I've reading about about the Cinnamon Desktop through this Q&A:

How do I install the Cinnamon Desktop?

Also I've been reading these theming questions:

  1. Difference between GTK theme and GNOME shell theme?
  2. How do I get and install more themes, icons, and pointers?

I'm trying to understand downloading & installing themes. I see that I can download GTK2 & GTK3 but I'm unsure I understand the differences.

I see there are themes such as Unity Themes, Gnome-Shell themes from websites such as Gnome-look.org

How do I apply these themes to Cinnamon? I'm new to Cinnamon so a beginners guide would be very useful.


I suppose you have Cinnamon installed and running in your computer.

Cinnamon has a Website with themes, extensions and applets. Here is the link for themes:


You have to download the theme you like and uncompress it in /home/your_user/.themes

If you do not have the .themes folder, you can create it. So you must finally have, for the Minty theme for example, the next path: /home/your_user/.themes/Minty

The Minty folder is the uncompressed theme. Into that folder there is another folder called cinnamon (check this for all the themes you want to install).

Then you will be able to select the theme you installed using Cinnamon Settings (program included with Cinnamon).

The GTK themes are needed for the windows. You can get them from Gnome-look.org, for example. These themes must be installed into the same path (/home/your_user/.themes). Then you can choose the GTK theme in Cinnamon using Cinnamon Settings too. You can't use Gnome-Shell themes with Cinnamon. You have to use Cinnamon themes.

Sorry for my poor english.


  • 1
    Where do I find "Cinnamon Settings"? I don't seem to have it when I search for it in the menu; nor can I find it using Software Manager. – HelloGoodbye Jul 4 '15 at 17:23
  • @HelloGoodbye: The main menu has an icon "System Settings". Alternatively, Alt + F2, "cinnamon-settings", Enter. – basic6 Jun 7 '16 at 12:46

You have to use sudo

Extract the theme, then copy it with:

#command line
sudo cp -R theme /usr/share/themes

gksu nautilus

Then copy and paste from nautilus.

See also : https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo

  • I extracted the theme to the desktop, and type this into Terminal...sudo cp -R /home/username/desktop/theme /usr/share/themes...and got the following error...cp: cannot stat '/home/username/desktop/theme' : No such file or directory. – Brian Apr 24 '12 at 20:56
  • change 'theme' to the name of the directory or use nautilus. – Panther Apr 24 '12 at 21:19

Use the Themes tool. (Cinnamon Start button | System Settings | Themes)

So you can instantly see the changes, first open a few test windows. I suggest one small Terminal, File explorer, FireFox, and LibreOffice window. Also be sure to leave some space on the left of your screen so you can see the underlying desktop and icons change. And don't forget to watch changes that appear in your start menu.

The Installed tab sets only some things and operates independently of the Other settings tab which sets a few more things.

Be patient when you change the icons, as it might take awhile to update.

I was able to click on a list and then roll my mouse up and down to see the effects of different options.


make a .themes directory in your home directory and paste files there


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