Ambiance And Radiance Themes Ported To GTK3; Available For Ubuntu 11.10

Remember when I said that the default theme in Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1 looks like that in Windows 95? Well, it no longer does not. The Ambiance and Radiance themes that comes by default in Ubuntu has been ported to GTK3 now and they have landed in the development version of Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”.

Overall this is just a port of the theme in GTK2 to GTK3 and, so, it does not have any new features. However, there are some minor differences:

  • The entire navigation bar in Nautilus has been removed and replaced by just the back and forward buttons.
  • The status bar in Nautilus has been replaced by a new “on-demand” status bar.

To get the newly ported themes, open the Terminal and update your system.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

There is still no easy application to change the theme yet. (GNOME 3 no longer have the Appearance application.) So you have to do it manually using the dconf-editor.

$ sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

After the installation, launch dconf-editor by pressing ALT+F2 and entering “dconf-editor” (without quotes).

Then go to org > gnome > desktop > interface > gtk-theme. Change “Adwaita” to either “Radiance” or “Ambiance” (again without quotes) and click on Set To Default.


Nautilus-Elementary Revived Again

Last November, the developers of the popular Nautilus-Elementary announced that the Nautilus-Elementary project has been discontinued. They announced that they are working on a  new file manager, Merlin, instead of working in Nautilus. Nautilus-Elementary is a patch for Nautilus which brings some cool new features in Nautilus and makes it look much better.

Today, they have taken an u-turn and has announced that they are reviving the Nautilus-Elementary project again. This mainly due to the fact that Marlin is being developed with GTK3 and GNOME 3 technologies. It has already been announced that Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narhwal is not going to support GTK3 and GNOME 3 stack out of the box. So, to make Marlin work in Ubuntu 11.04, they will have to rely on external or testing repositories.

Like many other distributions, Ubuntu Natty won’t support gtk3 and the gnome3 stack without adding external/testing repositories.  Since gtk3 dropped the rc format, only one gtk engine is ready for gtk3 (clearlook) and one gtk theme (adwaita). Without proper theming there’s no point rushing to gtk3/gnome3 so gtk2/gnome2  still has some nice months ahead before a progressive transition.

Another reason for the decision to revive the project is due to the fact that many people (me included) and Linux distributions still use Nautilus Elementary even though it has been announced that it is no longer maintained.

Although the project has been shut down since November, i still see many people using this outdated version of nautilus, distributions adopting it, artists working on stuning theme for it, which surprised me bit considering the project is unmaintained. I would like to thanks all of the nautilus-elementary supporters and specialy the archlinux community which has kept working on an up-to date version.

This does not, however, mean that Marlin is taking a backseat. Marlin will still be the focus of development. The plan for Nautilus-Elementary right now is to fix only the critical bugs. New features in Nautilus Elementary are unlikely at the moment.

The new version of Nautilus-Elementary is already available in the PPA. To install it, open the Terminal and execute the commands given below:

[For Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 11.04]

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:am-monkeyd/nautilus-elementary-ppa

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

After installation, restart Nautilus to see the changes.

$ nautilus -q