BlueCurve is a theme, similar to skins in XMMS/WinAmp or Mozilla/Netscape or themes in MicrosoftWindows (9x/ME/XP). It was unique for its time, in that it included GNOME, KDE, Metacity, GTK+, and XMMS parts. It also included an icon theme, using RedHat-designed icons. It was developed by RedHat and introduced as the look&feel of RedHatLinux in versions 8 and higher.

As of 2005, Bluecurve is largely being replaced by Clearlooks, a new theme based on Bluecurve with some HIG changes.

Why was Bluecurve such a good thing?

In a way, this is the first step to removing the GnomeVsKde problem. There's two big choices out there and an application for one would look really really bad when being run on the other.

"It's an effort to unify the look and feel," said Erik Troan, Red Hat's director of product marketing. "Users shouldn't have to worry about which (interface) to choose," and programs should work the same on either GNOME or KDE. "We're not trying to create a 'third user interface,'" Troan says. Instead, the theme is aimed at "a consistent look and feel [which is] 'polished' and more '3D.'" "We didn't want to use just GNOME and get KDE users upset. We didn't want to use just KDE and get GNOME users upset. Instead, we combined the two, and got everyone upset," he quipped.

Red Hat has created a "KDE-like theme for GNOME, and a GNOME-like theme for KDE," said Brian Stevens, Red Hat's senior director of engineering. Users can install either GNOME, KDE, or both GUIs. With the KDE default configuration, customers will get "mainly KDE apps." With the GNOME default configuration, they'll get "mainly GNOME apps." Customers installing both KDE and GNOME, though, will be able to pick and choose from among all apps included in the package, Stevens said. "We've also worked on things like the menus and toolbars in GNOME and KDE, to make them more uniform," according to Stevens.


You can see some good screenshots:

If you use Gentoo, you can type emerge redhat-artwork and get the BlueCurve theme.

GreenCurve, OrangeCurve

BlueCurve's artist/author Garrett LeSage, now at Novell, previously updated the redhat-artwork RPMs with a whole pile of new BlueCurve colour schemes.

BlueCurve for MicrosoftWindows XP

Why not? Check out the Bluecurve XP theme by schmoove, as well as his Ximian XP theme mimicking the XimianDesktop.


BlueCurve was a company that made "Internet infrastructure planning software" that was bought by RedHat in 2000.