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December 2, 2010 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Has anybody published a Hardy Heron skin for Lucid Lynx?

I don't like the Lucid Lynx artwork. Not even slightly. I know lots of people do; I am not among them. I also disliked the repositioned window controls, and I disliked the "my way or the highway" attitude adopted by Canonical during the Lucid alpha period. So I chose the highway, and am now happily running Debian Squeeze instead.

But I have installed Ubuntu Hardy on several customer machines, and some of them are starting to upgrade to Lucid (mostly unintentionally, it must be said) and several have asked for help to get back the nice-looking desktop they used to have before the upgrade.

Has anybody published a Gnome theme for Lucid to make it look just like Hardy used to? Same choice of desktop background art, same panel colors, same window control positioning?
posted by flabdablet to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I don't know what Hardy looked like, but there is a 'proper' way-ish to change the window controls back to a sane position. IIRC, under System->Preferences->Appearance, chose the New Wave theme, then Customize and set Controls, Window Border to Ambiance and Icons to Ubuntu-Mono-Dark and then Save As your New Ambiance theme. Evidently the New Wave theme didn't get the controls moved to the wrong side so you can use it as a base to get them back to their right place. Supposedly the gconf positioning hacks aren't the right way to make this change...

Is Debian working out for you? Ubuntu is also starting to irk me and I'm thinking of Debian or CentOS before going back to my harsh Gentoo mistress.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:09 PM on December 2, 2010

Seems like it should be one or more of these that you need to install and then change the theme setting in preferences. If that doesn't work, I'd go hit up the old hardy mirrors and grab the icons/themes packages and unpack them manually.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:19 PM on December 2, 2010

hit up the old hardy mirrors and grab the icons/themes packages and unpack them manually

Yeah, I'm fully aware that there are assorted ways to get what I want via fiddling and fartarsing about. Just wanted to see if anybody else had already done that, packaged it up nicely and saved me the trouble. I will try the official human-theme package and report back - thanks.

Is Debian working out for you?

Turns out that the main Ubuntu feature that made it work for me was the Debian package management it's built on and yes, Debian is excellent. I installed Debian Squeeze, changed all occurrences of the word "squeeze" inside /etc/apt to "testing", put XFCE and gdm on it and it's just a breath of fresh air.

I like knowing that Testing is essentially a rolling-release distro (albeit one with fairly substantial near-freezes as the next release is getting close to ready) and that all I will ever have to do from now on is the occasional aptitude update && aptitude safe-upgrade && aptitude full-upgrade to get current versions of everything.

I like that the current Linux kernel in Testing (2.6.32-5) is not too far behind the bleeding edge and will be kept reasonably up to date outsize the freeze periods.

I like that Debian has a GNU/Hurd variant available as well as all its GNU/Linux ones. Haven't played with it yet, but probably will at some point.

I like that reaching up into Unstable or Experimental to grab bleeding-edge packages generally involves a far less deep descent into dependency hell than trying similar tricks with frozen-release distros (trying to install Intrepid's 3G mobile networking support on my Dad's Hardy box was frustrating enough to make me just install Intrepid, which I liked less).

I like having confidence in the Debian project's (possibly borderline obsessive-compulsive) dedication to democratic decision making.

And the more I use Debian, the more I realize that Canonical would not have had a hope of making Ubuntu work as well as it does without the countless hours the Debian community has put into building what's widely (and justifiably, in my view) considered to be the best-engineered GNU/Linux distro available.

I'm currently running Testing on both my main desktop machines, my always-on home server, and the VM host server I've set up at school to run all the school's Windows servers inside. I've been doing that since early this year and so far I have not had any reason to even think of jumping distros. Debian is a Good Thing.
posted by flabdablet at 8:51 PM on December 2, 2010

Oh, and I've avoided the entire Red Hat family since dumping Red Hat 9 for Ubuntu Breezy, simply because the default install is so, so Everything And The Kitchen Sink and I had bad experiences with things breaking unexpectedly when I uninstalled stuff I thought I didn't need. The Debian way seems to be: make a very minimal installation solid and workable, but put everything (including fifteen different kinds of kitchen sink) in the repositories so anything you could conceivably want to do is never more than an aptitude install away.

On first exposure to Debian, I was mildly irritated to find that traceroute wasn't there by default. Hell, how could a *nix admin live without traceroute? But it's a tiny package, it installs in seconds, and installing things like it before their first use wastes far less of my time than stripping out bloat from other distros (let alone Windows!) ever did. The longer I use Debian, the more I appreciate its minimal-by-default stance.
posted by flabdablet at 9:00 PM on December 2, 2010

OK. The human-theme package for Lucid was already installed, but selecting Human under System->Preferences->Theme didn't look right. There's another package called legacyhuman-theme and it doesn't look right either.

After the expected amount of fiddling and fartarsing, I found that simply reaching back into Hardy for the human-theme package works just fine. To make Hardy repository available again, I used

sed -n '/lucid main/s/lucid/hardy/p' /etc/apt/sources.list | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/old-ubuntu.list
sudo aptitude update

and then installed the Hardy version of human-theme with

sudo aptitude purge human-theme
sudo aptitude -t hardy install human-theme
sudo aptitude hold human-theme

Selecting Human then makes the panels and windows look like they did in Hardy. And a Google image search for hardy heron wallpaper got me the heron image back, so now all is well.

Thanks, Rhomboid.
posted by flabdablet at 6:05 AM on December 3, 2010

Canonical would not have had a hope of making Ubuntu work as well as it does without the countless hours the Debian community has put into [Debian]

Yup. The best thing about Ubuntu is Debian, and I'm an Ubuntu user because it's a good and easy way to get a reasonably up-to-date and stable Debian distro. (And, yeah, the default Lucid wallpaper is teh ugly.)
posted by Zed at 10:16 AM on December 3, 2010

I'm an Ubuntu user because it's a good and easy way to get a reasonably up-to-date and stable Debian distro

That was exactly my reasoning when I first installed Ubuntu all those years ago. But I've now been so pleasantly surprised by my Debian Squeeze experience that I don't feel any need to switch back. I'm also more comfortable with Debian's release-when-ready culture than with Ubuntu's relentless release treadmill.

I still think Ubuntu is a great distro, and probably still a better option than Debian for people without prior Linux experience, if only for the breadth of readily-available support. But I can't see me switching back.
posted by flabdablet at 3:25 PM on December 3, 2010

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