Branding Horizon

As of the Liberty release, Horizon has begun to conform more strictly to Bootstrap standards in an effort to embrace more responsive web design as well as alleviate the future need to re-brand new functionality for every release.

Supported Components

The following components, organized by release, are the only ones that make full use of the Bootstrap theme architecture.

Step 1

The first step needed to create a custom branded theme for Horizon is to create a custom Bootstrap theme. There are several tools to aid in this. Some of the more useful ones include:


Bootstrap uses LESS by default, but we use SCSS. All of the above tools will provide the variables.less file, which will need to be converted to _variables.scss

Top Navbar

The top navbar in Horizon now uses a native Bootstrap navbar. There are a number of variables that can be used to customize this element. Please see the Navbar section of your variables file for specifics on what can be set: any variables that use navbar-default.

It is important to also note that the navbar now uses native Bootstrap dropdowns, which are customizable with variables. Please see the Dropdowns section of your variables file.

The top navbar is now responsive on smaller screens. When the window size hits your $screen-sm value, the topbar will compress into a design that is better suited for small screens.

Side Nav

The side navigation component has been refactored to use the native Stacked Pills element from Bootstrap. See Pills section of your variables file for specific variables to customize.


Pie Charts

Pie Charts are SVG elements. SVG elements allow CSS customizations for only a basic element’s look and feel (i.e. colors, size).

Since there is no native element in Bootstrap specifically for pie charts, the look and feel of the charts are inheriting from other elements of the theme. Please see _pie_charts.scss for specifics.

Bar Charts

Bar Charts can be either a Bootstrap Progress Bar or an SVG element. Either implementation will use the Bootstrap Progress Bar styles.

The SVG implementation will not make use of the customized Progress Bar height though, so it is recommended that Bootstrap Progress Bars are used whenever possible.

Please see _bar_charts.scss for specifics on what can be customized for SVGs. See the Progress bars section of your variables file for specific variables to customize.


The standard Django tables now make use of the native Bootstrap table markup. See Tables section of your variables file for variables to customize.

The standard Bootstrap tables will be borderless by default. If you wish to add a border, like the default theme, see openstack_dashboard/themes/default/horizon/components/_tables.scss


Login Splash Page

The login splash page now uses a standard Bootstrap panel in its implementation. See the Panels section in your variables file to variables to easily customize.


The standard tabs make use of the native Bootstrap tab markup.

See Tabs section of your variables file for variables to customize.


Alerts use the basic Bootstrap brand colors. See Colors section of your variables file for specifics.


Horizon uses icon fonts to represent checkboxes. In order to customize this, you simply need to override the standard scss. For an example of this, see themes/material/static/horizon/components/_checkboxes.scss

Bootswatch and Material Design

Bootswatch is a collection of free themes for Bootstrap and is now available for use in Horizon.

In order to showcase what can be done to enhance an existing Bootstrap theme, Horizon now includes a secondary theme, roughly based on Google’s Material Design called material. Bootswatch’s Paper is a simple Bootstrap implementation of Material Design and is used by material.

Bootswatch provides a number of other themes, that once Horizon is fully theme compliant, will allow easy toggling and customizations for darker or accessibility driven experiences.

Development Tips

When developing a new theme for Horizon, it is required that the dynamically generated static directory be cleared after each change and the server restarted. This is not always ideal. If you wish to develop and not have to restart the server each time, it is recommended that you configure your development environment to not run in OFFLINE mode. Simply verify the following settings in your