Theme selection in Cinnamon 2.4
by clem 38

Information for users:

Among the many UI improvements planned for Cinnamon 2.4 is a new graphical way to select themes.

It will look like that:


(sorry I can’t show you the entire window yet as we’re still working on it).

When you click on one of these buttons, you’ll get a list of available themes:


Information for theme artists:

Icon themes

  • Icon themes will simply need to have a “folder” icon. Most themes do so they should work out of the box here and be properly rendered in the new UI.
  • If your theme provides places in multiple colors, make sure to give each color a theme and name them by suffixing the same prefix (for instance MyTheme, MyTheme-Blue, MyTheme-Red..etc). This will allow users to switch the color of individual directories in Nemo and Caja.

Cursor themes

  • Export your “arrow” picture into a 32x32px thumbnail.png and place it in your theme’s cursors directory.

Metacity themes

  • Add a 100x32px thumbnail.png in your theme’s metacity-1 directory.
  • To achieve the look below and look consistent in the theme selection screen, follow these instructions.


GTK themes

  • Add a 120x35px thumbnail.png in your theme’s gtk-3.0 directory.
  • To achieve the look below and look consistent in the theme selection screen, follow these instructions (Click here to download cinnamon-preview-gtk-theme).


Cinnamon themes

  • Add a thumbnail.png in your theme’s cinnamon directory.
  • To achieve the look below and look consistent in the theme selection screen, do the following:
    • Set your resolution to 1920×1200
    • Set your wallpaper to solid white.
    • Open a terminal, the theme selector and then the background settings.
    • Minimize all of them.
    • Open the theme selector and move it towards the top of the screen (so it doesn’t interfere with our screenshot)
    • Open the screenshot tool and set it to take a screenshot of the entire desktop after 5 seconds
    • Open the calendar applet and leave your mouse on the applet
    • Open the resulting screenshot in Gimp
    • Use the rectangle select tool to make a copy of the left of the panel and move it towards the right, near the systray and the calendar applet
    • Use the rectangle select tool to select the bottom-right of the picture, copy it, and paste it as a new image
    • Use the fuzzy selection tool to select the white area and remove it by pressing Delete
    • Export the picture as your cinnamon/thumbnail.png.


Note: You don’t NEED to do all that. In fact if you don’t your theme will still be there in the selection, but it might look out of the place. Users will enjoy not only great themes though, but themes which integrate well with the range of themes they like, so we recommend all theme artists take the time to give their theme a good looking and consistent thumbnail.

38 thoughts on “Theme selection in Cinnamon 2.4

  1. legion1978 Sep 18,2014 13:54

    what if theres a gazillion themes? will they fit in there?

    • clem Sep 18,2014 14:10

      You’ll get to scroll a little :)

      • Anand Sep 18,2014 16:56

        I suppose, ‘Get More online’ stays as such and only installed ones get listed under ‘Desktop’ option. Another cool feature would be to have the ability to rate themes inside desktop rather than having it only on Spices site. More details on feature request below

        • jeremi360 Sep 18,2014 19:02

          They can’t do this, is too many themes and websites collecting themes.
          If you want easy theme istallation search web for repostories with themes.

  2. Anand Sep 18,2014 16:20

    Clem, Nice visual way of selecting stuff. Minimal yet intuitive. Saw commits earlier and guess you have used User Account picture selection widget. Cool idea :-)


    > This may be WIP. Feel, after selection if possible it should name adjacent to picture preview
    > Would be nice if Mouse themes also show different preview modes for Pointer, Busy, Move, etc
    > Even for Icon previews, collage of popular applications would be better, IMO.

    An aside – some of the default window borders do not have Sticky, Shade options. Perhaps good time to ask artists to include these as well.

  3. Sergio Esaú Arámbula Durán (S. E. Durán) Sep 18,2014 17:31

    Hello my stimated Clem I like that new changes, When I have seen them I have screamed of emotion, is a wondeerfull change I want see it soon; BTW do not forget to add Noise music player compativility with Cinnamon, it is on the compatible players and it can be launched from the sound menu but when playing a song the sound menu has not any playback button ot the song information, Noise has MPRIS by default but Cinnamon can not work with the Noise’s controls

  4. Jake Sep 18,2014 18:12

    When will these updates will be actually released?

  5. Lotusx Sep 18,2014 21:46

    Looks good, one of my few issues with cinnamon looks to
    be fixed with that(was pretty hard to modify themes by hand before)

    Is there any plans to have an option to open windows in the center of the screen ?
    Not a big deal but a nice feature to have :-)

    Thanks for a superb distro, keep up the good work.

  6. Gabriel Sep 19,2014 04:42

    Hmmmm….lovely. :) Now I can get my desktop just the way I want it.

    Great work Mint team.

  7. Daniel4x Sep 19,2014 17:53

    Nice. Very nice indeed. Great work

  8. CupidsHelper Sep 20,2014 03:07

    I like it. :) A (IMHO) excellent way to put your theme together piece by piece, with a quick preview on each section. Cuts out or lessens the guessing of the look of the theme. Have a great weekend. :)

  9. Georgi Sep 20,2014 16:35

    Nice progress! I was dying for this changes, thanks a lot! :)

    Clem, the old theme was with dark gray task bar and white window decoration, can we finally have one single color theme as default or the new options will allow us to do this?

    Thanks in advance.

    • JosephM Sep 20,2014 19:06

      Georgi, if I understand you correctly, you can do this now. The default window border theme in Mint-X and the default Cinnamon theme that controls the color of the panel is th Linux Mint theme. If you choose Mint-X as your Cinnamon theme the panel will match.

    • JosephM Sep 20,2014 19:07

      Georgi, if I understand you correctly, you can do this now. The default window border theme in Mint-X and the default Cinnamon theme that controls the color of the panel is the Linux Mint theme. If you choose Mint-X as your Cinnamon theme the panel will match.

      • Anand Sep 22,2014 08:23

        An aside – Some of the default window border themes shipped do not have support for ‘Sticky’ and ‘Shade’icons. I suppose, this can only be implemented by original artists. Could these be requested somehow?

        • JosephM Sep 22,2014 09:50

          Anand, to be honest, most of those themes have been around so long that I doubt you could get the original artists to update them. A lot of themes out there don’t have support for buttons besides Close, Maximize, and Minimize. The Menu option is pretty well supported but the rest are really hit and miss.

        • KDB Sep 22,2014 13:19


          Instead of requesting, why don’t you do it?
          When you install a theme, you got all the file needed. So you can modify the settings as you want and then you can share the result with the community. :)

          • Anand Sep 22,2014 16:02

            I would help if I could, really. Unfortunately, I am not an artist / developer and not sure of how it all works, especially window controls. Plus, I suppose it needs some expertise in svg format which I am not familiar with. :-(

  10. Mintystark Sep 20,2014 19:51

    This is great.
    However, it would be really nice if a theme could incorporate all the elements in one package. I have never understood why a Theme is just one aspect of the UI (Window borders or Icons or desktop, etc.) To me the Theme should be all of it.

    I wish developers could just create a single package that contains all of the elements and allow the user to import a single file that updates all of these elements. Of course they could go in and modify specific elements if they wanted, but initially a single import would be easiest.

    I believe early versions of gnome did this and it was so simple.

    With this new update it seems like you could add this feature.
    Like at the bottom of this you could have a “Import Theme Package”.

  11. Brahim Sep 22,2014 15:21

    I suggest a cameleon theme for Linux Mint that changes it’s GTK, cursor and Cinnamon colours according to applied desktop background like on windows 8.

    something like this

  12. C Sep 23,2014 15:35

    I second Brahim on some kind of color-matching :)

    Unity uses it well ( one of the things I actually like about it ) and Windows does too.

    GTK3 makes that much harder than GTK2 ( not to mention cursors, Icons, etc. ), but how about Cinnamon? A nice, neutral theme that could adapt could be nice.

    Not the biggest deal, but things like that keep stuff “fun”. Cinnamon themes feel rather “rigid” as they are. It’s too bad that it can’t inherit characteristics of the GTK theme, like MATE panel does.

  13. Eric Sep 25,2014 22:41

    I noticed that a lot of themes, at least for me on Arch/Cinnamon 2.2, really have some issues, even the really popular ones. Most seem to have task bars that cover the active windows some, etc. Anyway, I think good theming abilities is important because aesthetics do matter. Sounds like this is a good move all that said and a nice touch. Maybe I should try my hand at some theming and see if I can make what I would like…

  14. Anand Sep 29,2014 03:12

    Clem, noticed a bug in new settings. Desktop themes selected and applied in pop up window are not reflected in main window after closing the popup window. Not sure, if it is already addressed in github.

    • JosephM Sep 29,2014 06:54

      I can reproduce issue. Probably not too hard to fix but I wonder if the installed themes tab should be removed completely. It provides the same functionality as the theme chooser button and I don’t really see a need for trying to keep track of that it two different places.

      • Anand Sep 29,2014 07:17

        Hmm, right…One reason i could think of, is the Name Filter it provides if anyone has lot of themes installed. Yes, but not a deal breaker.

        “What if there are gazillion themes?” happens to be the first comment. :-)

  15. Anand Sep 29,2014 07:18

    And uninstalling the themes…

  16. Anand Sep 29,2014 07:30

    Am sure, I will be considered a spammer now but there is no edit for comments…Am at work and not using Cinnamon at the moment so did not think it through…You could delete this comment after reading…

    Easiest thing would be to knock off the ‘Apply’ button. Am actually surprised its place on the left side. Restore default should have been on left side and Apply should have been on right side. Now that selection is available in main window, popup window can serve for Uninstalling, Installing, Restore etc…Maybe, both tabs could be clubbed into one…

  17. rhY Oct 6,2014 23:39

    This is exactly what Cinnamon needs. Excellent!

  18. Pegasuz Oct 10,2014 11:48

    Hi, how can I test the new cinnamon in my existing setup?

  19. Magnificu Oct 30,2014 20:29

    Hi Clem,
    I have an idea about how the new update manager can look. I did some pictures but I don’t know how to post them here. You mentioned that on the new update manager (by default) the user will see only the main packages e.g. “cinnamon”. My idea is to make it look like a tree. On the first level to see the main packages and on the second level the subpackages with are by default colapsed to the main one.
    Each main pachage can have a + in front and the user can view all the subpackages simply by expanding the tree (pressing the +) or colapse the tree back by pressing -.
    If somebody explain me how to post the pictures here I will do it.
    Please let me know what do you think and if can be implemented.
    Thank you and your team for your great work.

    • clem Oct 30,2014 20:52

      You can use I see what you mean though. I’d be happy to see the picture, although I’m very happy with the solution we got so far.

  20. syserss Feb 16,2015 04:56

    I just found this link. It will definitely let you apply the Ambience color pack to the Mint 17.1 / Cinnamon 2.4 window borders.

    Between that and the Ciliora-Prima Theme, I’ve found my solution. I hope it works for you!

Comments are closed.