Ubuntu’s Ambiance/Radiance gtk themes for Debian

(EDIT Sep, 2010: now with updated packages, see below!)

Running Debian Lenny on my Acer Aspire 5572 notebook I wanted a more “up-to-date” look for it’s Gnome desktop. As I recently came across some screenshots of Ubuntu‘s upcoming release “Lucid Lynx” with it’s new GTK theme I decided to give it a try (you have to get used to the buttons being on the left side of the windows, though – see screenshot below). Of course, the new Ubuntu Mono iconset goes very well with this theme, so I needed that, too.

To make everything work in Lenny, I grabbed all the source packages from Ubuntu’s package repository and then made deb packages for Lenny from them. I also replaced the Ubuntu logo within the two icon packages with Debian’s logo.

The new Ubuntu “light-themes” (Ambiance/Radiance) need the latest murrine engine, which of course isn’t included in Lenny. So, this was the first thing I took care of. This is the only package which is architecture dependent and I can only provide it for i368. If you need murrine engine for amd64, do as follows:

First install the build dependencies:

# su
# apt-get install build-essential debhelper libgtk2.0-dev intltool quilt

Then get the source packages (see download link below), put them in a temporary folder and change to it. Now we need to recreate the source-tree, compile and build the actual package (you DON’T need to be root for the following steps!):

# dpkg-source -x gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20091211-0lenny1.dsc
# cd gtk2-engines-murrine-0.90.3+git20091211
# dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot
# cd ..

Install the package (as root, of course…):

# su
# dpkg -i gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20091211-0lenny1_amd64.deb

That’s basically it!

Please keep in mind that installing a new version of murrine engine might break older themes!!

You may then install the themes and the icon packages. (You need to install all three packages, as “light-themes” has – besides “murrine-engine” – “humanity-icon-theme” and “ubuntu-mono” as dependency.)

This is how it basically looks like then:


Download links & md5sums:

– Icons and light themes (architecture independent): icons_gtk-theme.zip
38479f94223bde4aa8be50995f2c3e41 humanity-icon-theme_0.5.1.5-0debian1_all.deb
4552dca4454e9385bbdf41edbb33d759 light-themes_0.1.5.8-0lenny1_all.deb
93692765dacd23ef6486902c25afd30b ubuntu-mono_0.0.8-0debian2_all.deb

– Murrine engine (i368), git20091211 (outdated): murrine-engine_i386.zip
7112f2db4dfbd70679c6a77daeac635c gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20091211-0lenny1_i386.deb

UPDATE: Murrine engine (i368), git20100323 (build on Debian testing/Squeeze, Lenny users please see comment by “FreeWheelinFrank” on Sep, 11th 2010): murrine_engine_git20100323_i386.zip
946121602345b96e9a096373b62128bb gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20100323-0debian1_i386.deb
[EDIT: The binary package doesn’t seem to work on Debian Lenny, as it was built on Debian Squeeze. Please download the sources below and follow the instructions on building the package for amd64.]

– Murrine engine (sources for building amd64 package), git20091211 (outdated): murrine-engine_src.zip
97fc0c131abe09b1e266c4d7524e41f3 gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20091211-0lenny1.diff.gz
aeff118fc1ae0f1283c8a172cd979353 gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20091211-0lenny1.dsc
13d9d8b88f04c1499a4f6911c26f8883 gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20091211.orig.tar.gz

UPDATE: Murrine engine (sources for building amd64 package, Lenny users please see comment by “FreeWheelinFrank” on Sep, 11th 2010), git20100323: murrine_engine_git20100323_src.zip
e651694ca68fc5d518effe38d9e2d597 gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20100323-0debian1.dsc
db33bcdd573ec973d99b46cbb5847940 gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20100323-0debian1_source.build
6900b48f690bc05592ff6d12d88e97b8 gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20100323-0debian1_source.changes
0891a81b060d4f52b66a4cbf62c2167c gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20100323-0debian1.tar.gz

Unpack the *.tar.gz files and check md5sums of the packages. Have fun!

Now available at gnome-look.org, too!

Ambiance/Radiance GTK themes: https://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=122142
Murrine engine: https://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=122141
Humanity/Mono icon set: https://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=122143

24 thoughts on “Ubuntu’s Ambiance/Radiance gtk themes for Debian”

  1. I remember having that same problem, so I just switched position of "maximize" and "minimize" as a workaround. In the meantime there were a couple of new releases by the Ubuntu team which do not have this problem anymore I think – but I didn't build packages for them. Running "squeeze" for quite a while now, it's not needed anymore as the "shiki-colors" themes are quite nice an can be installed directly from squeeze repositories. Sorry, that's all I have – I know, it doesn't help! 😉

  2. @Dabang, many thanks for this post. Now I can use Ambiance theme on my LMDE box (Squeeze RC2 based).

    But I have problem, and from what I see the other poster has it too. Here is the link to the screenshot (not mine):

    Look at the right corner of window. The icons are embedded in square "holes". The original Ubuntu Ambiance embeds icons in rounded (circle) "holes". I don't have to say, circles looks way better 🙂

    It is apparent for me, because I use such decorations:

    So — is it only Aimee, me, and maybe someone else problem, or there is some piece still missing?

    Thank you in advance for any tip.

  3. Hey, just wanted to say thanks for this. Worked a treat for installing the ambiance theme on Linux Mint Debian Edition (based on Squeeze). Cheers!

  4. It might work, but I guess chances are you need to update some libraries, too… If you're running Squeeze it might work more smoothly!

  5. No problem. By the way, Sugar 1.3 now works for me!

    So Squeeze is available on CD too? That's good to know, thanks! At some point I'll probably try an upgrade, and do a fresh install if that fails.

  6. Phew- got there in the end!

    I needed to reboot before the dpkg-source command was recognised.

    I needed to install the fakeroot packages before running dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot

    I then got this message:

    checking for GTK… no
    configure: error: GTK+-2.18 is required to compile murrine
    make: *** [configure-stamp] Error 1
    dpkg-buildpackage: failure: debian/rules build gave error exit status 2

    So I installed libgtk2.0-0 from backports- which brought in a lot of other stuff and made a couple of suggestions I clicked 'yes' to.

    I was then able to compile the package successfully.

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    The issue I mentioned with Lenny->Squeeze was not any worries about the stability of Squeeze, rather I'd heard that a simple upgrade of Lenny would fail without doing it in steps- kernel first, then some other packages.

    I'm waiting for those issues to get sorted out because the installation disc for Testing/Squeeze has grown to a DVD, and this computer refuses to boot from DVD.

    Thanks again for the advice- hope my comments are useful for anybody else trying to use the latest version of Murrine on Lenny.

  7. First of all: sorry it didn't work on Lenny… Please download the sources and follow the instructions on building the amd64 package. I'd guess the resulting package might have the correct dependecies.
    As to upgrading to Squeeze: to be honest, I didn't upgrade via 'apt-get', but did a clean install with one of the weekly generated installer images (KDE flavor). This worked pretty well and I did not encounter any problems. Squeeze is 'frozen' now so I don't expect to run into big ones. If you're a little adventurous, give it a try! If you heavily depend on a flawless running system than better don't.

  8. There are some dependency problems on Lenny:

    Selecting previously deselected package gtk2-engines-murrine.
    (Reading database … 101399 files and directories currently installed.)
    Unpacking gtk2-engines-murrine (from gtk2-engines-murrine_0.90.3+git20100323-0debian1_i386.deb) …
    dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of gtk2-engines-murrine:
    gtk2-engines-murrine depends on libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.29.3); however:
    Version of libatk1.0-0 on system is 1.22.0-1.
    gtk2-engines-murrine depends on libfontconfig1 (>= 2.8.0); however:
    Version of libfontconfig1 on system is 2.6.0-3.
    gtk2-engines-murrine depends on libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.24.0); however:
    Version of libglib2.0-0 on system is 2.16.6-3.
    gtk2-engines-murrine depends on libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.18.0); however:
    Version of libgtk2.0-0 on system is 2.12.12-1~lenny2.
    dpkg: error processing gtk2-engines-murrine (–install):
    dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
    Errors were encountered while processing:

  9. Cheers! I'll test it.

    How did the update go? Did you still need to do a staged update? From reading the Debian forum, it looks like changing the sources file, updating the kernel, rebooting and doing a full upgrade might work smoothly, but I'm still umming and arring about trying it. Would you recommend it for someone with limited command line skills?

  10. As I've updated Debian to testing/squeeze lately I do not have the original Lenny build environment anymore… However, I've build an updated murrine engine package which *should* work on Lenny – but I haven't tested. I don't know if this resolves your problem with sugar theme, but good luck anyway! 🙂

  11. Hi,

    Your Debian Murrine package works for me with the Murrine Shiki theme, and with Sugar 1.0, but not with the recent update, 1.3 (actually it worked until a reboot). Does sugar 1.3 depend on a later version of the Murrine engine? If so, any chance of an update for Debian Lenny users? Pretty please!

  12. Hi Aimee,
    this can be easily fixed, see Umang's post above: open gconf-editor, then go to "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" and change the order of the buttons as you like. The colon specifies the side of the window you'd like the buttons to be placed, i.e. = “close,minimize,maximize:" – if you like the buttons on the right.

  13. I've installed using the files from gnome-look.org on Debian Squeeze. Everything works well and looks okay, except for one thing. The controls are on the right side instead of the left, and the minimize control is by itself, and not rounded like the other two to the right. I was wondering if I might've done something wrong, because I /do/ want the controls on the left side. See link for screenshot of my browser with this problem: http://i38.tinypic.com/hs27fc.png

    Thank you very much for putting everything together for Debian.

  14. I'm not quite sure, but fonts in Ubuntu are bit blury with the default settings, which isn't the case with Debian (Lenny) – at least for me. So I guess, there is a difference. Maybe it's because Ubuntu comes with more current software releases? I'm just guessing, I have no deeper knowledge about font rendering, but I don't think it's related to the gtk theme.

  15. The font rendering looks different from Ubuntu's original theme. Is this a Debian problem or a theme problem? (It looks more "bold").

    Are font rendering different from Ubuntu to Debian, or am I missing something?

    Anyways, thanks for the tip!

  16. It's from Microsoft's Windows 7 theme "United States". You can extract the *.theme file with 'cabextract'. I don't know if you need a Windows 7 license to use it…

  17. I didn't really build the packages myself. Since it messes around with my settings, I just decided to unpack the source package and `cp` into the correct directories myself. That's probably why I didn't manage to get my icons proper (I didn't see the dependency on the humanity icons).

    That said, there is an easy way to set the icons back on the right-hand side: Alt+F2 >> gconf-editor >> /apps/metacity/general/button_layout = ":minimize,maximize,close" (without quotes). If you want everyone else using the computer to get the corrected buttons back, then right-click the same item and click "Set as Default".

    This article probably describes the best way to go about getting the theme. It may not be the easiest, but at least you can't blame someone else that they messed around while compiling the edited binaries on Debian. Well done!

  18. Ubuntu 10.04 Ambiance & Radiance have moved the window controls from the top right to the top left side in the theme.

    It seems quite a number of people like the new theme, but don't like the new position of the controls.

    If you don't like the controls in the new left side position for Radiance and Ambiance, you can download slightly modified versions of those themes entitled Radiance_R and Ambiance_R. I have modified these thems and posted them on Gnome-Look.org for people who would like to use them.

    Here are the links to the themes.

    Ambiance_R (Ambiance Right Side)

    Radiance_R (Radiance Right Side)

    I hope you find these beneficial and enjoy them.

    – zipperback

  19. So you're trying to build your own murrine package? If so, please install "intltool" and "quilt" as they are build dependencies ("apt-get install intltool quilt"), then try again. You can see all dependencies in the debian/control file within the source directory. The binary package should have no such dependencies.

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