How to Restore Classic Look & Feel (e.g., Sharp Corners) in Linux Mint 20.3

Linux Mint released v20.3 recently with the default theme changes. It now has larger title-bar buttons, rounded corners, dark mode for certain apps, and less accent colors.

The new theme appearance looks good, and I like it. But, as a user friendly and highly customizable Linux Distribution, there’s always a choice for those don’t like the change. And, here’s I’m going to show you how to restore the old look & feel.

Step 1: Install the Legacy Theme:

The developer team re-named the old theme into “Mint-Y-Legacy“. It’s available in system repositories though not installed out-of-the-box.

Search for and open “Software Manager” from start menu. When it opens, search and install the ‘mint-themes-legacy‘ package.

Install ‘mint-themes-legacy’ package

Or, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, and then paste and run the command below to install the theme via apt command:

sudo apt install mint-themes-legacy
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install mint-themes-legacy 
[sudo] password for merilyn:          
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  mint-themes-legacy
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 64 not upgraded.
Need to get 1,666 kB of archives.
After this operation, 31.1 MB of additional disk space will be used.
...

Step 2: Apply the Legacy theme:

After installed the theme package, open System Settings from start menu and navigate to “Themes” settings page.

When it opens, you may apply part or all of the themes via:

  • Mint-Y-Legacy for “Window borders” to get sharp title-bar borders and narrower buttons.
  • Apply legacy themes for “Controls” to restore buttons, check-boxes, etc.
  • And, use legacy themes for “Desktop” to toggle certain apps’ dark and light mode, accent colors, etc.
Linux Mint classic appearance

Undo:

To revert back, simply choose the default “Mint-Y” themes in ‘System Settings -> Themes‘ page.

And, you may remove the legacy theme package as mind either via “Software Manager” or by running the command below in terminal:

sudo apt remove mint-themes-legacy

That’s all. Enjoy!

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.