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All my menus are highlighted like in the attached image.

I asked around and someone told me my gtk theme might be broken. However, I have no clue how to fix it. This occurs on my system menus, DE changer in the login menu, and most other programs.

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Do you have the Gnome 3 (both, testing) PPAs activated? if you do, an update might just have happened, and yes the GTK Theme needs to be updated to reflect the changes – Uri Herrera Jun 20 '12 at 7:18
Both PPAs were activated. I'm not sure how to update a GTK theme though. – Anonymous Jun 20 '12 at 17:49
Yeah, happened to me too you''l have to use the gnome packages from Ubuntu or wait for the author to update the theme. – Uri Herrera Jun 20 '12 at 17:50

As I commented, an update brakes compatibility with Themes.

So you'll have to remove the Gnome 3 Team PPA and the Ricotz testing PPA then downgrade the packages to the Ubuntu version.

Install ppa -purge to make this easier.

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In my case, for Unity I fixed this problem by deleting ~/.config/gtk-3.0 that I had left over from some earlier tweaking when still using 12.04.

With Xfce, I had this problem when using Settings / Appearance / ambiance-xfce-lxde theme that I got from

For Xfce, I fixed this by making a new theme with everything else from Ambiance, but the gtk-2.0 folder from ambiance-xfce-lxde:

cd /usr/share/themes
sudo cp -r Ambiance MyAmbiance
sudo cp -r ambiance-xfce-lxde/gtk-2.0/ MyAmbiance/

and then selecting MyAmbiance from Settings / Appearance.

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It's problem with unity-settings-daemon / gnome-settings-daemon. You can report a bug here.

  • On Ubuntu 14.04 and newer following command should fix problem (run it from alt+F2 window, not Terminal):

    gksudo killall -9 unity-settings-daemon && unity-settings-daemon

  • On Ubuntu older than 14.04 tou can try (run it from alt+F2 window, not Terminal):

    sudo killall -9 gnome-settings-daemon && gnome-settings-daemon

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