Skip navigation

In perusing the Ubuntu forums, I have run into a ton of posts asking how to install gnome themes (gtk themes / metacity themes, icon themes, emerald).  I have decided to share what I’ve gathered over the last couple years.  Although it’s rather simple, I couldn’t find this information anywhere.

GTK / Metacity Themes

To install GTK and Metacity themes, all you need to do is extract the archive to the correct place.  Both GTK and Metacity themes can go into the same themes folder.  The thing most people don’t realize, and nobody mentions for the most part, is that to properly install a theme you need to put it in the /usr/share/themes directory.  The reason is so that it’s installed for all users.  The reason you want to install it for all users is so that when you run an application with root privelages it uses your theme.  So, pretty much anything in the System -> Administration will not use the theme if you do not install it into the /usr/share/themes directory.  Before you install, you need to determine the type of archive.  Most archives are in tar.gz format.  There are some that are in tar.bz2 format as well though.  To install a theme that’s packaged in a tar.gz file run the following command:

sudo tar xzvf name-of-archive.tar.gz –directory=/usr/share/themes

To install themes packaged in a tar.bz2 file run this command:

sudo tar xjvf name-of-archive.tar.bz2 –directory=/usr/sahre/themes

Once the extraction is complete, all you need to do is go to System -> Preferences -> Themes, click customize and pick the new GTK / Metacity theme.

Icon Themes

Installing an icon theme is equally simple.  The same deal applies, you just need to extract to the correct location so that programs run as root use the correct icons.  Also, see my post about Nautilus and emblems, it will make your icon themes much prettier.  The correct directory for icon themes is /usr/share/icons.  To install a theme that’s packaged in a tar.gz file run the following command:

sudo tar xzvf name-of-archive.tar.gz –directory=/usr/share/icons

To install themes packaged in a tar.bz2 file run this command:

sudo tar xjvf name-of-archive.tar.bz2 –directory=/usr/share/icons

Emerald Themes

If you don’t know what Emerald is, you should check it out.  It’s a window decoration manager that does a really nice job.  To use it you’ll need a compositing manager such as compiz.  To install emerald simply run this command:

sudo aptitude install emerald

To install a theme for Emerald go to System -> Preferences -> Emerald Theme Manager, click the Import button, and select the .emerald file.  Your new theme will show up in the Emerald Theme Manager theme list, to apply it just click on it.

That’s pretty much it, installing a theme is really easy but again I didn’t see any comprehensive guides so I figured I’d share what I know.  Hopefully this helps people customize Ubuntu to their liking.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: