I have tried to apply dark themes from Ubuntu 14.04 on 16.04 and they do not come out entirely as expected (different colours and such). What native dark themes for Ubuntu 16.04 are out there? I would prefer a theme retaining the default Unity decorations and icons and simply tweaking colours, but other suggestions are welcome.


2 Answers 2


Arc Theme Dark

This seems to be a popular theme, albeit somewhat different from the original Unity. This theme also prefers cold colours producing an overall calming and comfortable desktop.

Update: After using this theme for a couple of weeks I must say this is the best I ever had with Unity. The choice and combination of colours is spot on, a serene and beautiful theme. Highly recommended.

enter image description here

This theme can be installed from the Nooblabs PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install arc-theme

There is also an Arc icons theme, check more details at the NoobsLab webpage.

Adapta Dark

This theme introduces a number of modifications to window decorations and icons, but the end result is quite crisp. All the colours seem to have been well worked out, producing a nice desktop in different monitors.

enter image description here


sudo apt-add-repository ppa:tista/adapta -y
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install adapta-gtk-theme

It might require some tweaking to get activated, check the details here or follow the steps below.

Install unity-tweak-tool to apply the newly installed theme using:

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Now navigate to unity-tweak-tool > Appearance > Theme to choose theme.

  • Blue is not a good color at night, even with redshift. Can you alter it?
    – empedokles
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 10:13
  • All about creating themes in this thread: askubuntu.com/questions/47643/… Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 6:49
  • 2
    I needed to install unity-tweak-tool to enable arc theme, too.
    – Soorena
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 16:50

You can also try the Vivacious-zbackout theme.

enter image description here

Doesn't look great with Firefox. I'm trying to set different themes for GTK and Window theme to see if that helps, not working so far.

Details here: http://www.noobslab.com/2016/04/vivacious-colors-another-great-icon.html

Install commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vivacious-colors
sudo apt-get install vivacious-folder-colors-addon
sudo apt-get install vivacious-colors-gtk-dark
  • 4
    It would be nice if you could complement this answer with install instructions. Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 13:57
  • 2
    I think (sorry, I'm not 100% sure) it was this: > sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa > sudo apt-get update > sudo apt-get install vivacious-colors
    – whossname
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 6:32
  • 1
    the last command might be > sudo apt-get install vivacious-colors-gtk-dark
    – whossname
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 6:45
  • Do these work for Ubuntu Gnome too? Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 10:52
  • Yep, Cinnamon, Mate and Lxde as well
    – whossname
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 11:14

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