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Is there any way to modify the theme that comes with Ubuntu 12.04? It was possible with Ubuntu 10.x.

I wonder why they removed the basic customization. Are there any improvements in this area for 12.04?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The easiest way I know of is to install gnome-tweak-tool for any adjustments such as cursors, fonts and icon packs. This allows you to adjust these options on-the-fly and works with both Unity and Gnome Shell (although some of the features, like Shell Extensions, expect Gnome Shell to be installed).

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I don't understand why this answer was downvoted. It's a perfectly valid answer to this question. Particularly after the OP provided extra information. +1 –  Jo-Erlend Schinstad Apr 6 '12 at 23:39

Yes, customization of themes is improved radically in Ubuntu 12.04.

GTK3 themes, which is used by most applications in Ubuntu 12.04, uses the same language that is used to style web pages. You can read about CSS on Wikipedia. This means it has become much easier to learn how to do this since there's thousands of tutorials and books on the subject. Styling GTK2 is not nearly as friendly.

Ubuntu 10.x used a different platform than Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04 uses. So it's not a matter of having removed things. It's mostly a matter of not everything being implemented yet. It's not the same software, so you can't use the same programs to customize them.

Still, there are many customization programs you can download and use. Remember that Ubuntu 12.04 is a Gnome 3 operating system. It's Gnome you want to theme.

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so i have to wait. till they come up with good customization programs. –  John Apr 5 '12 at 17:58
    
There are good customization programs. The question is what it is you want to customize. Since you didn't ask, I couldn't answer. It's probably suited to be a question of its own, but try to be specific. –  Jo-Erlend Schinstad Apr 6 '12 at 2:30
    
actually I wanted to modify font face and size for my current theme. –  John Apr 6 '12 at 17:16
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In that case, I'll recommend agc93's answer. –  Jo-Erlend Schinstad Apr 6 '12 at 23:38

Just go to /usr/share/themes and you will find the theme files.

For instance if you want to edit the Ambiance theme then get into the Ambiance theme folder and you'll find all the CSS and settings files, its really very basic it all consisits of CSS styles and color codes with some images.

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I did a lot of that (editing CSS by hand) in 11.10 because the convenient interface available in 11.04 vanished in 11.10 and hasn't reappeared in 12.04. Gnome Tweak Tool and the interface provided by Cog Wheel, System Settings, Appearance allow one to choose themes but not to slightly modify them. For that, editing the css files by hand is a must if one wants things just so. –  user25656 Apr 27 '12 at 12:59
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For example, this is how to produce my favorite theme (which I love especially together with a sky-blue desktop background): sudo cp -a /usr/share/themes/Ambiance /usr/share/themes/Ambiance-blue and then sudo sed -i 's/#f07746/#3999e7/g' `find /usr/share/themes/Ambiance-blue -type f | fgrep -v .png | xargs fgrep -l '#f07746'` –  Walter Tross Nov 19 '12 at 21:42
    
regarding my previous comment: a "derivative" theme, like the Ambiance-blue I gave instructions for, should be kept up to date. E.g., you could check every now and then whether the differences between the original and the derivative theme are limited to the changes you expect. I they are not, it's best to rebuild the derivative theme directory from scratch. BTW, the above Ambiance-blue theme is in fact a nice orange and blue theme, where the blue is used for highlighting, progress bars, etc. etc., and nicely complements the orange. –  Walter Tross Jan 11 '13 at 10:45

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