Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I mean that PCManFM and Thunar follow my theme:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Nautilus does not:

enter image description here

I have to add that I do not want to change my present theme. And I guess that is the problem, as it does not have a gtk3 folder included.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Nautilus is gtk3. Thunar is gtk2. I don't know about the third. Ensure that the theme you use has a gtk-3.0 folder if you want Nautilus to be styled as well. Your theme may be in ~/.themes or in /usr/share/themes (which is where they're located in Ubuntu 12.04.) The Ambiance theme, for example, is here: /usr/share/themes/Ambiance. Within are the following:

[03:04 PM] /usr/share/themes/Ambiance $ ls

gtk-2.0 gtk-3.0 index.theme metacity-1 unity

The presence of the gtk-3.0 folder ensures that apps based on gtk3 will be styled correctly.

Edit: I suspect that most software from GNOME will be gtk3. Other things like Chrome, Firefox, LibreOffice still are gtk2.

Anyway, as the other answer also suggested:

Nautilus is gtk3: use a gtk3 theme if you want a gtk3 program to be themed.

(In order to use a theme that does not have gtk3 support: a not very recommendable workaround is to copy the gtk3 folder from a theme that has it into the folder of the one that does not. In fact, in Lubuntu, one can extract and copy themes in home/username/.themes in order to install them, a location which does not require root privilege. But some applications like Synaptic Manager require a theme in usr/share/themes: see this question.)

share|improve this answer
I am in Lubuntu (LXDE), not Gnome. The theme I use (Elegant Arch, a blue variation of Elegant Brit theme) does not contain the gtk3 folder. copying that from Ambiance for example would give what result do you imagine? – cipricus Sep 6 '12 at 9:49
i should mark as definitive your answer, i hope you don't mind if I edit it a bit. the other answer says the same with less explanations. i have tried moving a gtk3 directory from a different theme into mine and it themes Nautilus and other gtk3 based apps like Audacious. But that is not an answer, just a variation of the main answer, which now is clear: use a gtk3 theme if you want a gtk3 program to be themed. – cipricus Sep 6 '12 at 10:10
  1. Go to PreferencesCustomize Look and Feel from the menu

  2. Change the theme to Lubuntu-default in widget tab. It will make nautilus to look good and compatible with other Lubuntu apps

Response to latest updates of requirements by OP

If you don't want to change your theme, I fear it is not possible to workaround this. Because, nautilus version 3.0 or greater requires gtk-3 themes, which your currently active theme surely is not supporting.

If you really want to have nautilus to be compatible with the installed theme, I would suggest you to contact theme developer for a request to implement gtk-3 theme in this one. If you are good with css and javascript and feel interested, I think you may yourself try to implement the theme in gtk-3. See this themeing guide for help.

share|improve this answer
thnx but that is what i want: to keep my theme. edited question accordingly. – cipricus Sep 6 '12 at 9:51
@cipricus i've responsed to your latest updated question. See the updated part of my answer. thanks :) – Anwar Shah Sep 6 '12 at 13:55
thnx, but as you can see some workaround was my solution, and i have added it as edit to the other answer: adding gtk3 directory in the main directory of the theme. even better, related versions of my favourite theme now have gtk3 versions. i am not good at editing themes: so I have a new question: – cipricus Sep 6 '12 at 15:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.