Carbon – Mint 5

I’d like to get everybody’s opinion on this:

As you can see it looks far more professional (shall I say boring?) than the theme we’re currently using. It’s all grey and squary looking but it has two huge advantages:

  • It looks pro.
  • A lot of space is gained on the screen (the widgets take much less and that leaves more space for content). In particular the difference is  impressive in mintMenu and in Firefox.

Tell us what you think. There’s no doubt we’ll include this as a choice in Elyssa but I’d like to know what people think about this becoming the default theme.



  1. In my opinion, this is WAY better than the current theme! It’s incredibly beautiful. Make it default!

  2. it doesn’t look bad, but…eh. have you tried making the banner text or the button backgrounds green over the black?

  3. I think this looks excellent!
    I much prefer grey themes because it really helps to keep focus on the application and its content. Apple does this, and I think it is quite effective. Smaller is better too, especially for laptops. Good job!!

  4. Is it possible to make the icons on the file browser smaller? That would help to gain even more space (like in kde).

  5. Icons in nautilus and desktop looks like but all grey screen is poor. I’m working on SUSE in my job (PSA peugeot citroen) and Mint in my house. Please keep Mint most look like than SUSE.

    Wallpaper carbon is good

  6. I like it. It’s nice and clean. So many distros are going for “Bling”, for garrish, in-your-face wierdness, and emeraldy-type gaudiness is becomng the new basic black.

    I think it’s attractive without being overboard. I think it’s clean and tight, and looks like something someone over the age of 13 would use as a serious, get-their-work-done desktop 😉

    1 thumb up here, Clem.

  7. Clem,

    I’m not really sure qht you are asking. If you want an opinion on the window themes, it certainly looks better than the standard Mint. I am running a Compiz/Emerald to make it suit my needs.

    I like the new icon set too.

    A change to the desktop default might be due. I saw in Distro Watch the new Gnome PClinuxos desktop: very clean and impressive.

    The critical thing is to provide options for themes and desktops (which of course is what Mint does).

    My $0.02 worth.


  8. The space gain is very welcome, though the theme looks really boring. Oh well, you can’t have everything.
    Besides, the brown icons look out of place; I’d recommend not to use more than two colors (for example gray and green or gray and blue) for consistence.

  9. It actually looks neat and clean. I like it being gray. If we can make it an eye-candy look, i personally think it will be awesome.

  10. I really like the ‘square’ and minimal window decoration; it looks professional and the increased real-estate will be a boon for people running at lower resolutions.

    I agree with Kanishka that the brown icons aren’t necessarily the best combination with the grey/black/green theme.

    I’m not sure I fully agree with Rob; unless it can be guaranteed that Compiz-Fusion effects will work on every computer it’s probably not a good idea to turn them on by default. In my opinion, compatibility is more important than special effects when it comes to default themes.

    But if you’re into special effects I can recommend this Emerald theme with Compiz-Fusion: (although it is not exactly space efficient).

    I think the wallpaper looks good, but I would say that – I created it 😉

  11. I dont like the scroll bars and the way you cant tell which is the bar and which is the background colour at a glance, you have to kind of work it out by looking to see if you are at the top of the window or not. Maybe your eyes get used to it, but at a glance its quite confusing.

    I also don’t like that the minimise, maximise buttons are greyed out even on the active window. I think if they became more prominent it would help to show which window is active which is quite hard at the moment because the windows all look the same aside from the white text in the active window.

    I guess what I’m saying is aside from looks I’d have some usability concerns with this theme.

    I’d be a bit concerned about you saying this looks “professional” because I don’t think the old theme looked unprofessional, or that we need to make things more minimalistic in order to look professional.

    I personally really like the Xubuntu 7.10 look

  12. I used the gion icon theme for ages and was a fan though the back/forward buttons seem a bit “burnt”.

    The window borders are terrible – They look distant.

  13. I like the new theme, good work! The only thing I’m not too keen on are the brown icons. Are the window shadows part of the new Gnome, or compiz? Would be great if this is how a normal Gnome setup without compiz would look.

  14. Hi Clem

    I think this theme is great. I commented on the last theme post that a theme like this would be good!

    Looks very stylish, clean and modern i think.

  15. If you make a Linux Mint 5 Alpha release, you could let the community try to come up with something nice for a theme.

  16. Sorry, I don’t like it.

    With the available tools and themes that are in the gnome-look website, you can come with something better.

    Personally, the striped wallpaper bothers me, also in Daryna. It doesn’t look crispy enough and with today LCD monitors, the it’s really bothering.

    I have a questions, are you going to include gnome do in Elyssa or in Linux Mint 6? I think it’s looks very cool and works pretty good.

    I know that it’s impossible to please everyone, but I would take a deeper look at how Linux Mint should look.

    I think it will be a very interesting idea to create different workspaces, that have pre-arranged desktop themes. I know that currently there are similar approaches, but it still not very polished. The workspaces will include different menu options, wallpapers, icons, desktop themes, window colors, etc.

    So if you want a more microsoft-professional look, you will have one workspace, if you want a cool workspace you could change it. There should be a workspace manager that will allow you to change the workspace in the fly. More than that, if you are using compiz, every side of the cube, could use a different workspace, so when your boss come around you can change to the “official” workspace quickly and unnoticed.

    A question related to other matter. How Linux Mint will address the new Wubi installation like it’s possible today with the new Ubuntu release?

    Thanks, and sorry for the long and not very clear post.

  17. I like it. That would be my immediate default theme. I like the simple clean pro look. The brown icons go well imo. Please include this theme.

    Oh and as elbeto said, what about Wubi? Also I’m not sure if this has been addressed, but what about Encrypted LVM option?

  18. elbeto said:
    “Personally, the striped wallpaper bothers me, also in Daryna. It doesn’t look crispy enough and with today LCD monitors, the it’s really bothering.”

    This is a different wallpaper than the one that came with Daryna. You can download it here: at 2560×1600 or 1600×1200 and resize it to your monitor’s resolution – it should look ‘crispy’ even on a large LCD.

  19. love the look, specially the icon design, best look ever for mint.

    the brown, dark gray and green looks professional.

    the scroll bars could be a bit darker and highlight on mouse over

    i just hope that in firefox you fixed the google search plugin. The google/mint plugin you made was horribly unusable and didn’t have the cache page option (the main reason why many of us use google) i was forced to get the original google one (after 30min of searching). Also, substituting the google logo for the big mint banner was a bad distraction.

    i suggest that If you’re going to include the plugin again, also *include the original* or make it as similar as the original so i don’t notice the difference and may continue working without distraction….

    about the theme, once you release the beta, let users use it for a while and vote on it 🙂

    If the theme is good people will keep it.

  20. I like the theme a lot – The only change I would make is to round the corners a bit. But either way I really like the gray. I vote default.

  21. I personally like the brown folder icons over the green ones. This is up for being the default?

    In response to a comment above, I would not like to have the desktop dependent on compiz. In my usage it is not ready for prime time. It is a needless resource hog that only lends instability. One of the primary reasons I use GNU/Linux is stability…compiz defeats the purpose.

    In short I think this is a fine theme for default, but I really like the WildMint theme previously posted.


  22. I like it!
    Except the button icon for arrows, stop, reload and so on.
    I think the minty ones from Mint4 look better.
    Is it like that, because of Fx3 integration? Too many color for me. Reminds me KDE 🙁
    The rest is looking good to be a default theme.

  23. I think that it looks great! I think that the clean look is great for business environments. You have my vote on this one.

  24. …the icons leave a lot to be desired though, and it is not complete, since alot of the “standard” Gnome icons are showing here and there.
    Mint reaaly needs it’s “own” icon set!

  25. OK fellows,
    Let’s not forget that Mint 5.0 is going to be an enterprise,
    professional edition.
    The desktop and theme should look professional even if it seems to be boring to some people.

    Good work, Clem. Elyssa is really going to be the distribution of the year.
    Cheers, npap

  26. I dont’t like it.
    wheres the green? Mint should attach to only one color scheme for visual identification (brown folders?).

    “With the available tools and themes that are in the gnome-look website, you can come with something better.”

    The objective of mint is to give linux users a modern-looking desktop. Not a pro-boring one (for that we have ubuntu).
    This “pro” default aproach goes in the wrongway of all modern desktops (vista, OSX, kde4). The balance between eye-candy and usuability, IMO, is the path to follow.

    I really liked the aurora themes. With a little polishment they could become nice default ones.

    btw, all-black desktop is SO nerdish. Not something that ordnary pepople would like.

  27. Clem, it’s too dark… I like it, but you know how blue rules in the corporate world… I would maybe keep the wallpaper, but change the same window-bar to something blueish… However I like the idea of saving screen space, it is very important…

    The icon theme isn’t very “pro-looking”… While the “home” icon looks great, as well as the “network” one, the folders are not nice: They are too “vertical”, they would look more harmonious if they were horizontal (like in the Daryna default theme)…

  28. I would definitely like this theme a lot better with rounded edges, at least when not maximized. The corners are very… sharp. Any chance you could offer it both ways?

  29. Granted, I’ve never worked in an enterprise environment so I’ll admit I don’t know anything, but where are all these comments coming from that this looks “professional”. I don’t think pointy corners and a darker appearance make the gnome desktop suddenly look way more professional when rounded corners and colours somehow looked unprofessional. What makes something look professional or not is whether it looks nice in general.

    When I look at this theme I dont see it as being more professional, I just see it as being in a different style. In fact if anything I think it looks more “stylised” than the more average gnome themes we have used up until now, and in my mind “stylised” is not something that I associated with professionalism, instead I associate middle of the road and “Unlikely to cause offence” i.e.. the Fedora default look as professional.

  30. I mostly agree with belovedmonster. Maybe the main drawback is that the window bar blends with the wallpaper; this doesn’t look too ‘professional’ to me 😉

  31. i think the icons are a bit boring, but i like the simplistic and square menu bars. also, i think you need a lighter desktop wallpaper though if the menus are going to be dark gray.

  32. I really like it! I would nut lay down and cry if this becomes the default theme 😉
    One thing thu, after looking some more on it, I love the icons, but the grey window bar should might have a color change? or something.
    As belovedmonster and Kanishka, when it blend with the wallpaper, thats not that good…!
    Over and Out

  33. I totally agree with beloved monster and Kanishka.
    It doens´t look professional to me.

    “Maybe the main drawback is that the window bar blends with the wallpaper”
    i thought the same thing.

    and, where´s the green? Mint needs a color scheme for visual identification. And green (mint) is an excellent choice, IMO.

  34. I don’t like it very much. The minimalistic look reminds me of windows 3.1 . One of the operating systems used a lot in professional graphical environments is Apple’s OS X which isn’t squary at all so I don’t see why this theme looks more professional.

  35. Kanishka is right. The window bar blends too much with the wallpaper. Furthermore discerning active from inactive windows is hard, since only the color of the text in the title bar is different. Maybe, if Compiz is considered per default, a greying-out effect of inactive windows like in KDE4 can be used.

    Personally I don’t like overly black desktops. A dark desktop can be good but mainly black will make any other color stand out so much that it feels distracting. I suggest adding some mint-green lines to the wallpaper. This would also help to make the window bars stand out.

    Lastly I vote for (slightly) rounded corners, at least for the upper corners. They look modern, don’t distract and don’t take away additional screen real estate. Edgy corners, on the other hand, look very ’80s.

  36. Hey Clem, I never liked the Grey and black theme.

    In my opinion you should use a theme much like the (( FORESIGHT )) theme

    its green minty and extremely Beautiful ,,,

  37. Clem, I just changed my mind, after using the “Gion” icons here on my desktop… They are nice… Finally I like them, they get my vote…

  38. Either the background or the title bar color should be changed. They blend in too much as it is :/

  39. I agree with David that Mint needs a color scheme for visual identification, and mint green is very nice imo.

  40. Just one tiny point – to help windows newbies come across the one thing I notice in most linux distros is a “Start” button on the taskbar because the Mint button the the word Daryna will mean nothing to newbies and just make the transition harder – besides that love the design it really appeals and yep[ you should make it default

  41. The previous 2 themes published some days ago in this blog were much better. But this should be the default. With rounded edges.

  42. @Les: But Linux can’t always be the “Windows desktop clone” and isn’t it stupid to click on the “Start” button to shut down your system? 😀 See the positive aspect: You always know which Mint you’re using!

    In general, I like this theme a lot. I would prefer it as the standard theme, ’cause I really dislike the theme of Bianca-Daryna. 😉

  43. I like the icon theme, it’s almost exactly what I want, though I dislike flat, square widgets. I’m using the Aurora GTK engine on my Ubuntu 8.04 install (Just couldn’t wait :P). I think window title bars look better even if they’re just a little rounded at the top though. Just had a funny thought: someone should apply Feng Shui to desktop design :P.

  44. Very good.
    I like gray/black background; mathes my notebook.
    I agree, the back/fwrd/stop/reload buttons need a lettle work.

    Overall… EXCELENT!!!

  45. Black is not always beautiful. rounded corners are modern.the brown folders are ugly [sorry] and look to much “vista like”. where is the mint in “Mint”? only my 2 ¢

  46. Hey Clem,

    Nice looking theme, I like it and wouldn’t mind trying it out in the new version when it’s released but I would like it to not be default like some have suggested, just make it an option in the appearance section of control panel maybe???

    There’s my 0.02$ worth.


  47. It’s a nice theme, but I think I’d prefer the current default. Also, I’m not so sure that the brown icons fit the colour scheme very well.

  48. I don’t like it as the default. Brown icons and black background are too dark. It should be something mint green as the distro name implies. It may be easy to simply change the theme but considering how many will be trying LinuxMint for the first time it would be nice to have something that continues to stand apart from the other distros at first appearance.

  49. mhhh, not bad. But I like the old grey stripes (like in the line where it says “File” “Extras” etc… if you know what I mean ;-)) better. This theme is a little boring and looks quite old-fashioned in my opinion.

  50. Looks very professional, but i hope you keep the original panel texture or come up with a new one, dont just leave it plain and unfinished looking.

  51. I think it looks GREAT!!!

    ….and it takes less space!!!!

    However I too think it should be an option and not a default.


  52. As I know Mint 5 will come with a Business version meant for use on business desktops. I think that this theme can be default for this edition and for the usual main edition the theme may remain unchanged.I think that doing so will give a character to the new biz edition. So, the min edition will have a more fancy theme and the other biz version a more pro and optimized theme….
    What do you think about?

  53. I like it very much – I happen to prefer grey to any other color/shade. I have one I would like to post but can’t get it into the text box. Print/Screen does nothing, it may copy, but I can’t get it to paste. Any suggestions.?

  54. I like the carbon theme because it’s easy on the eyes and not real flashy because a lot of times people try to make a “fun” looking theme and it just looks cheap. this looks sleek and cool. you could try different colors but the base color should be a dark shade. i’d like different icons because the folder icons just look wierd

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