How my Ubuntu MATE looks like in 2019?
I made it a little bit more like Elementary OS, but not with that purpose…
This is just a short post about, how I configured my Ubuntu MATE. This is latest version, 19.10, which I use since the end of October. Previously I used Manjaro Linux with i3 for many years, but I felt I needed some change from it, and I always liked MATE, and I installed it one morning. It was glorious, simple, happened in like 15 minutes…
Here is how I changed the default - which I like, btw - look:
Ubuntu MATE defaults…
First of all, I want to say how much I love the default theme. They still have the brown-green theme, called Ambiant, in both light and dark variety, plus the Radiance theme, which is a light theme, with vanilla like colors. The icons are also great, especially the green folder icon. I think it is just a basic default Ubuntu icons. No reason to change what already works, right?
As for panel arangement, MATE is like the old Gnome 2, top panel with menu and notifications area, bottom panel with the list of open windows.
source: Ubuntu Mate
What have I changed?
I like the Plank dock, so I replaced the bottom panel with a full with dock, icons are centered. I use the CPU monitor and show desktop docklets. I group my favorite software thematically, so browsers, entertainment, writing, etc.
On the top panel - which is transparent -, I customized it a little bit like Elementary OS. Right side is the notification area, middle is the clock and date, and the left side is the menu. We are lucky, that some people forked Slingshot, the elementary menu, to Panther Launcher, which works outside of Elementary OS, without the dependencies. I have to say, it is a nice surprise that it works quite well.
GTK theme and icons, and Emacs
One of the hardest thing is to get a nice, working theme for the system, since it has GTK 2 as well as GTK 3 parts, and both have different window managers.
I am always looking for nice themes, and currently using Solarized-Light Complete Desktop, which is a light theme, but I still like it. I usually use dark themes.
As for icons, I am still searching for something good, but right now, it is ZorinGreen-Light, which is a variety of the Zorin OS icon theme.
Because Emacs still matters, and I love it, I use the solarized-light theme, or the dark version, depending on my mood. You can install it from the MELPA.
Using Compiz Reloaded
Earlier I wrote about my experience with Compiz Reloaded, a Compiz fork, which works on well on my system, and I like to tinker with it from time to time. I use it with gtk-window-decorator.
The developers completely dropped Compiz with 19.10, and made Marco the only window manager on the system, which is understandable, since it works better, even though it knows less, at the moment. Compiz was always an unstable software, even when it was the window manager of Unity on Ubuntu. However if you want to experiment with it, I wrote a guide how to compile it for your Ubuntu system.
This setup, and I will use it, for a long time. I usually only change GTK themes, but I am pretty sure I only return to the default theme.