Canonical unveils shiny new Ubuntu branding


Yes, after six years of the Human theme and bouncy-roundy Ubuntu logo, it's time for a change. Canonical has announced the new artwork planned for Ubuntu 10.04, aka Lucid Lynx, and it's a major departure. For starters, the word 'Ubuntu' now has sharp, clearly defined points in the font, with the familiar three-folks-hugging logo a mere blob in the corner. On the interface side, new GTK themes accompany a curious arrangement of titlebar buttons - not quite Windows, not quite Mac...

TuxRadar's take: Ubuntu's Human theme has seen plenty of tweaks over the years, but a fresh new design for 2010 is welcome. We're rather puzzled by the arrangement of the titlebar buttons though. On the one hand, taking a different approach to Windows and Mac OS X reinforces the fact that Linux is a unique operating system with its own way of doing things. Users shouldn't assume anything. On the other hand, in Win/Mac the close button is always in the corner - is it a good idea to deviate from this 'standard'? Let us know what you think.

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Your comments

" Win/Mac the close

" Win/Mac the close button is always in the corner - is it a good idea to deviate from this 'standard'?"

Only if you've never heard of Fitts's law. Clearly the 'buntu boys and girls aren't that hot on standard usability guidelines, or simply prefer form over function. Fail.

Will confuse newcomers, but

Will confuse newcomers, but someone who uses ubuntu all the time will get used to it. But to be honest the mac buttons are confussing at the start for windows users as don't have x etc.


Hang on, does this mean no more orangey-browney-muddy colours? If so, at last! If so, I will probably switch to Ubuntu instead of Mint!


I think his new look is horrible. I mean, I didn't particularly like the Brown look, but now I want it back. Ubuntu are turning into an evil corporation - first with the future prospects for the Software Centre, and now with making their website and the theme look like the website of a money-grabbing evil corporation.

I'll stick with Arch Linux for ever now!

Too much Mac

I really like the new design - but at least the default network manager symbol will give reason for lots of mocking by Mac fanboys - it looks like they designed it mainly by using an OSX screenshot tool...

It just OK...but now closing

It just OK...but now closing window is in the left side, how MAC users like this ? well am not left handed mouse user.

Re: closing

An argument we've seen in favour of having the buttons on the left:

* Other stuff is on the left (menus, toolbar buttons etc) so you don't move the mouse all the way to the other side for a window operation

And an argument against:

* It puts the close button directly above the Edit menu in many apps, thereby one mis-placed click could vape your work. Potentially...

No doubt this topic will be long debated until 10.04 is released!

I like it!

Am I the only person who likes this new look here? Sure, moving the window controls is different but then you don't hear complaints about the similar Mac layout. Meanwhile the new branding is really neat and the website, which was turning into a bit of a mess, looks really good and professional.

The brown has gone!

At last, ubuntu has got what it needed, a new colour scheme and background. No longer will the newbies be put off by ubuntu's terrible and boring brown.

Why change?

For the last twenty odd years the basic window controls have been in the top right hand corner, so why change it? Hasn't it worked? Looks to me that the crowd at Ubuntu are being radical for radical sake.

There has generally been a button on the top left hand corner that has had the same functions (and more) in a drop down menu which I imagine only a minority of people use.

Now, if they want to be radical, how about leaving the single button there, placing the window title just to the right of the button, in stead of being central and scrapping the the three, minimize, maximize and close buttons? Then it will be even more tidier and confusing to new and old hands.

As for the logos, to me they are too sharp and hurt the eyes so, to my mind, different, not better.

@TomMan and others

They aren't making their website look like a money grubbing corporation, they are making it look crisp, clean, and modern. I never cared for Moblin, but I always appreciated their look, which I found to be much superior to UNR.

A few appearance changes shouldn't affect your decision to use it or not, but if you don't like it, hey, it's linux, just change it. You can certainly change the window manager if you like. I have a feeling there will be an option to put it back on the right side due to demand, even if not in the initial launch.

The majority of code written for Linux these days is on the clock of corporations. If you don't want any greedy corporate types touching your OS then you should switch to HURD and grow a beard and soak with RMS about the evils of not being a socialist twit.

Freedom is about the absense of restrictions, and that means letting everybody have a seat at the table. Life doesn't have to be lived in extremes. If we want to bring the good open source software and culture to the mainstream, then we need a Distro that can also play in the closed source corporate world as well. Most people like proprietary programs, especially games, many of which would never reach the quality that they do if they were open source because of the top-down planning and massive funding required. Open source games suck, and they always will. There may be a good one here and there, but they can't compete with the offerings of Activision/Blizzard, EA, and others.

Ubuntu was being funded by a 'evil' money grubbing corporation long before now. The legal mandate of a corporation is to make money for their shareholders.

Is it any wonder that the top distributions are all backed by major corporations? Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Mandriva.

The marriage of the two worlds is what the future is made of, not the FSF zealots who want to push their political ideology off through software. Why can't people see the glass as half full. Don't think about the evil corporations tainting your holy software, think about the open source culture lifting up an old inflexible industry and giving it new life.

I think Bruce Perens said it best in the 'Revolution OS' documentary. A rebel is put off by success. If you don't like the positive direction Linux is heading, then please don't let the door hit you on the way out.

title here


Change for the sake of change, it seems.

Good decision.

I like the new theme & graphics and can see that they are more appealing than the old ones. I think they'd be sensible to let people change the window buttons' location easily, though. Perhaps giving them the option to change the buttons' location in themes and appearances.

@Andrew Cole

I love Linux, so much so that I don't use Windows at home at all. But I do feel that Ubuntu are basically copying the interface from Mac OS X, which for me personally I do not like.

As for the website, I think that the current one is good enough, for example I do not like the little orange logos as I think that they do not really show exactly what they are meant to show.

Apart from this, I do like the new logo and the new website design for xubuntu.

Looks awesome to me.

Looks awesome to me.

Fitts' Law Blah blah

Buttons left, buttons right, Fitts' law blah blah blah. Think about this:

1. Mouse to file open, mouse to edit/paste etc. Mouse to close window... short distance to travel less RSI!

2. Ctrl w or q, window close.

So who cares!

Talk for talks sake. I think it looks nice.

It's not like you cannot change it

If you don't like it, you can always make a few changes when you get it. Whether it's a new wallpaper or theme or whatever.

But I do agree that Linux should not be copying Mac or Windows or whomever. Linux should be distinct.


It seems a bit odd to have the minimize, maximize and close buttons on the left.
It's still some time until the release, so this might change. I believe this is done after testing and retesting, if not. Maybe they will do so prior to launch.

Anyway: I am looking forward to do a fresh install of this LTS version which I am planning on using for a while.

Apologies for just using the word "Spazzing"

Sorry, I just remembered that "spazz" is a slur against the mentally-handicapped to you guys over in the UK.

It doesn't have any of the same meaning in the USA (where I live) - it just means "clumsy" or "ridiculous".

With that said, don't freak out. Ubuntu is working just fine, in fact, even better, than it has in the past. It's way more improved over Karmic than Karmic was over Jaunty. I'd go as far as to say it's hands down the best improvement in an Ubuntu release EVER. It's really amazing.


Has nobody noticed this so far?
Not everyone knows about ALT+Tab. If a user wants to switch from task to task in this new setup, they have to close or minimise or minimise-and-drag their current window. This is insane! Far worse than moving the window-operation buttons to the left (which, according to a previous post, hasn't even actually been done).


The screenshots were taken with the taskbar set to autohide. Nothing has changed from previous versions.

Its going to be

Its going to be great.
People should not make such a big deal whether ubuntu start looking like mac or other software or whether it's an ugly colour or something. This is petty and defeat purpose of software and that is to get things done in the most efficient and painless manner.
As things go through an evolution they always move in a certain direction and if all software is moving towards a certain shape linux user should not spite themselves boicotting a distro just because it looks like the competitors. Anyhow linux has loads of customization tools.

An evil corporation's training in diversion tactics?

Big deal...

Ubuntu/Canonical is one step closer of being enslaved by Microsoft the way Novell and others were (Yahoo! + Bing becoming the default in Ubuntu's Firefox instead of Google).

OpenOffice and GIMP are being removed from Ubuntu (please correct me if I am misinformed).

And now they come up with a new visual theme to cover the other changes up? C'mon, WTF?

So sad. Ubuntu/Canonical, what have you become...

@ Andrew Cole

Big, evil corporations are responsible for the sorry state of things the world is today. Sure, our social misery is not recent, nor are the corporations alone responsible for all the disgrace.

However, they are the instruments of greed, corruption and environmental degradation. Corporations try to contaminate the food chain with GMOs so that they are able to claim patents on what nature would provide for free. They hide the damage done to the public by their products and byproducts. They pollute and destroy. They create false necessities. They start wars. They exploit people. They corrupt, steal, lie, deceive, kill... and that's all for their shareholders to pocket their millions of dollars, at the expense of everyone else. It is not a matter of blind ideology - the facts are there if you want to see them.

I don't want Linux associated with those guys.

You might want to open your eyes and leave your naïveté behind you.

Unless you are a beneficiary of the status quo...

@Polly the Parrot

"OpenOffice and GIMP are being removed from Ubuntu" - Let me correct you - There was a proposal to have Openoffice removed FROM THE UBUNTU NETBOOK REMIX, but I think it was reversed. Most people don't use the GIMP anyway, big loss. If you are good enough to use it, I'll assume you're not so daft you don't know to type "apt-get install gimp", since it will still in the repos. They just want to clear space on the default install cd to fit in more cool stuff, instead of bundling specialist software. Now if they could remove mono - not for the ideological reasons, before I'm lynched - but to free space, just bundle GNote and Shotwell instead of Tomboy and F-Spot (I think they're the only ones that use the mono environment). I think that would free more space.


I can't believe all the ridiculous, delirious screeching about Ubuntu's new look meaning that now Canonical has "sold out" and is "becoming an evil corporation."


Just because the theme is nice doesn't mean that Canonical is going to start opening sweat shops in the Philippines and breaking international trading laws. It's just an aesthetic change.


OK putting it in the left is far enough but not putting the x in the corner? This is completly ridiculous. However people will get used to it but what's the point in making people get used to something that isn't going to enhance their experience in any way. It does look nicer though. However I hate the grey. Provide some alternate colours and it will look great. This will never make me move to ubuntu as I am happty on arch though.

@ Horace

My post:
"OpenOffice and GIMP are being removed from Ubuntu (please correct me if I am misinformed)."

Your post:
"I'll assume you're not so daft you don't know to type "apt-get install gimp"..."

No, I am not so daft. Why would one suppose otherwise, anyway?

And thank you for correcting this misinformed poster.

And, for practical *and ideological* reasons (of which I am not ashamed), I would love to see Mono go away. If it is only used for Tomboy and F-Spot, they could remove it. By doing this, they would free much more space than by removing that small piece of "specialist software" (I hope people notice the irony and their lack of consistence here).

@ Myself

In my response to Horace, above, I mentioned something about "lack of consistence".
Re-reading my post after hitting 'Enter' I noticed that I was implicitly saying that the "lack of consistence" was Canonical's.

Since Canonical is not removing Mono yet, they are not being inconsistent in that respect and I take back what I said about it.

But the irony still applies...

I'll upgrade...

safe in the knowledge that MY scheme for how Ubuntu looks will not change.
After-all, ALL parts of the desktop are easily configurable and easily personalized- try that with Win or OSx.


I think the new logo is horrible, the colours are so bland and dull, but the desktop looks fantastic. Anyway, if you don't like it, it's not like you can't change it.

I love it!

Yes I love the new direction Ubuntu is bringing us. Very exciting indeed. Fedora too is getting quite nice.
And I have learned something new by reading the comments above: ctrl+w (or q) is closing the window. Very handy and now I am not even bothered where to click with the mouse.
Although a Fedora user I will install Ubuntu in case it is going to look like proposed. Cheers.


Once again, a twist, a variation on a theme of ugly. At least it's easy to change. And about the buttons... that's just stooooooopid. I will never have the buttons on the left. I use KDE anyway, which the ubu folks never change from default. Last, i find it amusing that some are commenting they will use/not use ubuntu now because of the theme. Um... wow... lazy and petty.

Keep the original logo and "Ubuntu" font

The new font to be used for "Ubuntu" looks terrible. Keep the original font. Colors on the sample logos aren't bright enough. I must admit the desktop looks good/attractive. However, I would rather keep the max/min/close buttons on the top-left where they should be.


I meant, I'd rather keep the max/min/close buttons on the top-right where they should be.

Go back to Debian

This is nonsense and i don't think that the new color scheme will be better, back to debian and if they lose their mind go back to slack.

Very nice indeed

Currently running Ubuntu-10.04 Alpha with the new looks and I love it. Ubuntu is to stay now.

This is why I use

This is why I use Gentoo.

Sure you will spend one week learning how to install basic desktop.
Another week to understand how emerge/USE/cfg-update/package.* work
And the last third week experimenting to create your desktop to what you want.

But then, you are SET. You get stuff installed with things you want and pulled only when you want it to be pulled. This is something that only Gentoo is capable of. And it provides system policy(USE) and code maturity separation, something that Archlinux isnt capable of(breaking AUR; like 10 separated, hard to update pkgbuilds instead of ONE ebuild with 10 use flags).

E5300 or Athlon II X2 cost 40$ nowadays, hardware isnt a problem anymore.

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