My tweaked Ambiant-MATE theme


Howdy - new here, user/lover of Mate (Ubuntu 18.04) - but find I am always tweaking/playing away at themes, attempting to rectify the (often basic) little faults I so often find in the available themes in the world of Linux.

So - for the most part - I like 18.04’s Mate default Ambiant-MATE theme, but there is/was definite room for improvement. T’was about a month ago since I last worked on this, but have been giving it a workout in the meantime - and think it’s pretty close.


  • added some much needed overall font contrast
  • added subtle grey-green window background shading (much easier on the eyes - especially at night)
  • slightly darkened and added a bit of gradient to the selected green background color (for easier to read white text in dropdown menus/selections)
  • slightly thicker window border (easier to grab for re-sizing)
  • a more “theme-appropriate” slight green gradient to the (Metacity) window titlebar (instead of the default plain black… I mean, c’mon! :face_with_raised_eyebrow: ) - including a taskbar background image (28 pix high, located in the theme folder) that mimics the titlebar’s color/gradient
  • increased the hover/prelight “pop” of the window’s orange titlebar close button (easier to find and “hit” with the mouse)
  • slightly smaller, rounded scrollbars with increased hover/prelight shading difference and a subtle border added (again, easier to find and “hit” with the mouse)
  • probably some other little tweaks that I can no longer recall…

So, really just a lightly massaged stock Ambiant-MATE theme that I find far more pleasant and “easier” to use day to day. Hopefully the following link to Dropbox works, for anybody whom may want to download it and give it a try;

Ambiant-Moat Mate theme

Please give it a whirl, if ya’ can - any criticism or fixes welcome!!



Nice work. I like the the coloring of the pop out panel icon descriptions. I need to get better at modifying themes as I prefer a darker theme. But with darker themes it is difficult to find a Firefox color scheme that does not put white on white or black on black text on some pages. I would also like to learn how to combine icon themes. I really like most aspects of the Suru++, but in the panel prefer Ubuntu-mono-dark icons. I especially appreciate the icon sets like Ubuntu-mono-dark that provide an indication of a VPN connection. I currently have Ambiant-Moat Mate with Ubuntu-mono-dark icon set.


Thanks, jaybo! Oh yeah… the tooltips popup is one tweak I forgot to mention; black text on bright yellow, slight corner radius and a dark border. As it should be - a contrasting font color that’s very easy to read, with a background color tint that visually stands out above other elements on the desktop and calls your attention, and a border to help keep it that way. Easy stuff - but hard to believe so many (all?) themes get such small (but ultimately really important) details wrong - like light grey font on a border-less grey background, or grey font on black, etc. - popups that you end up struggling to find let alone read. Why, oh why…:expressionless:.

Custom icons - I think it might be as simple as: create a folder named, say, “jaybo”, copy all of the icons & sub-folders from your closest, favorite used theme (from /usr/share/icons/, I think) into that folder, then just find and copy over the individual elements/icons that you prefer from other themes - overwriting those that currently reside within “jaybo”. When done, as “root” - drop the entire “jaybo” directory back into /usr/share/icons/ - fire up the appearance theme chooser GUI, select “jaybo” and see what happens. If it all goes to he!!.. just delete/remove the “jaybo” directory and try again, changing some things up where issues arose. Might be worth a play, anyhow…

Part of the joy in using Linux. Thanks!

p.s. - Sticking with the overall Mate green themeing (which I really, really like) - there’s a Firefox theme called “Military Green” that I like to install - that might address those FF issues you mentioned (??).

p.s.s. - Found the FF theme; military green FF theme by Raburadohl