Ubuntu Karmic boot demo and proposed GDM theme

Contributors: Otto Greenslade, Mat Tomaszewski, Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Forrest, Kenneth Wimer

Boot with automatic login - Flash mockup

Download flash demo

Splash screen


GDM theme


GDM theme – selected user


GDM theme – menus



  • What you have done is just superb! If you can implement that then you are the men Wink ;) I have some things I'm not sure about but they are not fatal: The right/left edge of menus I would not make round so that it merges better with the bottom bar. Also that spot on the floor and the user selection window don't fit imo but I have no idea how I could improve it Smile :) . Just to mention that this new shiny login will need a whole lot of beautiful preinstalled user images. --AntonKerezov

  • Not bad! But I think you guys can do much better than this. I don't think it feels professional enough. I'll try to remix this and put it up with my suggestions. --mr.doob
  • guys please give very high priority to a intuitive keyboard access for all the commands. i would hate it to be usable only with a mouse. and the login and the other button after the login name and password should also have rounded edges. other than that SUPERB job --tgpraveen
  • I have some constructive criticism as well, first off, I agree with AntonKerezov. Other things: The line separating the options menu button and the weelchairsymbol, is it really neccesary? Think it looks better without. The highlight when going in to the options menu is way to glossy. Otherwise nice! -olskar

  • guys please give very high priority to a intuitive keyboard access for all the commands. i would hate it to be usable only with a mouse. and the login and the other button after the login name and password should also have rounded edges.
  • I do agree with mr.doob, this doesn't look like it's the best OS in the world ;-). The background color seems a bit dull - perhaps look at mr.doob's submitions for inspiration. I do love the GDM --MadsRH
  • As promised, here it's my take on this version. I've included the .psd file for everyone's comfort. --mr.doob

  • I also agree with mr.doob. It looks good, but somehow a little bit unprofessional and unfriendly. Also it looks a little bit cold (not really "human" but more mechanical :-)). But there are also other problems. The contrast between the background and the ubuntu logo is too low and the background is more intense than the logo.
  • Mr. Doobs take is already better. But still I dislike the white glowing selectors. The reason is, that the selected field itself is white-only. This doesn't really look like a glow, because a normal glow has not a flat color inside. Perhaps it would be better to give the selection a slight gradient. The contrast between the selector and the text is too heavy, because the font is too small. For people with visual impairment it would be hard to read. A bolder font, would be better. Also the lines around the selector are looking too small and too sharp for my taste...
  • THUMBS UP Smile :) And I love the Flat Black color boot screen and the GDM. [->Hafiz/Ubuntu-My LoCo] muhammadhafiz-3989

Also it looks still a little bit too cold for me to be "human"... (Of course this is *my* opinion. Unfortunately I can't work on an own take these days)-- xfuser4

  • Mr. Doob's Mockup beats canonical mockup here. Great job by doob. ;d
  • I also added a few more colorful mockups here --MadsRH <<DateTime>

  • @MadsRH: That's better - it looks less cold. I like the first and the last one. Still I dislike the flat white background of the selected elements. It just doesn't feel like "glowing" for me and the contrast between the text and the background is too heavy. Could you try to experiment with certain kind of gradient in it? Also the thin lines around all boxes are looking still a little bit unprofessional to me. Can you try it without them? -- xfuser4
  • I don't like it, quite frankly...I think you should be looking at things done by MadsRH and Mr. Doob's, Canonical... This looks like any theme you could download from We need the new theme to be amazing and there are great suggestions out there. Please pay attention to them. This isn't a terrible theme, by the way...but it's not good enough.
  • I think they've forget the "Pres ESC to start another operative system" and the DISK CHECK messages, and the NEEDS REBOOT messages. Also, i don't really like the colours, but I don't even want they to be FULL HUMAN, just a little more colourful.--dael99
  • What about for the GDM when you click on the user, it uses the current background from that user. Have it fade just like when you select a wallpaper for a user. If it were to fade in when the user was selected, I think it would help to make a smoother transition into a session. --natewiebe13

    • Maybe you don't want your mum to see your pr0n wallpaper... hehe. But it's an interesting idea Smile :) --mr.doob

      • Never thought of it that way. Haha.. Why not though? :P But if it's possible, I hope it is implemented, it would give the illusion that you are already a step further to a ready desktop when you click/enter your username. --natewiebe13

    • really good idea, well, if you don't want your mom to see your p0rn wallpaper, don't use it, put it in a folder with a dot at the beginning (it's not that i'm doing that...)--dael99

      • Oh, that's clever! I can see you have some experience there... Wink ;) Nah, what I mean is that you are giving some kind of privacy by sharing your wallpaper to any computer user. Although you're doing that already by sharing your avatar. I guess it all depends of whether you're aware that your wallpaper is going to be public or not. --mr.doob

        • Maybe (if this get implemented) make an option in gnome-appearance-properties to make it public or not. Probably a checkbox underneath the style selection. If the box is checked, it will show during gdm, if not checked, it stays to whatever it was when no user was selected. (Just an idea) Wink ;) --natewiebe13

      • That idea is wonderful, natewiebe13! If it is not implemented I will write it myself. Anyway, I'd just like to say that for as many people who complain about the Human theme, it's certainly puzzling to see that when Canonical finally finds a way to change it a bit, there are more complaints about it not being like the Human theme. --bryanlbasil

  • Not bad. However, I'd make it browner and add some red and orange in there too (to tie in with the present Human palette) and get rid of the 'spotlight' effect on the background. I'd also be interested to see how the OS/kernel switcher will work, and what would happen when fsck determines the computer needs restarting. -- jrothwell97 2009-08-13 05:29:27

  • Anyway, the black elemets are a good suggestion to start developing a nice theme, so this way the GDM doesn't look too alien on the first boot (and if it's good enough, i'll be keeped on the next boots..) what i mean is that the theme should be similar to the GDM and to the screensaver lock-dialog coffcoffDustcoffcoff dael99

  • To me these themes look very, very good; professional and pleasing to the eye. I'd say they are the best mockups I have seen so far. The 'spotlight effect' gives a feel of space, which I find nice. I don't see anything wrong with how the rounded corners are done for the menus. The menus are not supposed to merge with the bottom bar, but the buttons which launch them. I agree with some in that the selected menu item is a little too bright. Congratulations! Smile :-)

  • Please don't use this one! The original Mr. Dobbs ones were much better, more refined. Shiny is on its way out to be replaced by matte. Mr. Dobb's matched the design aesthetic of notify-OSD (using similar alerts) and is consistent with other Ubuntu imagery (the one that immediately comes to mind is the UbuntuOne website). This one looks nothing like Ubuntu (I actually like the brown) and just really rubs me the wrong way. It's aggressive, even though this is the OS for human beings. -1.


  • You all did superb job. But I think Mr. Doob's Mockup is much better than the Canonical one. In my opinion, I don't like the lighting effect. Keep simple will be great.


Ubuntu Karmic boot demo and proposed GDM theme – Iteration 2

Splash screen


GDM theme


GDM theme – selected user


GDM theme – menus



  • I really like the clean design of the GDM greeter. But there are some points I still have to criticize: (1) I still dislike the thin lines around the dialog boxes and menus. Mostly, because it is not consistent with other designs inside Ubuntu (e.g. the Notify-OSD - which is also free of borders and uses shadows). (2) Also the thin lines don't really look professional (I still can't say why...). (3) The spotlight at the bottom of the background is useless, because it doesn't spot on anything. (4) Also I think, the red tone in the background is too heavy. (5) Also the glow around the selected items is still too heavy. -- xfuser4
  • (1) I agree that the spotlight is distracting. (2) I think that once it gets to the point where the user can login or select other options, it looks great. But something is still off at the start, when the Ubuntu logo shows up...maybe it needs to be more centered vertically? (3) An actual loading bar, similar to 9.04's, would be more useful than the oscillating indicator, which doesn't really give the user any information. --csquest99

  • Both are good proposals, but the gdm theme is too dark for my taste. I would prefer a dark usplash, then a lighter gdm (at least the face browser box and menus). User's mood would welcome it I think. --pepinmore

  • I prefer the first iteration. The neutral colour looks more professional and the KDE style highlights to the frame make it easier to see against the background. I love the way the currently selected item's glow bleeds slightly. If you do move in another direction please release the grey one as an option on gnome-look --linuxoflondon

  • I also like the gray/black one more. The bright white hilites and black the brown don't really look very good next to the brown. -- jamesgecko 2009-08-15 03:11:51

  • Please have a look at my edits based on this iteration -- t-w- 2009-08-15 09:38:53

  • As much as the first one lacks color, this one is WAY too brown. Looking forward to Iteration 3 Wink ;-) --MadsRH

  • @t-w: I like your idea, to make the Ubuntu logo itself is not plain white, but colored. It looks not so cold that way. Perhaps if you keep the color of the ubuntu logo, one could reduce the color of the background to a very dark grey. -- xfuser4
  • Oh c'mon! This doesn't look innovative at all. I love Ubuntu but I think the artwork team is messed up. MadsRHs mockups all the way! hpis2cool

  • The choc ubuntu Smile :) I like it, and looks like real choc color, dark choc even better although this one already look nice [->Hafiz/Ubuntu-My LoCo] muhammadhafiz-3989

  • I'v added an idea for the gdm user list , I'v changed only the gdm list of Iteration 2 , and nothing else has been altered. --mac_v

  • First, I really like mr.doob's iteration 3. For the GDM I would still like to see what I suggested before. For the GDM, when you click on the user, it should use the current background from that user. It should fade just like when you select a wallpaper for a user. If it were to fade in when the user was selected, I think it would help to make a smoother transition into a session. It would also give the illusion that you are already a step further to a ready desktop when you click/enter your username. People said it would take away from privacy. In that case, make an option in gnome-appearance-properties to make it public or not. Probably a checkbox underneath the style selection. If the box is checked, it will show during gdm, if not checked, it stays to whatever it was when no user was selected. I think this would put our login experience above others. If this is not possible, let me know and I'll stop suggesting it. But until then, I really want this to happen. But please remove the glows and the spotlight. Use a gradient like mr.doob. --natewiebe13

  • Needs moar warmth. And get rid of the spotlight, replace it with a gradient. --jrothwell97 2009-08-17 16:36:37

  • BROWN?? Please...
  • Long time reader, first time writer here. The first iteration was quite good, but it needed more warmth, the second has too much brown in it. I like the goldish version of mr.doob a little more (his fifth iteration). It has more class than this brown (and is a little bit lighter than the brown). I like the throbber a lot (great job). I don't have problems with the spotlight, but I would like to see how it looks with only one user. Mr.doob pointed out, that the background can cause compression artefacts, could this be a problem? --Rackstar 2009-08-18 12:41:00

Ubuntu Karmic boot demo and proposed GDM theme – Iteration 3

Splash screen


GDM theme


GDM theme – selected user


GDM theme – menus



  • Great job on the two extra lights! Brings more light and feeling to the "stage". But I still think you should try doing more like a goldish color, instead of this purple. But I like it better than the brown. --Rackstar 2009-08-18 12:41:00

  • Well, since it seems like you don't really listen to us and there is no way that mrdoob's or MadsRH's mockups will make it in the final version....this one is better than the other ones. I still don't like it, don't get me wrong. But the rounded corners are better. What I REALLY can't stand in all these mockups, however, is the first image with the Ubuntu logo. It just looks wrong. Like something anyone could do. I think the initial animation with the logo should be both unique and memorable. hpis2cool

  • The black elements in other images look good to me, so perhaps the boot logo could benefit from a touch of black too. I agree that in it's current form, although I like it, it still lacks something. Anyway, generally I think these mockups are great. -- Ari
  • Purple can be a nice colour to use by default (but MAC uses it), anyway. The backgpund on the menus do not look prefessional, can they hava an alpha? The GDM, just beautiful. The splash... lack on something... COLOUR! the ubuntu logo is just nice in colours, why just make it dull? also, the prgress bar can have a little inspiration from Mr. doob. I truly think it should have the release number on the boot, this would solve a few issues (like helping friends or giving support). If purple is going to be the main colour, it should be reflect more the aesthetic of other components, life notify-osd and splash in some apps (like Cheers. --dael99
  • Okay, we are getting closer :-). It's great, that the thin lines were removed! There are still some points, I would change:
    1. The background color contains too much purple, this doesn't fit to any other Ubuntu artwork (neither the icon theme, nor any of the Ubuntu GTK Themes - like Dust or Human). I think this is the major problem of the design, because such inconsistencies give it an unprofessional feeling.
    2. For me the boxes are a little bit too dark (you can't distinguish them from the background). This could be an issue for people with an visual impairment (and its even a problem if the sun shines on my screen).
    3. In the user list, the color difference between the items is too small, so you don't really see it.
    4. I also still dislike the flat white background of selected elements and the flat background of the menus.
    5. You are also wasting space on the menus - you could shrink the borders a little bit more.
    But as I said - we are getting closer. The most important thing is: make a background color that is consistent! --xfuser4
  • The more I look at these mockups, the more I just don't like them. It's still too cold and artificial; the colors are wrong; the logo looks out of place. There's just too many things wrong, and I don't think it's getting any better. I hate to say it, but I think you need to scrap the whole thing and try again. This seems to be a sentiment shared by a number of commenters here. Personally, I think we should consider doing something with Mr. Doob's 3rd iteration. It is both sleek and professional and draws me into the OS. Does anyone really like this mockup or are we just consigning ourselves that it is what we're stuck with, so tweak it the best we can before October? csquest99

  • Well, I agree. It seems like we're stuck with this even though mrdoob's and MadsRH's mockups have been mentioned several times. I really wish they'd trash this. hpis2cool

  • Ok, lets try again. --mr.doob

  • I also think, that Mr. Doobs propasal looks way more professional, friendly and more "human". I personally prefer the 3. Iteration. Mr Doob, perhaps you could make a mock up with a user selection and password entry? --xfuser4
  • On a second thought I think it still lacks some contrast. I really love the background, but the dialog boxes don't stand out enough. --Rackstar 2009-08-19 11:31:00

  • This is nice, but I think this is the right road to take. Human vivid colors, nice depth and lights, nice look of the buttons...I like it best.

  • Well for this one, kinda confuse the color actually. But for me also, it still nice Smile :) [->Hafiz/Ubuntu-My LoCo] muhammadhafiz-3989

  • I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I also like the direction taken by Mr. Doob and the subsequent revisions to his work (iterations 6/7). Those boot splash look professional, the colors are lively and bright. Just because the OS theme itself may end up using blacks/greys or darker colors for the main UI doesn't mean that the boot splash can't be vibrant and immerse the user. --yarly
  • I love it. It looks gorgeous and professional. An improvement on the 9.04 GDM theme while maintaining a hint of that wine/burgundy color. --Colonel_Panic
  • Not to be disrespectful or inconsiderate, but does the Ubuntu Design Team respond to user comments and suggestions made here? I'm curious as there doesn't appear to have been much if any response to comments or even an acknowledgement of user contributed work. I think we're all appreciative to be a part of a process, but how much of this process is predetermined and how much is open to change? Many people here seem to be of the opinion that the work shown here by the design team is leading in the wrong direction. There has also been a shared consensus amongst a number of people here that Mr. Doobs designs in iteration #6/#7 and the subsequent edits are leading in the right direction. ( ) ( ) I don't understand why the Ubuntu Design Team is ignoring this work even if it did not originate from them. As I stated in the comments section for Mr. Doobs iteration #7, I really hope that if the Ubuntu design team chooses to ignore Mr. Doob's work that someone will work with him to implement it as a functional boot splash. It would be a shame to see his excellent design work go to waste. --yarly

  • That's a good question, yarly... We're coming up on the UI Freeze date, and it would be nice to hear some response from the design team to our input. And I agree that Mr. Doob's work should at least be included in the release as an option, even if the design team chooses not to set it as the default. --csquest99

  • I love the way this is headed, however I think (as others have) that the glow is a bit garish, especially on the Login Options menu. It actually doesn't take much glow to achieve the polished effect you're after. As it is, it feels as though it's smacking me over the head: "Look! GLOW!!" -- topdownjimmy 2009-09-15 13:12:44

  • This looks very nice, but please please provide one version without the face browser: I work in an organisation where we use NIS, and having to scroll down 5000 users in the gdm windows is *not* an option...

Artwork/Incoming/Karmic/Boot/Demo (last edited 2009-09-23 14:00:09 by pc013354)