Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Java applications menu bar font color

Java LogoUbuntu 12.04 LTS named Precise Pangolin has been released few days ago. I did some testing and I can't really say I'm disappointed because that happened a while ago when Canonical released first Unity powered Ubuntu version. But lets be fair and ignore Unity for a moment and focus on something else. Latest Ubuntu is full of bugs. For example if you had an idea to do some coding using NetBeans Java IDE on your shiny new Ubuntu 12.04 LTS think again. To be honest you can try to do some coding if you don't mind not seeing your menu bar due to bug where Java applications use wrong menu bar font color. Also the latest version of Ubuntu light themes exposes an old bug where Java applications loose menu border. This bug first appeared with default Gnome 2 GTK+ theme Clearlooks, if you need workaround for that one here it is. It isn't clear is this Java Swing API bug or Ubuntu light themes bug but fortunately there is a workaround. In this article I will present PPA with modified version of Ubuntu light-themes package that works around this issue.

To use this repository you can open your terminal and paste these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:marko-techytalk.info/light-themes
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

For more info you can check out this repository official page available right here at TechyTalk.info.


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8 thoughts on “Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Java applications menu bar font color

  1. Natim

    Another fix I like :

    Open sudo gedit /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc

    Goto line 338 and change for style “menu” = “dark” {

    Now restart your java app and it is fine

    1. Marko Author

      Yes that is official workaround and it is what this PPA package contains. I’ve just added extra fix for menu border and packaged it. I like all changes to be inside packages because I tend to forget what I’ve changed in what file.

  2. narg narg narg

    “it’s full of bugs” *mentions one bug, that happens to have been caused by Java poor compatibility with GTK rather than by ubuntu devs.*

  3. Arnold Daniels


    Great that you’ve found a solution. The version of light-themes is older than the current one from Ubuntu, so I had to do it by hand.

    Things look better, but disabled items look really off. Any change that you have a solution for this as well 🙂

    1. Marko Author

      unfortunately the best workaround I’ve found is not to use Ubuntu 12.04 operating system. Since this bug has been reported for a long time and Canonical haven’t done anything to fix it properly we shouldn’t award Canonical for ignoring us, right?


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