Ok so i am using XUbuntu and I like it because it's simple, looks great and works nicely on my 2gb ram laptop.

I also installed recently Arc Dark theme, and every other program, text editors or IDEs look great with it, except for Eclipse. I thought it was some type of bug so I installed an older Version that has like 5 Million Downloads but the problem still seems to be present.

Can anyone tell me what settings to change in the preferences to make it look as it used to? I mean, how do I make eclipse ignore the theme change of linux, and set everything back to white as it was.

Thanks in advance.

enter image description here

  • 1
    yeah. this is known. just use a jet brains app instead. or take this up with eclipse. this is due to eclipse not ubuntu.
    – tatsu
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 11:42
  • @tatsu well I'd use IntelliJ, but the problem is, that it doesn't run well on 2gb ram. That's why I was going for eclipse. Is there some option to add eclipse as an exception to the arc theme so that it is displayed as normal?
    – user961805
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 11:46
  • not that I know of :( shame that you only have 2gb. that is a bit short for Intellij. how does Visual Studio Code run? (you can install it in the Software center)
    – tatsu
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 11:49
  • @tatsu i tested it. Not too good either. I mean it lags when you type a bit faster than too slow.
    – user961805
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 11:54
  • shucks. well go ahead and hit up the eclipse forums. and maybe someone here has an idea.
    – tatsu
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 12:04

3 Answers 3


I was struggling with this myself, and I found an answer (I can make dark theme work using answer from FloT but I just don't like it for eclipse). If you want to keep light theme for eclipse launch eclipse with GTK_THEME set for light theme. This will work with default theme in eclipse (or/and no theme at all)

GTK_THEME=Adwaita ./eclipse

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    You can update the /usr/share/applications/*.desktop file with this, too. For example, Exec=env GTK_THEME=Adwaita /usr/bin/eclipse. See askubuntu.com/a/144971/276723 for details. Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 1:34
  • 1
    Ah! That worked for me. I had been struggling after switching XFCE to dark theme for days! Thanks! Worked on Ubuntu LTS 20.04, Xubuntu/XFCE, latest Eclipse. Changed the launcher commands to use env GTK_THEME=Adwaita $HOME/etc/eclipse Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 20:41
  • I think this might be of interest to someone, it also works on Linux Mint 20.1 (never had troubles with eclipse theme on previous versions of Mint)
    – valepu
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 9:48

You should get a better display by doing this: in Eclipse, go to Window > Preferences > General > Appearance. Choose a dark theme for Eclipse and restart Eclipse. It should be in better harmony with your Xubuntu dark theme.
enter image description here
Alternatively, if you simply need a code editor and not a full IDE, you can have a look on Bluefish, Geany, Gedit, even Mousepad... They are lighter than Eclipse and might be better integrated into Xubuntu.

  • seems like my version of eclipse got a doesn't even have a dark theme. A newer version does have it but it doesn't look good either because of the font colors, dark green on a dark background just doesn't look good. Especially if you are used to writing java in a white background.
    – user961805
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 16:00
  • I'd love to not use an IDE for this, Sublime is a ton better, but it's really hard to remember the long method names and imports in Java, it's like a language that NEEDS an IDE if you are going to use libraries and you aren't just testing some simple code.
    – user961805
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 16:03
  • Oh, I would expect that an Eclipse dark theme comes with font better adapted to your dark Xubuntu theme. At least that works for me in Kubuntu. As you can see on my screenshot, it is possible to change only the fonts. Did you try ? Don't forget to restart Eclipse after applying a new theme, otherwise it's only partially applied. And if nothing fits your need, you can go to Help > Eclipse Marketplace and get new themes from there. Last, if you like the Eclipse auto completion, maybe Netbeans, IntelliJ IDEA, JDevelopper... would provide efficient alternative?
    – FloT
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 20:53

For those who currently (see the answer date) use eclipse this is a simple guide on how to use a specific theme, probably a light one.

Version 2021-06 doesn't require your root access, assuming you had downloaded it from the official site, because it defaults to install the IDE per user. so the steps maybe a little bit different it stores the .desktop entry in $HOME/.local/share/applications open the file named epp.package.java.desktop and add the theme env, so your $HOME/.local/share/applications/epp.package.java.desktop will have the line

Exec=env GTK_THEME=$YOUR_FAVORITE_LIGHT_THEME env GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus $HOME/eclipse/java-2021-06/eclipse/eclipse

Instead of

Exec=env GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus $HOME/eclipse/java-2021-06/eclipse/eclipse

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