Is there a way to get java apps to use my gtk theme?


You can try to set Java's default look and feel to GTK:

Open a terminal ( Ctrl + Alt + T ) and paste the upper one for openjdk and the lower one for sun java .

gksu gedit /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/swing.properties

gksu gedit /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun/jre/lib/swing.properties

  • Follow the comment in that file and remove the hash sign, so it looks like:

    # uncomment to set the default look and feel to GTK
  • Save and restart the java app.

Before and after:

  • 1
    didn't fix it, but still very useful for me :) thanks! – RolandiXor Jan 16 '11 at 21:50
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    Thanks. I used this as a tip but instead did; UIManager.setLookAndFeel("com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel"); which does not require any configuration file editing. – xconspirisist Sep 15 '13 at 18:56
  • @RolandiXor If this didn't work, that means the developer of the app hardcoded the look and feel. Nothing you can do about that, unless it is open-source. :( – stommestack Nov 19 '13 at 15:01
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    It hepled me to solve "jdk bold font" bug. Thank you. – MInner Jun 26 '14 at 16:23
  • Didn't fix for universalmediaserver on Ubuntu Mate 14. – NicolasSmith May 9 '17 at 11:37

If you have already tried the above solutions - try using this (helped me on Xfce):

  1. export _JAVA_OPTIONS='-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on -Dswing.aatext=true -Dswing.defaultlaf=com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel -Dswing.crossplatformlaf=com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel'

  2. Then launch in this terminal your app.

  3. If you are satisfied with your result - add this line to your ~/.profile file.
  • Putting this into ~/.profile didn't work for me, but I put _JAVA_OPTIONS="-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on -Dswing.aatext=true -Dswing.defaultlaf=com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel -Dswing.crossplatformlaf=com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel" into /etc/environment (note the usage of double rather than single quotes and the missing export, otherwise the magic doesn't work). – Photon Mar 9 '17 at 13:03
  • Works fine with SweetHome3D and Ubuntu 18.04 – NicolasSmith Feb 17 '19 at 7:29

If you are the developer or it's an open source, an alternative way is to change the look and feel of the application. Insert the below code in the main method.

for (javax.swing.UIManager.LookAndFeelInfo info : javax.swing.UIManager.getInstalledLookAndFeels()) {
    if ("com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel".equals(info.getClassName())) {   

This might be also helpful.

  • @Jop Are you sure about other platforms? What about KDE themes? – giannis christofakis Nov 19 '13 at 9:05
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    Nevermind, I was wrong, sorry. But why not just javax.swing.UIManager.setLookAndFeel("com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel");? – stommestack Nov 22 '13 at 17:47
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    @Jop Since Java applications are platform independent you should check if GTK theme is installed in your system. – giannis christofakis Nov 23 '13 at 17:47

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