Beautify Unity Desktop in Ubuntu 12.10 with ‘AmbianceP’ Theme Pack

‘AmbianceP’ is a set of themes that are based on the ‘Ambiance’ and ‘Radiance’ themes, the two default themes that come with Ubuntu. Though they are based on ‘Ambiance’ and ‘Radiance’, ‘AmbianceP’ has a unique look of its own. I don’t know whether you’d love it or hate it, but I am quite pleased with its look! :).

As you can see from the below picture, the easily visible change is the use of textures on toolbar backgrounds, Unity’s top panel, context menus etc and it is easy on the eyes.

The colors used (such as to highlight the selected items and drop shadows) are also a little darker, uses slightly different button style, and if you are a frequent Terminal user, then you too will notice few slight changes of the Terminal window’s look. In my taste, the unfocused title-bars also look better than the default style.



File-copy-dialog-in-AmbianceP-Theme Unitys-Configuration-menu-AmbianceP

As mentioned above, this is a actually a theme pack and it comes with 4 ‘Ambiance’ based themes and 3 ‘Radiance’ based themes (named ‘AmbianceP’, ‘AmbiancePDark’, ‘AmbiancePastel’, ‘AmbiancePNight’, ‘RadianceP’, ‘RadiancePMetal’ and ‘RadiancePCalm’), and each one looks quite different from the others.


Installing it on Ubuntu 12.10 …

Update: This also seems to be working under Ubuntu 13.04 as well. Thanks goes to ‘serdotlinecho’ (below comment) for letting me know that :).

Step 1:

Before you can install these themes, make sure to you have installed the ‘Gnome Tweak Tool’ for changing the themes. If you don’t have it, then open the Terminal window and enter the below command.

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Step 2:

Then go to this page and downloaded the compressed file. Once the download completes, double click on it and extract the content to somewhere.

Installing for the current user only …

If you want to make the themes are available for all users, then go directly to ‘Step A’ instead.

Step 3:

Now open your ‘Home’ folder and press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘H’ keys (for showing the hidden files and folders). Then look for a folder called ‘.themes’ on your ‘Home’. If it is not there, then create a new folder called ‘.themes’ (make sure to put that ‘.’ mark at the beginning of its name).

Step 4:

Then simply move the extracted themes to the ‘.themes’ folder.

Step 5:

Now open the ‘gnome tweak tool’ and from left, choose ‘Themes’. Then from the right side, select the preferred theme under ‘Gtk+theme’ and ‘Current theme’ options. That’s it!.


Optional …

If you want to make these themes available for all the users, then once extracted, open your Terminal and enter the below command.

gksudo nautilus

This will open the file manager with administrative privileges (be careful while using it with administrative privileges as you can easily end up deleting an important system file or a folder!). Then go the extracted folder and move the extracted content to ‘/usr/share/themes’.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

8 thoughts on “Beautify Unity Desktop in Ubuntu 12.10 with ‘AmbianceP’ Theme Pack”

    • Hi John,

      Well, it might work and I cannot test it in 12.04 because I don’t have it anymore. The best thing to do is to try it out though …

  1. Well, I did. At a first glance it seemes to be working without breaking the user interface, but the theme produces some weird artefacts in various applications with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: some titles of pull-down menus are barely readable caused by lack of contrast. The nice background for “Home” in Nautilus-running-with-AmbianceP-Theme.png does appear as a simple plain grayish rectangle. Further the divide lines in pull-down menus like Desktop-context-menu-AmbianceP.png are shown in a purple colour. I have seen enough. Hopefully these phenomenons do not appear in 12.10. It does not look nice at all.


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