I have made some subtle (but I think very effective) tweaks to my stock Ubuntu MATE install. Nothing clever, just installed an icon set, tweaked it by swapping out some status and actions icons from another stock set, set the wallpaper, tweaked a few colours and changed the default fonts, removed the orange colour from the window close button, those kinds of things.

The reason was that I just don't get along with the green theming, and wanted to change it to a dark blue, and I have, except in some places.

It seems like MATE doesn't use the theme colours in certain places. I may not have found them all, but so far I still get green selections in:-

The lock screen. The power drop down highliughts in green. Lightdm config screen. All options highlight in green.

There are probably more places and so to my question:

Is there a global green colour set somewhere? Perhaps in the gtk css? If so, where?

I am scared of the gtk theming files, I never touch them, but if I can change a specific hex code from green to blue then happy days.

  • Thanks for the edit to the grammar, although I have no idea why my final "Any help would be greatly appreciated" was removed. Was it too polite ? – hatterman Jul 9 '17 at 14:35

I have worked it out, for anybody who is interested.

NOTE : I am using the Radiant-MATE window decorations, that was the culprit keeping certain green elements.

Edit the file


Edit this line

gtk-color-scheme = "base_color:#ffffff\nfg_color:#4c4c4c\ntooltip_fg_color:#ffffff\nselected_bg_color:#87A752\nselected_fg_color:#FFFFFF\ntext_color:#3C3C3C\nbg_color:#f6f4f2\ntooltip_bg_color:#000000\nlink_color:#A7BB85"

Change selected_bg_color:#87A752 to selected_bg_color:#4C5F6C

Edit this file


Change @define-color selected_bg_color #A7B885; to @define-color selected_bg_color #4C5F6C;

Open the folder /usr/share/themes/Radiant-MATE/gtk-3.0/assets

Find the icons for the various bullets and edit them in gimp to change the green to blue.

  • I ended up implementing a slightly more elegant solution. My own answer still stands except that I made a copy of the theme and icon folders, renamed then hacked away on the copy. My own hacked theme now also appears as its own entry in the appearance menu. Cool. – hatterman Jul 12 '17 at 7:39

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