Where to get GTK themes

You can get GTK themes from, for example, xfce-look.org gnome-look.org [http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&q=GTK+theme deviantart.com]

How do I install these themes?

You only need to untar those themes under ~/.themes, so first:

$ mkdir ~/.themes

and then:

$ cd ~/.themes
$ tar -zxvf theme-name-here.tar.gz      or
$ tar -jxvf theme-name-here.tar.bz2

Make sure you check the what engines the theme needs, usually with somethin like

$ grep engine ~/.themes//gtk-2.0/gtkrc

You can most likely install them through your package manager, like:

# apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf    or
# apt-get install gtk2-engines-*         or
# emerge gtk2-engines-pixbuf

You should get the idea.

And to use them?


Get gtk-theme-switch (note that there is also a version for GTK2) or gtk-chtheme. Then just fire 'em up and you should see a nice list of all styles. Just select the one you want to use and click Apply. You can also use LXAppearance to change the gtk-themes.

This shows you how to edit GTK settings without any extra application installed.

Install the GTK theme as shown above (extract theme to ~/.themes and icon set to ~/.icons).
Create or edit the ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file. In that file input parameters such as the following:

#sets the font
 gtk-font-name = "sans 8" 
 #sets the theme
 gtk-theme-name = "Clearlooks Crystal 1.1" 
 #sets the icon theme
 gtk-icon-theme-name = "CrystalClear-GNOME-1.0.0" 
 #shows only icons in the toolbar
 gtk-toolbar-style = GTK_TOOLBAR_ICONS 
 #shows small icons in the toolbar
 gtk-toolbar-icon-size = GTK_ICON_SIZE_SMALL_TOOLBAR  
 #sets the background color in Rox back to white because some GTK themes set it to light gray
 style "rox" = "default"
   bg[NORMAL] = "#ffffff"
   bg[ACTIVE] = "#ffffff"
 widget_class "*Collection*" style "rox"


You can also use a different GTK theme, icon theme and fonts for specific GTK applications. If you just want to change the GTK theme, run your application with the following command:

$ GTK2_RC_FILES=/path/to/your/theme/gtkrc your_application

If you like to set a custom icon theme and font, create an empty file wherever you find convenient and call it whatever you want (for example, ~/.themes/custom.gtkrc). Then fill it with your different settings:

gtk-font-name = "sans 7"
gtk-theme-name = "niroki"
gtk-icon-theme-name = "SimplyGrey"

Now run the application with the following command:

$ GTK2_RC_FILES=/path/to/your/custom.gtkrc your_application

Add the command in your menu or launcher and enjoy.


To use GTK3 themes, edit (or create) the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini file. Specify the theme you want with the gtk-theme-name parameter. For example, if you want to use the Adwaita theme, your settings.ini file should look like:

 gtk-theme-name = Adwaita
 gtk-icon-theme-name = SimplyGrey
 gtk-fallback-icon-theme = gnome
 gtk-font-name = Sans 10
# next option is applicable only if selected theme supports it
 gtk-application-prefer-dark-theme = true

That's it.

See also

How to install fonts

Category:English howtos