Luci themes: differences, and how to select active one

Themes for Luci is confusing.

I found no documentation.

From the package manager, four packages, as follows, show as having the base prefix luci-theme:

  • luci-theme-bootstrap
  • luci-theme-material
  • luci-theme-openwrt
  • luci-theme-openwrt-2020

Package descriptions give no substantive information about the actual differences or design intentions. The boostrap theme described is as the default. Other than of how to install them, no indication is given for how to activate other themes, or to select one as active among those installed.

Natural questions include the following:

  1. Is there any way to set which Luci theme applies, if multiple themes are installed?
  2. Are the themes documented or described in text, or represented in an image gallery? (For example, what is the reason for a separate 2020 theme over the base openwrt theme?)
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System > System > Language and Style > Design

Do a simple Google search on each theme and you should find additional info. For example, searching for luci-theme-material gets you to GitHub where you will find images and notes (and of course the code).

Thanks. This is straightforward enough that I might have found it myself, so I apologize for the noise.

Yet, taking advantage of the opportunity, I drop the following few suggestions for improvments:

  • Include in the theme specification fields for a brief but substantive description of the theme, maybe even a thumbnail, that Luci would display in the list for selection of which to activate among those installed.
  • Include the same text in the description field for the package containing the theme.
  • Add an Appearance page under the System category, and move the theme selection tab into it, out from the System page (which anyway is vague and redundant).
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Keep in mind that only bootstrap (default) and openwrt-2020 are actively maintained, the others might break at any time.


Well, it hardly needs to be said that users are not being helped by the lack of any clear indication of this situation.

Admittedly some screenshots there would probably help. Its also not really referenced well.

Theres a howto on creating themes.

there are some openwrt2020 theme pics here from older thread.

This reference is closest to any documentation on available themes, from those given in this discussion or those I have found.

Several revisions of each theme are given, but the link for each resolves to the same page.

Following, for example, the link for luci-theme-material, the table in the page gives Description as "Material Theme\\ \\" (irregular punctuation copied verbatim). No explanation is given of the substance of the theme, nor any clear reason for the trailing punctuation.

My wish is not to dwell on the obvious, but plainly these observations do not capture a high level of user friendliness.

"Requires Cleanup" :slight_smile:

A documentation request may help or even just have some users post screenshots.

What is the accepted procedure for giving a "documentation request"? The term seems appropriate, but I am not familiar with community conventions.

post a request there. However I have wiki edit and am just looking to see if i can do a quick edit to show some screenshot examples instead.

This does show off the bootstrap default theme as a walk through but i think a simple few screenshots on the theme page itself may help.

Material is a Style ( of UX (User Experience). You can install luCi themes pre or post install without hassle (normally).

You also have to be aware of themes that are available in one branch vs another. The new Bootstrap (Dark) theme is special, but I'm not sure that it would be available under 21.02 or 19.07, etc If you want to try a theme, just install it and give it a try post-install.

If you are looking on how to create a theme package, that's another issue entirely.

It would seem to me that users might be best served by being able to manage themes following an official release sequence.

Publishing packages from different branches may be exciting for a handful of enthusiasts, but may be cumbersome for others.

They are only shown what is in the repo for their distro. If you install 19.07, you'll be pulling the 19.07 packages from Github via opkg update or using Software under luCi..

But, luCi itself under-goes its own upgrade, which is why a theme might not be included or maintained. Ideally, the Wiki would be updated to include screenshots, but honestly, themes don't seem to be a top priority for most people.. Snapshots don't even have luCi installed and the "power users" who would traditionally care about ephemera like themes probably are using console/ssh anyway.

You can send a message to @tmomas if you want to request the ability to edit the Wiki, however, the package descriptions themselves would require a PR to update the package description in the defines.

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I may have misunderstood your earlier comment. It is fairly mundane that package releases would follow several tracks to align with system releases, with the package manager resolving the appropriate dependencies or conflicts. Was this meaning the one intended by your comment? Are you also adding that some gaps might appear in the matrix of that combines named theme with system release?

My feeling is that at the moment OpenWrt is not friendly to casual users, even ones who are broadly familiar with the relevant fields.

I am making these remarks entirely separate from the question of how much any individual cares about a glossy user interface. Much of the work for a superior user experience, however, not just in cosmetic terms, has already been achieved, but would be better utilized if pulled together by more comprehensive administration.

I think much would be gained by a higher level of consistency and coordination among internal development tracks, The system for package management, for example, opkg, has the basic framework of a modern system of its kind, but lacks many of the features, such as highly-automatic conflict and dependency resolution, and fully-automatic system upgrades.

There are now pictures :stuck_out_tongue: and instructions

The captures are quite nice.

For some reason, my own portal is not showing the nice grid arrangement on the front page, as on your capture, only a vertical list.

Both the Material and OpenWrt 2020 themes are very appealing, but only the former hides the sidebar for smaller windows, except very small ones, so it's a shame it's not maintained for ongoing reliability.


The menu bar in LuCI is wrongly aligned
If this is a real problem for you update the LuCI theme: opkg upgrade luci-theme-bootstrap

The bootstrap theme is installed by default. It covers all the bases, and is ultimately functional. Aesthetics aside (2020 is a left-side vertical menu system rather than top-horizontal), they all show the exact same information, in the same places.

I believe the luci package changed between 19.07 and 21.02, for example. A theme (or luci-app- package targeted for 19.07 wouldn't work for me on the main branch, for example. YMMV, I suppose :slight_smile:

Right, it's a feature shared with the Material theme, and many other web and application designs.

However, keeping the sidebar hidden except when the window size offers substantial width is generally a helpful feature, not only for management of space but for freedom from distractions in the visual field.

Did bit more of a tidy up and some crosslinking. - Now links to the theme page. I've also added a note under the extras about theming. - Now has link to the LuCI documentation on how to create your own themes.

Should make things easier to find for future.

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