I want to modify the per-installed Ambiance theme in Ubuntu 14.04. It is located in /usr/share/themes/. I copied the Ambiance directory to ~/.themes/ and renamed it to AmbianceDark.

Now I want to show it up in the Appearance Theme menu. Also I do not want to use any external tweak tools. But my search is resulting in only tweak tools to install the modified theme.

How to do it? Any help will be highly appreciated.

  • There are many tools available for using Ubuntu. Many users won't use all the tools available. So everything available isn't installed on the computer. Unity-tweak-tool is one of them. That is the GUI tool for changing to your custom Themes. You might be able to use the console to study what it does and do it from the cli. It't take a lot of work, and its something I'll explore and give more details if that's you really want to go that direction rather than simply installing the one provided by the distro. – L. D. James Sep 12 '16 at 1:10
  • Yes. I want to do it in the hard way (of course to learn something new) – iPD Sep 12 '16 at 1:13
  • Ok. I'm placing the details in the answer. – L. D. James Sep 12 '16 at 1:14
  • I placed an instance to get you started in the answer. I tested a couple of versions. The one in the answer now should work just by inserting your then name where it says "yourtheme name". – L. D. James Sep 12 '16 at 1:33
  • You can't without recompiling unity. These names are hard-coded. – Anwar Sep 12 '16 at 5:56

You can change the themes by using gsettings.

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme "yourtheme name"

You can also type gsettings by itself to get details of usage.

You can use get to check your current settings. If you use the get argument, you can't include a theme-name on that commandline.

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

Themes stored in ~/.themes will automatically show up in the Appearance Theme menu. If your theme doesn't show up you might have copied only the directory, but not it's contents. Your folder ~/.themes/AmbianceDark should contain the folders gtk-2.0 and gtk-3.0 and possibly a file named gtkrc.

If you want to learn about editing themes, here is a good place to start.

Good luck...

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