Ubuntu Look & Feel - migration to GNOME DE

Here are settings and configs of various applications (including specific values) for migrating to any distro having an updated version of GNOME. I’m personally using Arch Linux/Antergos since some years, so everything included here should work there. Before moving over I was used to Ubuntu’s look & feel.

Used functions

gset() { gsettings set "$1" "$2" "$3" ; }
dset(){ dconf write "$1/$2" "$3" ; }

Theme / Ambiance

Over the time I tried a lot of themes & color schemes, previously I was used to Ambiance (which is a really great theme!), but now I moved over to Numix theme, both got a lot of similarities. The fact is that Ambiance is made for unity + outdated gtk, but not for other DE’s as well. I tried a lot of Ambiance-like themes for most common DE’s and I have to admin it either looked very different, there was no further support/updates, or they produced crashes/ were not stable enough. In comparision Numix is available for most DE’s in older and latest versions. If theres a new gtk/gnome-shell version out Numix maybe needs a week to get it fixed, but thats it.

I personally use the Numix-Frost gnome-shell & Numix gtk theme now – excluding iconset. You can find more informations at the project homepage, and a lot of guides howto install the theme using a quick search.

# Apply theme
gset "org.gnome.desktop.interface" "gtk-theme" "Numix"
gset "org.gnome.shell.extensions.user-theme" "name" "'Numix-Frost'"


You can download Ubuntu wallpaper packs e.g. from the ubuntu-wallpapers Launchpad project. The default wallpaper of each version can also be downloaded standalone from OMG!Ubuntu!


Listed are the default font & color settings on Ubuntu. You can use e.g. http://terminal.sexy/ to generate a config for your favourite terminal. This Gist contains a script to add the scheme to your gnome-terminal profile list.

Unity dock

If you are used to the left dock and the way how it works - and you want to try GNOME now - maybe take a look at the Dash to Dock extension.

To get Unity-like dock feeling:

My personal “New-Desktop-Setup-Script” for Arch Linux includes these lines to apply those settings:

dset "$SCHEME" "apply-custom-theme"     false
dset "$SCHEME" "background-opacity"     0.33
dset "$SCHEME" "dock-fixed"             true
dset "$SCHEME" "extend-height"          true
dset "$SCHEME" "hot-keys"               true
dset "$SCHEME" "icon-size-fixed"        true
dset "$SCHEME" "intellihide-mode"       "'FOCUS_APPLICATION_WINDOWS'"
dset "$SCHEME" "opaque-background"      true
dset "$SCHEME" "show-apps-at-top"       true