[Ubuntu] How to give your Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Tahr” a cool look [24.08.2014]

A month ago I decided to install the recent LTS of Ubuntu (which currently is 14.04) on my laptop. I’ve used Ubuntu in Oracles VirtualBox before to build a new version of wubi for Windows 8 and 8.1 (an article on that will come soon), so I was prepared. As I finally had installed all my favorite software and development tools (e.g. eclipse, Chromium, QtCreator) I searched for a way to customize the look’n’feel of it. I don’t like orange too well, I like blueish colors better :P. I found a solution and in this article I want to show you how to make your system look a bit cooler.

The steps we will take towards modifying the theme are the following:

  1. Adding the ravefinity ppas (ambiance & radiance color themes and humanity color themes) and installing UnityTweakTool
  2. Setting background and theme color
  3. Customizing your terminals style

1. Let’s start off with the first step:

A ppa is a PrivatePackageRepository. You commonly use ppas if you want the latest and most up to date software.
In our case we will use it to be able to install the color themes of ravefinity.

Start by opening a console window (CTRL+ALT+T) or just open the dash and search for terminal. Now we will do a bit of commandline action, Yay!

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ambiance-colors radiance-colors humanity-colors unity-tweak-tool

You should see something like this:

You can close the terminal, we won’t need it anymore.

2. Next, we’re going to set your background and a matching color theme:

Set your background image and wait for the Launcher to adjust its color. In my case it of course is blue 🙂

Open up your UnityTweakTool and click for ‘Appearance ⇒ Theme‘, where you can select the different colored themes (ambiance or radiance). I’ll use ambiance-blue-pro because I don’t like my close button to be blue:

Next go open up ‘Appearance ⇒ Icons‘ and select a color of your liking, which is blue in my case:

3. It’s optional, but I like my terminal to fit into my color scheme (and I love playing around with transparency!) :

Open up the terminal again and select ‘Edit ⇒ Profiles…‘, click ‘Edit‘ on the profile named ‘Default‘:

Play around with the values, especially with background transparency and colors.

That’s it, what you get is a completely different experience:

 Before changes:

After changes:

I hope I could help you a bit 🙂 Feel free to look around on my blog, you might find something else worth reading 😀


EDIT: If you like the result and ‘d like to customize your system look’n’feel a bit further, make sure you check out this article! (I’ll show you how to change your window snapping behavior and make your unity launcher awesome!)



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