I ran some commands in the terminal to download themes from internet but I dont know how to access them, they dont show up in Appearance.

These themes are for gdk3 and gnome

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    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 18:08

2 Answers 2


Edit: Wrong answer, sorry! Correct answer here:

When a theme is downloaded from the internet, it is usually placed in an archive. All you need to do is extract this archive to the .themes folder, located in your home folder. To see hidden files (EG. those beginning with a .) press CTRL+H. If the folder isn't there, don't panic. Just create said folder, and extract the theme archive into this spot.

ALSO: Some themes have a set of instructions for installation on their website. This would be a good place to check.


Ubuntu 11.10 and newer uses GTK+ 3, meaning it uses a completely different system for displaying applications. This said, it still supports theming.

First, make sure your themes are compatible. If you had the "clearlooks" theme, and you really liked it and wanted to continue using it, google "clearlooks for GTK 3."

Also, the appearance dialogue is annoyingly limited now. It currently supports the Ambiance, Radiance, Adwaita, High Contrast, and High Contrast Inverse themes ONLY.

In order to get around this, you will need something called the "tweak tool." It can be downloaded through the software center or the Synaptic Package Manager by searching for "gnome-tweak-tool" or running the command sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool in the terminal. Once that is done, look for something that says either "Advanced Settings" or "Tweak Tool" in your Accessories and System menus, and then launch it once you have found it. On the sidebar, click "Theme" and you will be presented with the option to change your theme. Hope it helps!


Ubuntu 10.04 uses gnome2 and ubuntu 12.04 uses gnome3, gnome2 themes are not compatable with gnome3 hence they are removed, BTW you can install other gnome3 themes from internet

  • Do I look for gnome3 themes ? Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 22:43
  • I have added GDK3 themes. Now I have "XScreenSaver daemon not running" error msg on start up. Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 17:14

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