I downloaded some themes from gnome-look.org and I extracted and put them in /usr/share/themes folder and when I opened gnome-tweak-tool windows theme was working but GTK+ themes section was showing only the default ones. Then I put the themes into ~/.themes folder but still no luck. How can I fix this?

For example, one of the themes is this one:


  • 1
    Spotted the problem almost intermediately: Depends on GNOME 2.x, try a Gnome3 theme, they should work out the box.
    – Braiam
    Aug 11, 2013 at 23:46

2 Answers 2


You should follow the themes installation procedure, but normally it should go something like themename/index.theme. Ex.

$ ls /usr/share/themes/
Adwaita           Industrial         MurrinaCrystal       MurrineRoundedIcon
AgingGorilla      Kiwi               MurrinaCrystalCurve  MurrineRoundedLessFramed
Albatross         Metabox            MurrinaCrystalHuman  MurrineRoundedLessFramedIcon
Ambiace Precise   Mist               MurrinaCrystalLine   Murrine-Sky
Atlanta           MurrinaAquaIsh     MurrinaDark          NOX
Bluebird          MurrinaAzul        MurrinaEalm          Orangine
Bright            MurrinaBlau        MurrinaElement       Raleigh
Clearlooks        MurrinaBleu        MurrinaFancyCandy    Redmond
Crux              MurrinaBlu         MurrinaGilouche      shearwater
Default           MurrinaBlue        MurrinaLoveGray      Shiki-Brave
Emacs             MurrinaCandido     MurrinaNeoGraphite   Shiki-Colors-Easy-Metacity
Esco              MurrinaCandy       MurrinaVerdeOlivo    Shiki-Colors-Metacity
greybird          MurrinaCappuccino  Murrine-Gray         Shiki-Colors-Striped-Metacity
greybird-compact  MurrinaChrome      Murrine-Light        Simple
HighContrast      MurrinaCream       MurrineRounded       ThinIce
$ ls /usr/share/themes/Adwaita/
backgrounds  gtk-2.0  gtk-3.0  index.theme  metacity-1

The same for your ~/.themes directory:

$ ls .themes/
Adwaita-Dark  Darkair
$ ls .themes/Adwaita-Dark/
index.theme gtk-2.0  gtk-3.0

When you extract the files, should be like that.

  • I checked and they are like that. Window themes work but GTK+ themes doesn't work so I don't think there's something wrong with the way the folders are. Aug 11, 2013 at 23:31
  • @MertcanEkiz If you could supply the link with the theme, maybe there is some extra step we are missing specific for the theme. Edit your Question and add the link.
    – Braiam
    Aug 11, 2013 at 23:33
  • I edited the link to the question. However I don't see any extra steps that I'm missing there. Aug 11, 2013 at 23:40

I'm a little late but this is an updated answer!

You can check the following things to get the theme working with your Shell.

  1. Sometimes, the theme you're trying to install isn't supported by your shell.
    eg:- You're on gnome-shell v3.6 but you're installing the theme for v4.1.

  2. To check if the theme is supported, ask the developers, maybe they've already described the requirements of the theme on their GitHub page or Gnome-Look page.

Try checking if you're installing correctly or not.

  1. Sometimes, the themes have sub-directories, which need to be installed specifically manually!

  2. Extract the tar file containing the theme and look into it. Find any subdirectories and specifically place theme in ~/.themes or /usr/share/themes

  3. Make sure the theme isn't deprecated and is still maintained. Sometimes, developers clear out the theme directory so that people won't use deprecated themes.

Preferably, check if the theme is secure and prefer GitHub over gnome-look (opencode.net)

  1. On top of the theme page, there is a link to the GitHub page of the theme.

  2. Prefer installing themes using the shell script provided by the developers.

  3. If the GitHub page for the theme isn't there then avoid using that theme.

  4. At last, start a new issue in the comments section of the theme on gnome-look (opencode.net) or preferably at the GitHub page.

At last, make sure you're using a Gtk4 theme for Gnome shell 40 and Gtk 3 theme for Gnome Shell 30.

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