As you probably already knew, MATE desktop environment is the continuation of GNOME 2 desktop. GNOME developers moved away with their highly ambitious GNOME 3 shell; but the love for GNOME 2 remained amidst its users. That’s how the MATE desktop was born.
MATE desktop by default is very bare bone and dull looking. I’m using Ubuntu MATE 14.04.4 and it comes with the MATE 1.8.2 desktop. Ubuntu MATE’s developer did some Ubuntu-ish touch to MATE. That’s why MATE in Ubuntu looks at-home. Nonetheless, I felt like this could be made more beautiful and awesome looking desktop, for my family members think Linux desktop is very old-fashioned and looks awful!
I did use Numix Project‘s GTK theme, icon theme, and wallpapers to beautify the MATE desktop. At least now it looks like a modernized desktop, which is pleasant to the eyes.
Here’s how I did it: I added Numix’s PPA to my Ubuntu with the following command/s:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:numix/ppa
And then updated the repository sources,
sudo apt-get update
I executed the following command to install Numix GTK theme:
sudo apt-get install numix-gtk-theme
And then, I installed the Numix icon themes. Numix developed couple of icon themes. I wanted to install all of them. So I used the following command:
sudo apt-get install numix-icon-theme*
This installed all the Numix icon themes available in Launchpad.
Then, I used the command below to install Numix wallpapers’ collection. I didn’t like them much, but they would make it complete with GTK and icon theme. So I installed them anyway.
sudo apt-get install numix-wallpaper-*
This command installed all the numix wallpapers, for I used the wildcard (*).
Now, the installation part is complete. I have to implement them. You can set the GTK theme going to System > Preferences > Appearance. I recommend selecting the first theme, that is Custom. Select Custom theme and click on Customize. In the Controls tab, scroll down and you’ll find Numix and Numix Daily, two themes from Numix there. Select any one you like. I didn’t find much difference between them.
Now, go to Window Border tab and select any one of Numix borders: Numix or, Numix Daily as before.
Now, go to Icons tab and select any of the Numix icon themes. I found Numix Circle to be most suited to MATE desktop. Rest is your preferences.
Now that, your Numix theme and icons adorned your desktop, you might want to set a Numix wallpaper that you just downloaded. For that, go to System > Preferences > Appearance > Background. Click on Add, and select backgrounds from the sidebar. Now you’ll see couple of wallpapers. Choose and set the ones you like.
With setting all-things-Numix on your MATE desktop, it should already look awesome! At least it’s better looking than the default-look, won’t you say?