Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 11:41

What we are missing is built-in easy way to install themes in Ubuntu. Different with the old Ubuntu (versions before 11.04), now it is more tricky to tweak appearance of Ubuntu. But there is a convenient way starting at Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr named Unity Tweak Tool. With this tool, we can easily change our Ubuntu theme.

Install Unity Tweak Tool. 

See our Unity Tweak Tool article. The only reason we choose Unity Tweak Tools is because it is available for version Trusty until Wily in the official repository while tualatrix's Ubuntu Tweak is not.

Create .themes Directory

Create a ~/.themes folder. This is a hidden folder named .themes inside your $HOME folder. The most reliable way to do this is by executing command mkdir ~/.themes.

Copy Theme Folder into .themes Folder

Suppose you have Mona 3.0 GTK theme from Mona is archived in .tar.gz format, so extract it in current folder so you can see a folder named 168447-Mona 3.0 GTK Theme.

Inside this folder, you will find two folders, Firefox Fix and Mona 3.0. You must see directory structure inside this folders, make sure you find a folder contains one or all of these important folders gtk-2.0, gtk-3.0, metacity-1, and xfwm4. They are Mona's theme folders. So, copy the parent of these folders (it is Mona 3.0) into ~/.themes folder you've created. So you will see the structure for Mona 3.0 GTK theme is ~/.themes/Mona 3.0/gtk-3.0/. This copying simply is the theme installation. This instruction apply into all other GTK themes.

Open Unity Tweak Tool

Open its Appearance > Theme > select your Mona 3.0 from the selections. Your whole Ubuntu appearance and all application appearances will change. Same thing goes for another themes.


Every time you finished copying any theme folder into ~/.themes, you must restart Unity Tweak Tool to make it recognize your newly installed theme.