I was trying to change the selected items color from the default orange to something else, however, the option isn't there, as it used to be in the Appearance properties in previous versions of ubuntu. Any idea where it could be in the beta?


3 Answers 3


Replace the orange color in Ubuntu 11.10 (active color)

Install dconf-editor

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Start the program press Alt+F2 and then write dconf-editor and enter.

Path: org => gnome => desktop => interface
Find the line “gtk-color-scheme” and add this string:


Here it is then simply choose the color you want yourself, I have adark blue color, then just replace the last color in the string (#023C88) to change the highlight color to what you want.

More info here:

  • 2
    editing the /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-3.0/settings.ini & /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc is good for global changes, the method here works just fine for 'per user' changes if one has more than 1. Also as an override it protects against a light-themes update. You only need to add the colors you wish to override, in this case selected_bg_color:#
    – doug
    Nov 19, 2011 at 20:24
  • This seems not to work for KDE, is there an equivalent for Kubuntu?
    – rubo77
    Mar 6, 2013 at 14:57
  • 4
    Doesn't appear to work on 16.10
    – 2Toad
    Mar 4, 2017 at 20:37

Right now, there is no way to change theme colors from the GUI as in previous versions. However, if you are desperate, you can change the color values in the following files to your desired color:


Thanks goes to kolinab for this.

  • 4
    Just found this out a few hours ago, it works! For anyone looking to do this, look to change every instance of this color: #f07746 . That is the Ubuntu orange color. I just changed it to #4f4f4f for a gray color. Thanks! Will award bounty when it lets me... Oct 13, 2011 at 23:51
  • In my experience, it seems the only place where color changes make any difference is in gtk.css.
    – Isaiah
    Oct 14, 2011 at 3:17
  • That's odd, because changing settings.ini also changed some colors for me. Oct 14, 2011 at 13:23
  • That does not work for me. Actually, I do not see any effect, which is really weird. There are loads of orange left in progress bars, scroll bars, etc. Is this a new question?
    – MPi
    Oct 27, 2011 at 7:49

There is a GUI to do this, available here. For versions before 13.10, you would need to add this PPA, but since 13.10, you can just install it from the main repos with:

sudo apt-get install gtk-theme-config

Once installed and set it can do a great job - though buttons, and other highlights based on images will likely persist in their original colour.

After making changes (make sure you turn the switches to ON), you need to logout/login to see most of the effect - here is an example with incredibly bad colour choice:

enter image description here

  • 3
    Looks like the package is not available for 18.04
    – twinlakes
    Sep 23, 2018 at 1:56

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