Till now I was working with Ubuntu 16.04, with classic GNOME flashback (I don't remember where did I install it from).

Now I moved finally to 20.04, and tried to install the same, but somehow it looks much less elegant to me.

While this is how it looks in 16.04: Ubuntu 16.04 Classic GNOME flashback

This is how it looks after installing it on 20.04: Ubuntu 20.04 Classic GNOME flashback

I wonder whether this is how it is, or should I install another package or something.

  • 1
    The second screenshot (20.04) shows the default theme, look & feel, the first (16.04) shows a dark theme which isn't and never was the default. So, besides not remembering where/how did you installed in 16.04, maybe you also forgot that you themed it? Something like this pod.g3l.org/posts/56781 perhaps. Suggestion: Install Ubuntu-MATE to avoid (a lot of) headaches. Dec 4, 2021 at 23:29

2 Answers 2


You have to try MATE as in Ubuntu MATE. Install it with

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ubuntu-mate-desktop^

then reboot, login to MATE session and enjoy classical traditional desktop without bells and whistles.

Customization is possible by running MATE Tweak after installation - you can switch Panel layout to Traditional layout (as in GNOME 2) -

Traditional MATE on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

or try more modern layouts which suite your needs.

Additional note:

  • you can make a screenshot with opened context menus by running MATE Screenshot with timeout in interactive mode by mate-screenshot -i command.
  • you may want to read Ubuntu MATE Guide to know Ubuntu MATE system.
  • you may want to read MATEwiki to know MATE desktop.
  • you may want to talk with Ubuntu MATE Community on the corresponding site.
  • Is the orange ambiance theme still available? OP might be looking for it. Dec 5, 2021 at 7:52
  • Theme adjusting is possible from MATE Appearance properties (mate-appearance-properties). Orange icons are available. Theming is possible too, but this topic is wide, I do not think we need to discuss it here.
    – N0rbert
    Dec 5, 2021 at 8:26
  • Is there a good place to start understanding what is MATE exactly and how to manage it? I see many differences from Traditional Ubuntu I had till now...
    – guyaloni
    Dec 7, 2021 at 19:13
  • 1
    Check guide.ubuntu-mate.org along with wiki.mate-desktop.org.
    – N0rbert
    Dec 7, 2021 at 19:14
  • 2
    @guyaloni Alternatively, you can ask a new question about Ubuntu MATE when you have one :-) Dec 7, 2021 at 19:18

You might be able to use old theme:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme 'Ambiance'
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface icon-theme 'ubuntu-mono-dark'

But I don't know how good/bad old theme works in 20.04.

  • Why down vote? User noticed changes in look in newer version... It is because 20.04 has different theme and old look can be restored by changing theme. Jan 3 at 11:53

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