Minimal Gnome – My Ubuntu Theme / Layout

I’ve tweaked my OS layout quite a bit lately to highly customize it to give me alot of screen real estate. I’m pretty satisfied with it and decided to share.

Minimal Gnome (monitor 1)

Minimal Gnome (monitor 2)


Minimal Gnome 3 (apps)

I will give you instructions on how to setup your Ubuntu 10.10 to be like this, however note this guide will expect you to be moderately technically experienced with the Linux OS… not going to hand feed things here.

First, download my theme:
And the background:

This theme is based off the Clearlooks theme, which was very white. I based off this because alot of apps are not friendly to dark backgrounds for input boxes and web pages, messing up websites without full CSS rules, and apps like Evolution having dark backgrounds and people setting black fonts made it impossible to read. So we want to keep some aspects white still while making the overall OS dark.
I’ve modified the colors of Clearlooks to do this. With a very nice blend of dark greys.

Unzip the MinimalGnome theme into your ~/.themes/ folder. Then go to System > Preferences > Appearence and choose it.
Go to backgrounds tab and choose this background, and select a background color thats dark. This background is transparent and will blend to what ever background color you choose!

You should now be dark!

Next steps is to rearrange Gnome panels to be like mine to get a nice minimal theme.

First, delete the Menubar on the top panel, then add a “Main Menu” to the panel (Not Menu Bar!) This gives you the same things as the Menu bar but all in 1 Ubuntu button.
Then beside that button add a Drawer.

Put all your apps inside the Drawer. Simply click it to open, open app, it closes.

Next move your Window List off the bottom panel and drag it to the top (there is a little handle to the left of the Window List, right beside show desktop if you still have that on panel, look closely)
If you cant drag it, simply delete it and readd it to your top panel flush to the left of the Ubuntu menu and Drawer icons. (Add to Panel > Window List)

Note you can right click on any panel and click move to move the panel easily and get each one tightly flushed to each other. Get that Ubuntu menu, Drawer and Window list flush left!
Then delete the bottom panel to get rid of it. (Move workspace/trash/showdesktop to top if you really want those)

Repeat the same on other monitors, and that will cover your base OS layout.
Simply drag apps into Drawer or right click on Drawer and Add to Drawer to add things.

Next up is the Firefox slim down.

You need a few addons for Firefox 3.6. I have not done this for 4.0 yet so this guide is for 3.6!

Get the following:
Tree Style Tabs:
Hide Caption Titlebar Smart:
Compact Menu 2:

Now from a base line installing these addons and maximizing firefox should get you to nearly where I am.
You don’t need to mirror my settings exactly and I dont know how to get you to exactly where I am, but you should be close now. So go tweak your setup to YOUR liking from here.

Tabs setup is in Tree Style Tabs addon, the hidden title bar is in Hide Caption Titlebar addon, and the theme itself is Foxdie in your tools menu and the fox icon in status bar, and it auto popups the configuring page on first start.

Tweak things to how you want them. Good luck!

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I am very passionate about development, and communities. I am now living my dream of running my own gaming company, as I have now founded Starlis LLC and operate the Empire Minecraft service, the place where I met my lovely wife Mia!

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I am Senior Software Engineer and Entrepeneur. I am an enthusiast and love creating things. I operate my own side company in my free time called Starlis LLC, working in Minecraft.

I enjoy doing things right and learning modern technologies.