Friday, June 17, 2011

Install Older / Newer Version of Ambiance / Radiance

You like an older or a newer version of the "light-themes" better than the ones included in your current Ubuntu version? In both cases, you can install the desired version of these themes parallelly to the default ones.

Install an older version

In this example we will install the Lucid version of Ambiance into Maverick or Natty.
  1. Download the desired deb-package from here:
  2. Right-click on the deb-package.
  3. Choose "Open with Other Application...".
  4. Untick "Remember this application...".
  5. Expand "Use a custom command".
  6. Type "gksudo file-roller".
  7. Click on "Open".
  8. Open the included "data.tar.gz".
  9. Browse to "./usr/share/themes/Ambiance".
  10. Extract its content into something like "/usr/share/themes/Ambiance Lucid".
  11. Open the file "/usr/share/themes/Ambiance Lucid/index.theme" with the text editor:
    gksudo gedit "/usr/share/themes/Ambiance Lucid/index.theme"
  12. Replace every occurrence of "Ambiance" by "Ambiance Lucid", both reflecting its new path and setting its new name.
  13. Save/Quit.
Now you should be able to choose "Ambiance Lucid" in "Appearance > Theme".

Install a newer version

Basically the same as described above, but if you are running Lucid, you may need to install a more recent version of the Murrine GTK engine than currently installed at your system, as the official repos don't provide a version sufficient for the newer "light-themes".

I suggest uprading "gtk2-engines-murrine" through the PPA of the Elegant Gnome theme, as it provides the most recent packaged version for Lucid:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elegant-gnome/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Fix the window title bars and borders

If you install the Natty versions of these themes into Lucid or Maverick, you need to modify either ".../metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml" to make the window title bars and borders work, at least that is the case in Lucid, I didn't test it with Maverick.

Make a backup of the respective file:

sudo cp "/usr/share/themes/Ambiance Lucid/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml" "/usr/share/themes/Ambiance Lucid/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1-original.xml"

Open the file with the text editor:

gksudo gedit "/usr/share/themes/Ambiance Lucid/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml"

Outcomment every occurrence of lines similar to these in the "FRAME STYLE" section in the lower third of the file:

<shadow radius="45.0" opacity="0.75" color="#abde4f" x_offset="1" y_offset="4"/>
<padding left="5" right="5" bottom="5"/>

Modify them like this, notice that I use the pattern of those lines that are already outcommented even in the original file for some reason, in a single occurrence:

<!--shadow radius="45.0" opacity="0.75" color="#abde4f" x_offset="1" y_offset="4"/-->
<!--padding left="5" right="5" bottom="5"/-->

These lines only have been added in Natty, and are not present in earlier versions. This may also be the reason for quite a lot issues with the window title bars and borders in Natty, I may presume, but I didn't test it so far.

Related Posts:

Appearance , Themes