I've seen several methods to do this.

However, most of them are not an option to me. I can't use unity-tweak-tool because I need to run the script as root. I can't seem to find a gsettings command that works (tried several by now). All I want to do is install the theme 'Ambiance-dark-red', and then set it as the default. But I need to be able to do this as root.

Can you guys help me out? I'm currently on 14.04, but it would be great if this worked on future releases.


1 Answer 1


Gtk-theme :

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme "YourGTKTheme"

Icon-theme :

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface icon-theme 'YourIconTheme'

Window-theme :

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme "YourWindowTheme"
  • 1
    Is there any method to make sure the string is the correct one? Aug 9, 2016 at 6:59
  • 1
    @LuísdeSousa you can open Gnome Tweak Tools (install if it you don't have it) and then use the exact string (caps sensitive) you see displayed. Alternatively, if you already have the theme set, use gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface cursor-theme, for example
    – GrayedFox
    Sep 11, 2018 at 9:33
  • Cinnamon 4.8.5 not working. Jan 15, 2021 at 13:36

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