10 Great Linux GTK Themes For 2018

Best GTK Themes 2018

Customization is a big part of the Linux experience, and your desktop theme is no exception. The world of Linux desktop themes is an ever-evolving one, with new ones replacing old favorites all the time. Of course, the desktop environments and GTK itself are always changing, so that adds another dynamic element to consider. That said, some of the best desktop customization happens on the simplest desktop environments, like XFCE.

As of now, in early 2018, there are some really excellent GTK themes available. These themes aren’t ranked in any particular order. That comes down to a matter or preference. Any one of them can add a whole new look to your GTK-based desktop.

Arc is somewhat of a classic by now. It’s been around for a while, and it’s still liked by the community and actively maintained. It’s even been expanded and adapted to work on a wider number of platforms, including KDE.

Arc GTK Theme

The default Arc theme uses a lot of shades of blue. Some people like that, while others don’t. That’s why the Arc theme has also been forked and adapted to multiple different colors to match whichever look you want for your desktop.

Numix GTK Theme

Numix is another old standard. It’s been around long enough to be packaged for most major distributions. Numix even has an accompanying icon theme to match. This theme is clean, modern, and flat. The color scheme is based on orange dark gray, but there are variants based on different colors available.

The Pop theme is relatively new, and it comes from a somewhat different place than the others on this list. System 76, a popular Linux computer manufacturer, decided to make its own Ubuntu-based distribution, called Pop OS. The Pop theme was developed specifically for that OS.

Pop GTK Theme

The Pop theme uses a light blue and dark brown color scheme, and it also has an accompanying icon theme. Pop stands out because its color choice is unique, and the theme itself is very well-polished and well-designed.

Ant GTK Theme

The Ant themes have been around for a few years, but they haven’t quite reached the level of notoriety that the likes of Arc enjoy. That doesn’t mean they aren’t great themes, though. Ant is available in a few versions with varying lightness and darkness. The Ant themes also use different shades of red for accented elements. As a whole, Ant is flat and modern.

Adapta is a fairly robust theme based on Google’s material design guidelines. It’s an active project with a whole lot of support for different desktop environments and configurations. Adapta is based around blues and greens, creating a look reminiscent of KDE’s Breeze themes.

Adapta GTK Theme

There are several variants of Adapta available, and they’ve all been well-thought-out and well-designed. Adapta is available as a package for a number of distributions, either through their official repositories or third party ones.

Arrongin GTK Theme

Arrongin has gained a lot of attention lately. It’s actually been a sort of polarizing theme. The orange accents the main cause. As a result, the developer created a blue variant, Telinkrin. Both themes are based loosely on Ubuntu’s Ambiance and come complete with their own icon theme.

Matcha GTK Theme

Matcha doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it certainly deserves some. It feels like a cross between two of the other themes listed here, and it blends them in just the right way. Matcha was based on Arc, but it clearly takes its color inspiration from the likes of Adapta.

GNOME OSX GTK Theme

Do you want Gnome to look like OS X? There’s a theme for that too. If you’re a fan of Apple’s design sense, you can bring that to your Gnome (or other GTK) desktop. Gnome OSC accurately recreates the look and feel of OS X using GTK. That includes all of the usual menus and elements that you’d expect. Gnome OSC is also available in a few color variants to match variants available on OS X.

Zukitwo Theme

Zukitwo has been around for a while. It’s still under development, and not a whole lot has changed. It’s a clean modern theme with clear inspiration coming from Apple. As a result, it’s become a no-nonsense option of sorts. Zukitwo has been packaged by a number of distributions over time, so check out your distro’s repositories before installing.

Vimix GTK Theme

Vimix is another flat material design theme. This theme, though, is more colorful than a lot of others. That might not be for everyone, but it does add some variation to your desktop. Vimix works great to make minimal designs more lively.

You can find any of these themes by the provided links. Installing each of them is different, so consult the developer’s page for the theme you want. Most Linux themes can be found in “/usr/share/themes” or “/home/username/.local/share/themes.” It depends on whether you want to install them system-wide or just for your user.

This article was first published in October 2014 and was updated in April 2018.

8 comments

  1. Just wondering why so many developers these days are going with “flat” themes? Not for nothing, but they’re ugly. I miss the days where desktops had their own flair, and instantaneously you could identify something by its desktop theme. Now?…Android looks like Apple which looks like Windows which looks like a slew of Linux distros who are all trying to look “flat”. Bring back the 3-D icons the 2-D desktop folder views and do away with this boring flat look. COlors can only go so far, and without the colors? things would get REALLY depressing in Linux land!

    • like it or not, flat design are here to stay.
      not really flashy 3d look is because it looked way too cheesy, dated, and boring.
      and it’s looks way to distracting and confusing rather than the direct no bullshit flat design.

      “flat” ≠ “boring”

  2. Who died and decreed that “modern” = “flat”?! With today’s programming and hardware capabilities, we should have exciting, vibrant 3D themes, not flat ones that look like they were developed by a 10 year old. Unless by “modern” is meant stark, sparse, utilitarian, with little color.

    • Ele, I was curious too so I looked and those are from the Arc icon theme. You can find a link to them in the Arc github linked in the Arc section of this page.

      Regards,
      Shane

  3. I agree with dragonmouth that it isn’t up to anyone to declare that the “flatso” look is the only theme style allowed to exist from this day forward. I know, the Gnome devs would like you to think *their* way is the only right one, and the majority of the world is wrong for disagreeing with them.

    The problem I’m seeing in themes these days is the blatant disregard for personalized settings. I have gone so far as to have my gtk2 and gtk3 configuration files set to force “steppers” (scrollbar arrows). But these days the themes say “nope, don’t wanna do it”. I thought we were running Linux here; this isn’t the thugs of MSWindows or MacOS (or even Android) declaring what you will or will not do. If I want scrollbar arrows (needed if you have a trackball) I shouldn’t have to justify my request, it should be respected with minimum of complaint (I will grant they can grumble under their breath if they feel the need, I’m not THAT mean).

  4. Yep give me 3D theme for Linux, the flat themes are the most boring part of any OS, give more themes with colorful looks.

    I love eye candy, that’s why ai look at pretty girls, :) also pretty icons and beautiful 3D themes and colours.

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