Is there a metacity theme more like elementary's gtk+3 theme for better app integration?

I find that the header bar of non-gtk+3/native apps is rather flat. Semantically, it makes these apps look inactive. Comparatively, native elementary app headerbars fade to a flatter grey when inactive.

My understanding is that it can be difficult to integrate non gtk+3 apps with elementary, as this must be done from the app's source. Alternatively is there a metacity theme more fitting to elementary's other native apps?

An example of flat headerbars

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


I don't think it is possible replace the window title to the header bar (your second image) because they are rendered differently.

As you noted, the Window Title is rendered by Gala (the window manager). The large header bar is rendered from inside the application (Gtk.HeaderBar class) so it can hold more functionalities like buttons and text inputs. Not even all applications that uses Gtk make use of the Gtk.HeaderBar.

I need to check but I think it's even possible to force to have both at the same time.

As for the Metacity theme. First, you'll need to install Metacity.

$ sudo apt-get install metacity
$ metacity --replace

Then go to Gnome-Look, search and install the theme you like. Any metallic or MacOS (search for "Aqua") inspired themes should look fine.

IMHO, the default theme of Gala isn't that confusing, but you got a good point.

  • Hey Thiago, yeah, sorry I wasn't very clear - I'll edit my question. I know the metacity headerbar for non-gtk+3 apps is smaller but I think it could be improved a little, as it's rather flat. It's not just aesthetic either; if a gtk+3 header bar is inactive, it fades to a flatter grey like the non-gtk+3 bars... So semantically, the metacity bar apps look as though they're inactive, even when they're not. It's a bit fussy of me, but yeah :3
    – johnp
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 15:47
  • Yeah. I got it. The flat gray bar does look like a inactive window. I've updated the answer. Tell me if it's better. Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 17:25
  • Thanks for your answer! Yeah, it isn't that confusing, but in the quest of good ui design, it might be a good idea for developers, I dunno :)
    – johnp
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 17:33
  • 1
    I agree. You should file a bug. :D Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 11:46

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