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I've downloaded some nice themes, icon packages, and pointers from sites like gnome-look. Now what do I do? Where else can I get these kinds of things?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Installing new themes in Ubuntu 10.10 and below

To install the themes open the Theme Manager which can be accessed from System > Preferences > Appearances then just drag the theme/icons etc on to the window.

Once installed you can either directly use the theme or modify it to use individual components like icons, borders, etc in the Theme Manager.

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It's somewhat amusing that the accepted answer now applies only to EOL releases. – Christopher Kyle Horton Jun 18 at 0:53

Installing new themes in Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04 LTS

Ubuntu 11.10 and later versions switched to GNOME 3, and in the process lost the ability to add new themes easily through the Appearances window. However, new themes can be installed in other ways.

11.04 and earlier uses GTK+2 themes; for Ubuntu 11.10 and up, you'll want GTK+3 themes. These can be found easily at a site like

Once you have your themes, extract them to the appropriate folders.

  • GTK+3 themes go in ~/.themes (or /usr/share/themes to be available for all users)
  • Icon themes go in ~/.icons (or /usr/share/icons to be available for all users)

To install and use the themes you download, you'll need to either:

  • install the GNOME Tweak ToolInstall GNOME Tweak Tool. You may also want to install the User Themes Extension (gnome-shell-extensions-user-theme); see the source below for more information.
  • install MyUnityMyUnity

Use these instructions to change to your newly installed theme.


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Installing cursors/icons/themes in 11.10 and above:

When you found a nice icon or cursor packages you download it, right click on it and choose 'extract here'. Then you open Nautilus with root previleges gksu nautilus and copy/move the extracted folder to the folder /usr/share/icons/. For theme packages you copy/move the extracted folder to /usr/share/themes.

Then you go to the Software Center and install the gnome-tweak-tool. Afterwards open the Dash with the Super(Windows)-Key and type tweak and choose the 'advances preferences' (or so, I'm not on an English system). Under 'theme' you should be able to change your cursor/icons/theme to whatever you like/installed.

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From what I understand, /usr/share/ folders apply system-wide to all users, which is good if you want everyone who uses your machine to have access to these themes. If you want them only for yourself, then ~/.icons or ~/.themes is what you want. – Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 22 '11 at 20:27

In Ubuntu 11.04 and earlier System > Preferences > Appearance

Then click "Get more themes online" which points to:

Ubuntu 11.10 has a simplified Appearances preference that dosen't include a button for getting more themes.

share|improve this answer They have some good themes with complete window controls and icons...

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These themes are not yet available for Ubuntu 11.10. – Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 19 '11 at 7:45
I just checked the status of the project on the provided page, and it sounds like someone by the name of Grvrulz is supposed to be porting them to GTK+3 for 12.04. I don't know if they finished it, though. – Christopher Kyle Horton May 16 '12 at 3:25

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