This article is part of the Linux Desktop Themes series:
One of the best things about being a MATE user is the fact that everything is super stable and reliable. This desktop environment hasn’t changed its looks in quite a long time. Everything is nearly like the way it looked in 2002.
This can be a good thing when it comes to usability. It’s tried and true. On the other hand, the MATE desktop doesn’t look very modern. The default themes it ships with aren’t very attractive, and overall it seems like it needs a face-lift.
Check out these nine themes that look great in the MATE desktop environment!
Note: the instructions to install each one of these themes are located on the page in which you downloaded them from.
1. Color UI
If you didn’t notice from the picture above, Color UI was designed with the XFCE desktop in mind. That being said, it still looks awesome in MATE. Everything is very modern-looking and colorful. I know some people aren’t huge fans of using themes designed for other desktops. I get that. Still, if using a theme designed for another desktop doesn’t bother you, consider checking out this theme.
Absolute is a simple, grey theme. It’s not the most advanced and stylish theme ever created, but it certainly is fairly modern looking. The window manager style is top notch, and overall it’s just pleasant to look it. Do you like simple? Check out this theme.
3. Ubuntu Dust
When it comes to GTK 2.x themes, they seem to all run together. A good chunk of them seem to fall into three categories: black/dark, transparent, or grey/white styled themes. Ubuntu Dust doesn’t fit that criteria. It’s a sort of shiny brown/dark sort of thing with some really neat user interface choices. It’s certainly different. If you like different, you might like this theme.
4. Ambiance & Radiance Flat Colors
Flat is the latest design trend that everyone has been going crazy over. I can’t blame them as I think flat is cool too. To satisfy your craving for flat themes on MATE, Ambiance & Radiance Flat Colors exists. It’s a flatter take on the classic Ubuntu themes Ambiance and Radiance. It comes with several different color choices too. If you want a flat theme, this should be your first stop.
Orta is a theme that has been around for quite a while. It’s one of the most famous ones too. There’s a good reason as to why everyone loves this particular theme: it’s beautiful. Even today it feels really modern. The window manager style is reminiscent of Mac OS X’s, and it has a nice metallic thing going on.
6. BSM Simple
BSM Simple is a pack of simple GTK 2.x themes. The pack comes with Dark and Classic themes.
7. Elegant Gnome Pack
Are you interested in making MATE elegant? Check out the Elegant Gnome Pack. It’s specifically designed to make GTK 2.x look beautiful. Many different themes are included so there’s most certainly something for everyone to choose from!
Zuki is a fairly solid theme. It has sort of a glass/transparent look to it, but it does it right. That’s not something I can say about all the glass themes I’ve seen. They always seem to look tacky. If you’re in need of a transparent-esque theme for your MATE setup, look no further.
9. Elegant Brit
I’ll be frank. Elegant Brit is at the bottom because it’s not the most professionally-designed theme. That being said, it does manage to look cool and modern for what it is. I especially like the way this theme handles the task bar. If you’ve checked all the themes out above and still haven’t settled on one, try this one!
The MATE desktop is great, but it’s built on aging technology and is in dire need of a new look. These GTK 2.x MATE themes in this list can help with that. With this list I hope that you, too, will be able to make your desktop environment great.
Do you have a favorite theme you use in MATE? Tell us in the comments below!