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Sorry if this is a stupid question I am new to Linux.

I recently discovered what a theme engine is and I was wondering if it's possible to install other engines on my computer. A few themes that I have downloaded require certain engines. I am running GNOME 3.4 on Ubuntu. How can I find out what engines I have/where are they located and how would I add more?

Thank you

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

For starters, you could run the following two simulations:

apt-get install -s gtk3-engines*  


apt-get install -s gtk2-engines*  

These commands should indicate engines available to you.

Then you could run:

dpkg --get-selections > ~/Desktop/installed-software  

to get a list of software installed on your system and search that file for engines. I did that and have just the following engines because my OS is Lubuntu 12.10 and I haven't installed any extra themes:


You may also want to look at basic theme engines for GTK+:

GTK-engines is a collection of basic theme engines for GTK+.

The GTK-engines provide basic themes for GTK. Themes control the user interface, providing icons, shadows, text layout, color schemes, window decoration and more.

The basic theme engines are the ones that GNOME produce, though users can install (or write and install) others.

The basic theme engines are very flexible, so many themes can use a single engine but still get a unique look and feel.

And from reading here and there, I get the impression that one has to be a little careful in ensuring that the themes one tries matches the GNOME version!

As for where exactly the "engines" are located, I honestly don't know but you could see if you have something like /usr/share/gtk-engines and /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/gtk-2.0/2.10.0/engines/.

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Thank you! that was very informative, how does one go about installing a new engine, is there a specific folder that they should be placed in? Also when i ran dpkg --get slections ... nothing happened :-\ does this mean i dont have any? – const Feb 7 '13 at 18:54
Did you really type dpkg --get slections because that is wrong. You need to type dpkg --get-selections, etc. The command line is unforgiving! – user25656 Feb 7 '13 at 19:01
Even though I've been using Linux for a couple of years, I haven't found the need to install engines separately and so other than pointing you to resources, I'm afraid I can't be of more help. Sorry! If you are more forthcoming about which exact engine you wish to install along with where you've come across the suggestion that you should install them, I or someone may be able to say something specific. – user25656 Feb 7 '13 at 19:05
no i typed it correctly, sorry for the typo i'll fix it...but earlier today the theme i had installed wasnt showing up now it, after restarting a few times. I will repost a question when the time comes thank you for your help :) – const Feb 7 '13 at 19:56
Just for completeness, you say you entered the dpkg command correctly and nothing happened. That is often a good thing. In this case, the command, as I provided it, should silently write the output not to screen but to your desktop! So you may not see anything happen unless you look on your desktop for a file called installed-software. – user25656 Feb 8 '13 at 3:01

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