mint-themes, mint-themes-gtk3 and mint-x-icons as root.
  • Extract the usr directory to the root of your file system, so all included content ends up in /usr.

Everything past this point is all about installing the Linux Mint version of the Human theme for libreoffice.

  • Extract usr from libreoffice-style-mint as non-superuser somewhere in your system (hereon as .).
  • Open caja as normal user and navigate to ./usr/share/libreoffice/share/config to rename; I renamed it to for my purposes.
  • Navigate to ./usr/lib/libreoffice/share/config and delete the broken symbolic link to images_human.
  • Open as superuser caja and navigate to .
  • Move ./usr to /.
  • Only for consistency with the other pre-installed themes; Open terminal. If you used the proposed name for Mint’s libreoffice theme earlier, do the following; sudo ln -s /usr/share/libreoffice/share/config/ /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/config/
    Once all of that is done, then open mate-appearance-properties; If you extracted gtk-themes* and mint-x-icons properly, you will see all the Mint-X themes from Linux Mint available to you.

Open libreoffice and go into Tools > Options; navigate to View settings and change the theme. This is where how you named it matters, as all icon packs for libreoffice are named based on the archive they are held in, past the underscore. So if you named it images_mint as the above suggested, you’ll see in the right dropdown for Icon size and style as “Mint”. If you named the pack images_asdf, you’ll see it as Asdf, and so on.

Finally, open mate-tweak and under the Interface section, set panel layout as Redmond, and select Enable advanced menu. This is rather similar to Linux Mint’s default, and after you append onto it as you wish, you can save it as a custom layout, should you tinker around with it later and decide future revisions aren’t what you’d like to use.

Some things will not change unless you sign out, then sign back in. Afterward, the rest of the changes are entirely up to you. If you’d like, you could install MDM and use that in lieu of LightDM (why would you?), which you could then download and install (probably by hand, like the mint themes) the MDM themes, and if you’re looking to use emerald with compiz, there are select themes that only go with Mint-X, such as the Ordinary Glass set of themes from


Thank you @tiox for this wonderful description. Unfortunately, I feel it is quite complicated for those new to customizations (including me). Is there an easy way of including the new Mint-Y themes into Ubuntu MATE without causing any conflicts? I also prefer the LibreOffice theming in LM 18 to that of UM 16.04. I always thought that LibreOffice will look the same on every distribution. Could you describe again in more detail how to change the LibreOffice theme? I am looking for a very clean theme, the current theme for LibreOffice in UM doesn’t look very inviting.

I gave detailed steps. If you need to make things easier on yourself, you can use gdebi to install mint-themes, mint-x-icons and maybe mint-themes--gtk3 but I never mentioned that in the guide because it’s just easier to tell people to extract everything. Also allows familiarity of the task for the steps necessary to make the LibreOffice theme work without overriding the default Human theme… unless you want that, then you can just copy and paste over the Human theme assets.

Can I have edit rights back? I believe I made a couple glaring errors in my OP, and the whole thing at the bottom is basically “Use Redmond with advanced menu.”

That and there are little things I’d like to fix in it, such as spacing and missing graves, etc.

Its now a wiki post :slight_smile:

Thanks. I’ve shortend the guide up a bit and included a link for the Ordinary Emerald themes for Emerald users. Though, if people know of other themes that go with Mint-X (or Mint-Y) OOTB, I’d love to know.

I don’t understand this at all. Aesthetically, Ubuntu Mate wins in this department hands down. This would seem like a more appropriate topic for a Mint forum, “Make LM look like UM”.