I have found many "solutions" for this problem, including modifying gsettings.py, as well as installing Gnome Tweak Tool or Unity Tweak Tool. I have even attempted using Gnome 3.10. Nothing I have tried has worked.

The issue that I am experiencing is that, within Gnome Classic, I am unable to change the window borders. Most GTK3 themes installed in ~/.themes/ work in the sense that I am able to change the GTK theme, but not the window borders (Border, Title bar, Close/Maximize/Minimize buttons)

I was finally able to get Window Borders using the correct theme while using Gnome Fallback, however, Gnome Fallback does not seem to be an ideal solution for me (introduces many more issues, such as Keyboard Settings not having an affect on my session).

Does anybody have any suggestions on how to get a Gnome Classic session honoring both GTK and Window Borders of a theme?


As it was explained to me, Gnome 3 is moving towards the ability to allow each window to style itself. The idea behind this goal is that applications can really improve their user experience by having their own custom colors and things.

For this reason, some "GTK3" themes aren't really Gnome 3 ideal. You will find that some of the GTK3 themes (such as those on Gnome Look) work, while others do not.

If you experience an issue such as this, you can place your older themes in ~/.local/share/themes. If you do not have the Current Theme option on Gnome Tweak Tool, you can manually set the Window Border/Current Theme theme using the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme "THEME_DIRECTORY_NAME_HERE"

I hope this clears some stuff up.

  • Are you satisfied with this solution? – Anwar Oct 9 '16 at 18:10

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