Customizing MATE themes on Fedora 20

Caught up in the time-wasting exercise of trying out different desktop themes on my newly installed MATE desktop, I noticed the hated Gnome foot (or is it a hand?) icon on my start menu button. That had to change.

The thing that got me started was when I noticed that the desktop popped up a plain text icon when I inserted my Kingston USB key, instead of the colorful USB key icon I was used to. Cycling through themes it seemed that only the original Gnome themes like Mist provided the USB icon. But they also all used the Gnome’s foot for the start button.

After Googling around a bit and being sent down some fairly squirrelly rabbit holes (yeah, I just coined that phrase), I decided to give the theme tab under System… Appearance… Preferences another try.

And there is was, staring me in the face. “Custom”, the theme in the upper left corner. How did you change that, I asked myself? Ugh, the “Customize” button!

So I picked the “BlueMenta” theme (which defaults to the MATE icon set), hit “Customize”, went to the “Icons” tab, and picked “Fedora”. The focus immediately changed to the “Custom” theme in the upper left corner to show the change was effective. Voila!


Of course it’s possible to customize other parts of an existing theme, like the controls, colors, window border and pointer, but I’ll leave it to the reader to decide just how far they want to go down their own particular rabbit hole of productivity loss.

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).