Ubuntu Mate needs to be more beautiful and attractive



As am I. That was my entire point. Allow people to make choices. Just keep the defaults sane, which to me means the ‘Traditional’ layout.

See, I don’t care if anyone prefers their set up to remind them of Windows or not. I don’t prefer it obviously but so long as it’s not a default I don’t care what you or anyone else changes their interface to. What I want is to keep the Mate desktop looking like it did in terms of interface.

The reason is that pretty much every desktop is doing some variation on the Redmond interface. If we become a part of that crowd how are we able to differentiate ourselves by appearance? Don’t we just disappear?

So while I think there are some things we can do to dress up the system I think retaining the traditional interface ought to be our bread and butter. Improve the overall desktop, design, themes and colors, sure! But keep the thing that makes us unique front and center. Don’t throw that away to become just another bad Windows or OSX knock off. Because even if you make a perfect copy sooner or later something is going to break the illusion when it doesn’t work the same way those interfaces do.

Personally I always thought Gnome 2.x represented the best parts of both those desktops but in a representation that was it’s own. Ubuntu’s version of that was always the one I thought worked the best and showed the most refinement. I’d like to see more of that kind of thinking with Ubuntu-Mate. Make our version have the least amount of papercuts possible. That was one of Shuttleworth’s better ideas, to focus on eliminating those.

Beautiful but functional. Personally I think we’re pretty close already.


I’ve given it much thought, and I think my primary concern is that if people concentrate on appearences too much, the functionality of the system will suffer.

Honestly I shouldn’t expect this but eventually @Wimpy’s place will be taken and I am hardline function-first on principle of precedent. If we stray from this, then we permit a poor example to be present and allocate less time for Ubuntu’s issues to be ironed out for upstream. And with limited staff I would rather them make Ubuntu core and the MATE DE bug-free first before they put more effort Into aesthetics.


Hi guys, I love the Mate desktop, it has almost everything you can expect from a modern operating system, there is a small setback in terms of the option to change windows and folders in color (GTK2), but it advances in other aspects,

I prefer to change all the folders to one color, now you can only change one by one, I have been able to change some colors of windows, but I have had a hard time doing it.

There is an option in the folders, backgrounds and emblems that you can change the background to your liking.

Personally I do not like the gray color of Mate, I think it’s very cold and serious, I do not like the Black Matte theme, too dark, but you can make certain changes that help a lot, it’s the good thing about Ubuntu Mate lets you make changes, many changes

but if you can say that Ubuntu Mate is elegant, see these screenshots, better than Windows, sure …


6 posts were split to a new topic: Problems with setting folder color


well, i’m slowly working on a dark theme, right now it’s a modification of vimix but i’m lookin on ant as means of remaking it as vimix ain’t perfect and also because i want to remake another theme i made back when i used ubuntu gnome



@bwat47 I totally agree with your statement; Ubuntu MATE doesn’t have to be ugly, but that’s not really what I was on about.

The development team for Ubuntu MATE, the small group of people who actively maintain this distribution already have enough on their hands with the custom software necessary to distinguish it from a vanilla copy of Ubuntu. What I am really saying, the entire time is that the dev team should concentrate on the backend; getting everything working behind the scenes which facilitate system functionality.

If someone wants to supply a decent theme to supersede Ambiance-MATE or suggest replacements for supplied themes, that would be fine. Just remember: every megabyte counts and the default set of themes, I believe had been optimized to take as little space as necessary to provide a selection. You want more themes, you install them.



I think your pretty spot on with your assessment. It’s not like anyone is making a living building Ubuntu Mate, which means that they are by necessity making a living from other means. This project is made possible by those who are working on it in their free time, and is provided to anyone who wishes to use it free of charge.

That is a very good deal for all of us who use Ubuntu Mate, not so much for those who spends the majority of their free time maintaining the project, preforming software upgrades, and sorting out bug fixes. The bug fix aspect alone is not only a enormous task, but also never ending as well.

The answer to making Ubuntu Mate more visually appealing is really quite obvious. Make these changes to your copy of Ubuntu Mate, and if you come up with something that would be appealing to a variety of taste, then contribute it back to the developers of Ubuntu Mate. That’s pretty much the concept behind open source software.


A themes section for the Software Boutique is one of my wishes for UM and it would not increase the size of the iso either


Only a little more space but pulling from the Internet themes would be pretty cool. A curated selection, mind, and they would need to be hosted on the Ubuntu MATE server alongside with everything else.

The reason software boutique works so well presently is because it just does the apt stuff in the background with a really nice front-end. Adding theme support would mean those themes have to be prepared and the boutique needs to be modified to accept installation of these themes. Then, how far do we define themes? Just colours and pictures? Fonts? Does the team build a theme preview similar to MATE appearance?

How much effort do you want put into providing a UI for making the system look pretty, which would had been better spent fixing backend problems? Further, is this a boutique addition, or could we make MATE appearance use the Internet so the boutique is left alone? Do the developers become lazy and provide an option for Emerald, including Emerald Theme Manager and expecting the user to enable Emerald in MATE Tweak? That might break Scott Moreau’s Compiz 0.8 build script!


In the near feature the themes can be made in a snap confinement so when software boutique will work with snaps i will push the idea to have a dedicated place for themes and icon sets. I’ve wanted this idea implemented for some time now but there was not a easy way of doing it. Having ppas in software boutique are pain in the… with every release


It might be a pain but it’s the easiest way to do it within the Debian package system. In the future, the boutique could be updated with a web portal showing snaps which could be installed, most certainly but then that means when someone goes to remove the snap, they might not know it’s a snap which means for safety, the boutique should provide two options: Install with Snappy, and install with Apt. Don’t even call it modern and legacy or garbage like that, but have a “?” button that explains everything.

Oh… uhm hot damn, @ouroumov we might need to split starting from @Bernie’s post here to dev discussion. (Partially my fault.) But on to what I was talking about…

This does not resolve whether theme stuff would be better handled in appearance, as themes are an appearance thing and all of the libraries to make a decent theme preview possible are called there. (Arguably, shared libs mean it’s possible in Boutique but that’s not entirely what I’m on about.)

Does it even make sense to have theme stuff in the boutique? I would think it would be more forward-thinking to stuff it in appearance and somehow work in online themes; themes which do not appear without an internet connection, but once selected download all related files as a snap (including fonts!) and a means to compile and share snaps of your own themes. There, we could be onto something big which isn’t entirely about how to make Ubuntu MATE better, but how to make MATE itself better.


by themes I was meaning gtk3 themes that work with UM well and of course curated and tested and icon themes also, all of which can be packaged as .deb packages or snaps of course, also I think it makes more sense just adding them to the boutique in their own section than trying to add the functionality to the Appearances settings window, which does not have any of that functionality in it, also installing themes is essentially the same as installing software, and imo it does make sense to have it in the boutique


WOW ! It was very beautiful and modern !!! Tell me how you do to leave this opacity in the windows please !!!


This is nice! I’d prefer the buttons to be more gumdrop and to ‘pop’ more but otherwise I’m impressed!


This right here is the biggest problem with theming the system, too often trying to install a theme leads to missing dependencies and broken themes. We need something curated that has only known to work themes. I don’t know if this would have to be crowdsourced or if it would be possible to automate with scripts which were then confirmed to be working by a smaller group of volunteers?


which is why I said they would be curated and tested, I would be and I imagine others would be perfectly willing to test themes, even if they are themes we would not use, just to make sure they are functional


I wasn’t disagreeing, I was amplifying.

Give me advanced notice and I’d be willing to volunteer to test themes according to a checklist for what works and what doesn’t.


And most likely I would be right behind you figuring out how to make the broken ones work. Because theme stuff is certainly within my skillset.


Sounds like the beginning of a plan to me!

Do we have a listing what makes a theme broken we can use as a checklist? I can always install a virtual machine with no customization to have as stock a system as possible so we can run down the list checking things off. It’s not that difficult to create a neutral environment to test these things with.

I always figured the issue was political or licensing more than anything else.

PS: Make sure that checklist includes support for panel wallpapers though because at a minimum themes should support the desktop’ features and I feel a theme which doesn’t function well with panel wallpapers, breaks icons, etc is not a functional theme. I’m a bit more iffy on a theme demanding it’s own engine being installed (if available in repository, it’s not broken any more than a theme not installing Tahoma font automatically is broken–however not having the theme engine available at all would qualify as broken to me.)


You have to use Compiz to make those transparencies