I'm using the Evolve theme for Ubuntu and I'm happy with it.

All applications work well with this theme except one, Ubuntu Software Center. The text is not readable with this theme (white text on light grey background).

Every time I need to use USC I have to change the theme and then change it back.

Is it possible to tell Ubuntu to use the Ambiance theme for USC only?

I tried adding env GTK_THEME="Ambiance" to the exec line in the .desktop file but it didn't have any effect whatsoever.


The theme is set by a setting in dconf - you can get the current setting with:

gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme

So you could create a simple script to workaround your problem and change the theme, then open software center, and change the theme back when software center has closed:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme 'Ambiance'
software-center $1
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme 'Evolve'

You can save this in your home directory in a file called 'open-software-center', then make it executable by setting it in the file's properties, or by running this in terminal:

chmod +x ./open-software-center

You can then run ./open-software-center in terminal, or the command thing that opens when you press Alt+F2

I don't of a way that would change the theme for just one window... but it would be interesting if someone had an answer for that.

  • I discovered that this works but breaks the possibility of opening .deb files with Software Center. I edited the script to solve the issue. – To Do Jul 15 '14 at 7:37

Why not change the background-color of Ubuntu Software Center to a darker one, (which I did as well - works perfectly fine). To do so, simply edit/modify itemview-background.png, see full path below and make sure to backup the untempered image-file:


Or change the color-value for [text+shadow argument] of the visible drawn text in USC to a darker one, see path below: (didn't looked deeper into it, but it is somewhere in softwarecenter.css and/or softwarecenter.highcontrastinverse.css)


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