How can I change the desktop icon font size/colour to something more readable? At the moment, icon text looks like this:

welcome to my illegible icon text; it says 'scripts.svg'

unity-tweak-tool (as mentioned in How do I change fonts and adjust their size?) has no way of changing these settings. Any of the questions from older Ubuntu distros are not relevant under 14.04.

Update: from Change default system font using terminal only in 14.04, I can change the font/size with something like:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop font 'Ubuntu Bold 12'

I'm still at a loss how to change the colour of the text, though.

  • make sure that your graphic card driver is installed, because from the image you put it, it seems a driver problem. – Mohammad May 25 '14 at 17:06
  • @scruss I don't think there is any easy way to change icon text colours. I'll look into my own configs and see if something like this is possible without editing the program script. – Andrew Stewart May 25 '14 at 18:01
  • See this question (you have to edit your theme files): askubuntu.com/a/102604/278071 – rioc0719 Nov 25 '14 at 21:52
  • @scruss - you can edit font size/colour in settings of terminal and in case of desktop you can edit it there in window manager gnome or in kde - there in system settings of window manager. – dschinn1001 Dec 17 '15 at 2:48

Font colors are usually attributes of the themes. I'd first try not to mess around to much and hence install another theme and try what fits my needs.

If you want to go all geek mode and fiddle around you will find the themes under


There you will usually find a gtk-3.0 folder, in which you will find all the files of the theme. The files you are looking for are either gtk.css or settings.ini respectively both of them. If you are familiar with css, you'll have no problem configuring your style as you wish to. The interesting part for you might look like this, depending on the theme designer:

/* default color scheme */ @define-color bg_color #ffffff; @define-color fg_color #4c4c4c; @define-color base_color #ffffff; @define-color text_color #ff2525; @define-color selected_bg_color #cce8ff; @define-color selected_fg_color #262626; @define-color tooltip_bg_color #ffffff; @define-color tooltip_fg_color #4c4c4c; @define-color progressbar_color #06B025; As you can see, colors are defined for different parts of an application, so you might have to try and find out which one you need to be changed. To use the theme on your unity desktop, you will have to install unity-tweak-tool. It's also very handy because you can swith back and forth between themes and directly view your changes, once you saved them on the theme css file.

As a little bonus, you might find this article about theming in Unity very interesting: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Unity/Theming

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