I've downloaded some nice themes, icon packages, and pointers from sites like gnome-look.

Now, what do I do to use this theme? Do I have to save it in /usr/share/themes?


2 Answers 2


It's not a problem of where they are located. It is a matter of how 11.10 and GNOME 3 have changed. For some reason (I don't know why) the GNOME developers have removed appearance properties from the system settings, under the impression that users should not have the power to choose their own theme.

The Ubuntu developers where kind enough to patch the control centre to allow for us to use Ambiance and Radiance, but if you want to use other GTK+ 3 themes you will need to install gnome-tweak-tool Install gnome-tweak-tool. After installing, you can find it by opening "Advanced Settings" from the Dash.

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13.04 and later

Themes can be changed through the excellent Unity customisation tool called unity-tweak-tool Install unity-tweak-tool

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(click to install)

Themes can now be changed through the excellent Unity customisation tool called MyUnity. The key advantage over using Gnome-Tweak is that it does not install all the gnome-shell dependencies.

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Changing to any installed theme is as simple as clicking on the theme as shown in the list. You can similarly change the icon set via the right-hand list on the same screen.

to install

for 12.04 - MyUnity Install myunity

for 11.04/11.10:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:myunity/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install myunity
  • 2
    Yes, thats more the way it should be!
    – math
    Mar 5, 2012 at 15:09
  • 2
    I resent having to install third party stuff like this to perform simple tasks that... oh, Microsoft and Mac make easy. But thanks are due to the guys who wrote this. Oct 29, 2012 at 10:55
  • @android.weasel The Linux distro developers provides a robust OS environment that works. They provide it as open source, meaning that the community are very free to customize the appearance to suit them. It's not as easy to customize a closed source OS such as Microsoft and Mac. So it's more imperative that they ship a larger variety of tweaking tools with the installation. So far it's fairly easy to find bona fide resources via ppa's such as this to enhance the personal experience. Using the repositories, preferences are easily added or removed. Jun 26, 2016 at 14:54

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