We rolled out the new site theme for Ask Ubuntu. It is now live.

What new theme?

If you're like, "What the heck are you talking about?", then you should read the Meta Stack Exchange post entitled Rollout of new network site themes (and maybe the posts it links to for the full background).

Your help needed

You are one of the first sites to get a new, unified theme. I previously posted the designs for theme in meta. The feedback given to that post was considered prior to rolling out the theme. Please help us look for issues/bugs and post the details (including images where needed) as an answer below.

If you have concerns or issues regarding the left nav then this Meta Stack Exchange post is the right place for feedback. If you have issues with any functionality that is unrelated to the new theme, then please post a new question.

  • Observation: Something didn't play nice when I refreshed the page, it ended up blowing up my Chrome and crashing it. Had to purge my entire cache and profile (and cookies and other data) just to get Chrome to stop misbehaving just with this site. Not sure if Chrome barfed or if some remnant from old was still drifting around or not...
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:42
  • 6
    I really don't like having only 4 topics on the frontpage. And NO I can not get better eyesight.
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 16:35
  • @Rinzwind It would be helpful if you could post more details as an answer and include details of how your browser is set up (zoom, etc) along with images of what you're seeing. Thanks.
    – Joe Friend
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 16:43
  • The new theme looks great. I will look for any bugs.
    – fixit7
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 17:29
  • When I click ask a question, the boxes are already filled in with a previous post.
    – fixit7
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 20:50
  • Personally I like the old theme better. Thanks to devs for giving us the option to revert back almost all changes. The left bar is using double space than before, disabled it. I don't need the sticky search bar, disabled it too. I feel both of them waste space and steal focus on my 14" display. Not only the orange askubuntu bar totally lost it's functionality but also it got wider!! I used to use it to go to newest questions from anywhere. Though I can now use the hamburger menu on top left, it always requires 1 more click. Will be happy if devs give an option to revert back to old theme. Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 18:15
  • Missing the old theme.. Feeling cramped in new theme, even after removing left-bar. Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 11:18

9 Answers 9


I can't tell I'm on Ask Ubuntu once I scroll past our logo.

I know there are small visual cues, but the generic .top-bar completely steals my focus and I think I'm on "Stack Exchange". SO has overcome this problem quite simply by displacing the network branding. Why can't we all do that?

  • Get rid of the <header>, like SO has
  • Replace the Stack Exchange logo, like SO has
  • Colour the main bar, like SO has

A few clicks with the Firefox dev tools, gives me something like this. Obviously the text colour needs tweaking to something darker or lighter for contrast.

enter image description here

I'd be really surprised if the other sites with strong branding didn't want the same, or to de-sticky the distracting header.


Basically my only concern is that the orange header bar is so huge, and yet it doesn't do anything at all. It's as tall as an entire question!

I don't understand why Stack Overflow gets a unified header, but all the other sites are forced into having a second huge block of colour to house their logo.

I wrote some CSS to give AU a SO-esque unified header (the logo is off due to a horrible hack):

enter image description here

then I started really procrastinating and made an orange one too:

enter image description here

and honestly, I prefer either of those to the current design.

  • 2
    Most of the sites want a custom banner and are, in fact, quite disappointed in them being made shorter because it means less of the site's unique qualities are retained and it means the sites are less distinguishable from each other outside of the logo itself. Sites like AU don't have as much art as sites like Photography or Science Fiction & Fantasy, so it's a different argument. I'm not sure if it's possible to meet the needs of both groups of sites.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 3:28
  • Damn, this looks awesome, someone should make this a userstyle. Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 16:48

Joe, I basically only have 1 issue: the vertical space where questions are shown. Example:

enter image description here

The main focus of the page should be the questions. Not the left pane, not the right pane and not the top. The 2 panes are fine. But the top is taking up too much space. I used to have 10 questions on my screen, now I see 6 (well I said 4 but my zoom is now also 1 less than it used to be).

From the questions upwards you have a block of white, orange and black with nothing. I believe it would be nicer with 1 "small" change: put "active" up to "month" next to "top questions" and "ask question". That would leave room for 2 maybe 3 questions extra.

Compared to the old version it would look like this:

enter image description here

To small for my eyes and far too much white space left and right.

  • We actually explored taking over the top bar with theming, but for the communities that have a ton of customization, it's yet another thing that they lose. I'm a big fan of this direction though. Commented Aug 15, 2018 at 19:52

Badge icons in the top bar are partially covered by the numbers (on the main site, not on Meta):

enter image description here

(tested on Firefox and Safari on macOS)

Seems to be wider issue. Also happens on the profile page (https://askubuntu.com/users/$id/$username) in badges and tags:

badges and tags

Tested on Chrome and Firefox.

  • 1
    I can confirm on Firefox ESR 52.9.0 on main (askubuntu.com) site.
    – N0rbert
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 9:49
  • 1
    Confirming on Chrome Beta 69.0.3497.23. I'm pretty sure it was displaying fine yesterday, though.
    – ash
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 11:08
  • 1
    This is also happening on Server Fault and Super User – seems to be a wider problem with the new theme.
    – ash
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 11:32
  • 2
    @Josh, thanks, you're right. I've raised a bug report on the main meta.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 13:26

Visited question links are not differentiated by color.

Previously design had difference between :active and :visited CSS selectors for questions.

Without such difference it is difficult to determine visited questions by color.

  • 1
    I can confirm this on Main Site, but I cannot Confirm on Meta.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 20:09
  • 1
    A fix for this has been merged and will go live after the next build. Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 16:44
  • 1
    Confirmed fixed.
    – N0rbert
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 20:18

Suggestion to get rid of the huge but useless orange top bar (post 1, post 2) and to keep us informed we are on Ask Ubuntu and not on another site:

  1. Move the Ask Ubuntu logo to the left side menu
  2. Remove the orange bar entirely
  3. Move the search box a bit to the right to align to the menu

enter image description here

  • 1
    This is a really interesting proposal. We aren't ignoring posts on this topic, but the change would be pretty major and are related to branding discussions we need to have internally. Please feel heard, but we won't be considering changes based on this feedback until this round of updates is completed across the network.
    – Joe Friend
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 15:28
  • @JoeFriend thank you for your kind words. I wrote an answer to the general meta post for this, and also to better explain why it is an issue for me.
    – Takkat
    Commented Aug 15, 2018 at 9:18
  • This looks nice but what about users who disabled the left sidebar like me?
    – Melebius
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 8:14
  • @Melebius: That's a different story. AU logo to replace the Hamburger menu icon?
    – Takkat
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 8:25

The top-bar isn't sticky for me. It is sticky on U&L, Meta SE and Meta SO. I have custom styles set, but disabling those don't help with stickiness. I have tried toggling the stickiness preference in my AU preferences to no avail.

  • Yep. We need to update something to get that working. AU was "special" since it had the extra top bar in the old design. Should be working today.
    – Joe Friend
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:16
  • @JoeFriend FWIW, it seems setting the toggle doesn't add the _fixed class to the top bar. But I guess that's the special-casing for AU that you guys are fixing. Hope to see it working soon. Thanks!
    – muru
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:18
  • @JoeFriend top bar still stick. Left bar does, top bar doesn't.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:39
  • Hmm, the behaviours is inconsistent. It is sticky on the preferences page itself if I toggle it there, but not elsewhere or otherwise. :/
    – muru
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:41
  • @muru Should be working now.
    – Joe Friend
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:52
  • @JoeFriend working on main, not on meta.
    – muru
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:54
  • 2
    Fixed now. Thanks.
    – Joe Friend
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:59
  • 2
    Confirmed fixed, thanks @JoeFriend
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 16:02

Just visited Search page ( https://askubuntu.com/search ).
Clicked Advanced Search Tips and was surprised with location of the tips.
They were opened below Advanced Search Tips link.

Advanced Search Tips table

So it is impossible to read tip and apply it to the search bar in the same time.

Please move the table of tips to the right as it was before.


Today I noticed the color around OP’s profile changed to the red from the blue being used across all SE sites I can think about, regardless of what their main color is.

user profile screenshot

When I first saw it (with another user’s profile), I thought: He’s kinda blocked? No, it seems to be a feature of the new theme.

Well, AU uses a red-white theme, so why not? I guess I can get used to this. However, the tags and bounties still remain blue:

screenshot of the featured questions

as well as the frame around text areas:

screenshot of a text area

…and maybe other features I haven’t found yet. Shouldn’t the color theme be more consistent?

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