Category Archives: Themes


I think most people who design Metacity themes don’t read this blog, which is a shame because they’re a particularly specialist bunch of users and I’d like their opinions on things. Does anyone know where enough of them hang out that I could contact them? Or should I just bcc contact addresses in a bunch […]

Half-finished code finishing marathon time

I have several half-finished bits of code lying around.  I think I’ll make an effort to merge them in, at least in test branches, to see what people think.  (When we get a DVCS, this will be easier.) Veracity, a test suite.  This is about two-thirds done, but will require a bit of autotools magic […]

Theme speed

The speed Metacity renders decorations depends on the theme in use. If you want to time all the themes installed and view them, use: for G in $(locate metacity-theme-1|grep /usr/share/themes|cut -d/ -f5); do metacity-theme-viewer $G; done Mean client-side times on my system to draw each frame, in ascending order of speed: Prelude (the theme given […]

A simple theme: Prelude

This is in answer to Stuart Langridge’s question about how the XFCE theme Prelude can be ported to Metacity.  Here is a quick attempt at porting it; I’ll be referring to that in what follows.  In order to install this theme for yourself, do: mkdir -p ~/.themes/Prelude/metacity-1 wget -O ~/.themes/Prelude/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml I’m not talking about […]

Take that, Descartes

Listen to this. Here are two ideas with which I broadly agree: A theme format is less useful without a program to edit the theme files.  Having to modify XML by hand is not a prospect which most people relish. If there’s to be a third version of the Metacity theme format, it would be […]

Theme patriation

As some of you have requested discussion of the issue of GTK taking over the responsibility of window border decoration from Metacity, I’ve raised the issue on gtk-devel-list.  Hop over there and throw in your two pennies, if you like. In unrelated news, this is the hundredth post on this blog.  Hurrah!

The one where we argue about themes a lot

The Metacity theme format has been roughly the same for six years now.  Many people are quite happy with it as it is, but we fairly regularly get people coming along and asking why it can’t do this or that and how they can make it do so.  The trouble is that changing the theme […]

Justifying window titles

It was said that Metacity doesn’t let you decide whether titles of windows are left-justified (as in modern versions of MS Windows) or centre-justified (as on the Mac). But actually, it’s a theme issue to decide how a title is drawn. Here’s how to change your theme from centre-justified to left-justified. First, find out what […]

Understanding Metacity themes

This is an article about how to theme Metacity. It is a work in progress, and I have had to dig deeply to find some answers; I may well have made mistakes and I welcome corrections and suggestions. GNOME lets you theme a bunch of different things, but we’re only talking about window border themes […]