Themes Ubuntu

Ubuntu 16.04 – My Experience so Far and Customization

Ubuntu Flatabulous Theme and Ultraflat Icons
Written by Jesse Afolabi

Every single time I come back to Ubuntu, the first thing that usually comes to my mind is changing the looks of the whole thing.

I’m sure by now you know how boring the stock interface of Ubuntu’s Unity 7 is….makes me wanna cry.

While I earnestly anticipated the release of Unity 8 with Xenial Xerus (after watching a couple of videos that showcased its function), I was utterly disappointed that Canonical was going to further push its release — even though it was originally meant to debut with Ubuntu 14.04.

Back to the point at hand, I immediately went ahead and installed Unity Tweak Tool, moved my dash to the bottom (very important) and then proceeded to replace Nautilus with the extensive Nemo file manager which is native to Linux Mint and by far superior to the former (my opinion).

It wasn’t so hard getting the themes I needed to get the perfect desktop; but before I proceed with how I got those worked out, I should quickly run down the quirks I’ve experienced in 16.04 Xenial Xerus so far.

Out of the box, experience is just ruined

I wouldn’t say I was riddled with bugs but there were more than a few annoyances which (truly) is one of the things that drive newbies away from Linux.

Given how far Ubuntu has come over the years, I couldn’t perform the simplest of tasks like installing an application from the new software center. It just wouldn’t work! While I’m sure the issues will be ironed out with future updates, this certainly isn’t the experience newbies will be hoping for and they could easily be discouraged from continuing their journey in the Linux world.

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I had to go with the terminal way of doing things and while I was successful with that, my system froze more than a couple times in which cases I had to do a force restart.

I, however, overcame most of these hiccups after receiving my first system update. But then, the Software center bug remained.

Asides that, the Unity dash is slow to respond – clicking on the icon and typing in the search bar are mostly when I experience a notable latency. Hopefully, this would be fixed sooner than later.

Ubuntu Customization

Disclaimer: This is not necessarily my recommendation for you if you’re looking to customize your Ubuntu system, but then, I’m a reasonable human being so I will have a list of themes and icons sets you can use with your Ubuntu system in the nearer future — so be on the lookout.

My favorite theming option is the self-acclaimed “best theme for Ubuntu” Flatabulous coupled with the Ultra flat icons – that come in the colors of blue, orange, bright orange and green – from the same project.

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While the Flatabulous theme is nice and consistent, it’s not so materialistic and has some minor flaws in Unity; but it’s alright for the most part.

The Ultra flat icon set on the other hand is pretty great and like the Flatabulous theme, it’s Material inspired and essentially a flatter version of Numix.

If you care to install the Flatabulous theme and the Ultraflat icon set, then you may fire up your terminal and copy the following commands as needed to execute.

But before anything, you must have the Unity Tweak Tool installed; without it, you won’t be able to make the necessary theme and icon change.

The Unity Tweak Tool is available in the standard Ubuntu repo. Alternatively, you can download the .deb file from here.

Download Flatabulous theme

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/themes
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install flatabulous-theme

Download Ultra-flat icons

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install ultra-flat-icons

What do you like or hate about Ubuntu Xenial Xerus so far? Let us know in the comments!

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About the author

Jesse Afolabi

Jesse is that tech enthusiast you never heard of...he's mainly into things relating to Linux and Android and has an unending passion for both platforms which is why he writes about them.