I am Unity only and I want to give Gnome a try on Ubuntu 16.10 (edit :now, i switched to 17.04, and the issue is the same). I installed gnome with apt install gnome-shell ubuntu-gnome-desktop. I kept LightDM as single display manager.

When login to either gnome classic or gnome, many windows, but not all, no longer have borders : I can't resize them, and they look weired. Also, rounded corners shows black pixels. (when login with gnome (Wayland)` session I only got a black screen. But that's another issue)

Moreover, full screen windows (e.g. Firefox) doesn't match and we can see a few pixels of my background above and below window's titles.

I guess this have something to do with client-side decorations, or maybe Compiz ?

I've seen similar things here and there on older distributions. This issue seems to be a little different.

Question :

I don't want to mess up with Unity, because I'm very skeptical about sticking to gnome, especially after experiencing such issues in the very first moments.

Can I fix that bug and keep both gnome and unity working properly ?

Screenshots :

Firefox window title on full screen Terminal and settings window corners

Solutions Tried:

  • theming issue? switch to adwaita for GNOME-Shell and Ambiance for Unity? Do you have any locally installed versions of those themes in ~/.themes ? – fossfreedom Mar 22 '17 at 12:32
  • @fossfreedom Great ! I switched from Ambiance to Adwaita, with gnome-tweak-tool, and everything looks fine now. Post a clean complete answer and you'll get the bounty. – mxdsp Mar 22 '17 at 12:42

The suggestion here is to use themes that are best suited for the desktop-environment that you are running.

The default theme for Unity called Ambiance is the theme you should use for Unity itself.

When switching to GNOME-Shell, the default theme you should use is Adwaita.

Third-party themes can also be used - their support for various desktop-environments can vary. Examples that you can use in both include Adapta and Arc-Theme (available in the 16.10/17.04 repo).

Its also worth double-checking that you have not got locally installed themes in ~/.themes - themes are GTK+ specific so if your theme is not compatible with the version of GTK+ you are running on, then odd stuff like you described can occur.

GNOME-Tweak-Tool (available from GNOME-Software) can be used to switch themes in GNOME-Shell; unity-tweak-tool can be used in Unity if you are using third-party themes.

enter image description here

How to install themes with GNOME tweak tool?


There is a patch for Ambiance and Radiance themes with Gnome, coming in Ubuntu 17.10, but available now : Fix Ubuntu Light Themes. (Source: OMG Ubuntu !)

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  • Came too late, but this is great! – Anwar Aug 14 '17 at 6:52

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