How to Install and Change GNOME Themes in Ubuntu

Get your Ubuntu looking sharp! Learn how to install and change GNOME themes easily.

This guide shows you how to install and Change GNOME Themes in Ubuntu. Out of the box, Ubuntu 22.04’s desktop environment looks sleek and modern. However, GNOME Themes let you change how the desktop looks and works if you’d rather. Changing and installing GNOME Themes in Ubuntu is a simple process that lets users make their desktop look the way they want it to.

The GNOME Tweaks tool makes it easy for users to look through, install, and turn on different themes, including ones with different colour schemes, icon packs, and overall looks. With just a few clicks, this flexibility lets users change the look and feel of their desktop environment, making it more appealing to look at and making users happier.

You can easily try out different themes for your desktop with Ubuntu. Whether you want a simple design, a bright colour scheme, or a nostalgic retro look, you can make your computer experience unique and fun. With so many themes to choose from, Ubuntu users can always change how their desktop looks, keeping it fresh and in line with their changing tastes and preferences. Visit official website for more details.

How to install and Change GNOME Themes in Ubuntu

How to install Themes in Ubuntu

  1. Open the user home folder from the dock.
  2. When the file manager opens, press Ctrl+H to show or hide hidden folders. If they don’t already exist, make the .themes and .icons folders:
  3. .themes is for GTK app themes and shell/desktop themes.
  4. .icons is for an icon set.
  5. Put the GTK and Gnome Shell themes you downloaded into the .themes folder. Put the icon themes in the .icons folder as well.
  6. There are usually a few subfolders and a file called "index.theme" inside a theme folder. If you put it in the right place, Gnome Tweak will find it and show it as an option in the selection box.
  7. Put these folders in "/usr/share/themes" and/or "/usr/share/icons" to make themes available to all system users. You will need to be logged in as the sudo user to copy and paste things, though.

Turn Ubuntu Themes On or Off

  1. Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard. Set up “Gnome Tweaks” by running the following command when it opens: Do this: sudo apt install gnome-tweaks
  2. Next, either press Windows/Super on your keyboard or click “Activities” in the menu bar at the top. Then, look for the configuration tool and open it.
  3. In the configuration tool, navigate to the “Appearance” tab. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to change the themes for the mouse cursor, icons, the shell, sounds, and old programs.
  4. The GTK theme option in Gnome Tweaks changes to “Legacy Applications” because libadwaita prevents custom themes for GTK4 apps in GNOME, which is Ubuntu’s default desktop environment. Since Ubuntu 22.04 doesn’t come with many GTK4 apps and doesn’t use libadwaita, the choice seems to work well so far.

Understanding GNOME Shell and its Theming System

Ubuntu comes with the GNOME desktop environment, and GNOME Shell is the graphical user interface (GUI) for it. Theming lets you change things about your desktop’s look, like the colours, fonts, and icons. But it can be hard to understand GNOME’s theming system because there are two different themes at play:

How to install and Change GNOME Themes in Ubuntu
  • GTK Theme: This theme changes how different programmes, like the file manager, text editor, and terminal, look and feel. It changes things like text, buttons, menus, and the edges of windows.
  • GNOME Shell Theme: This theme changes how the top panel, activities overview, and application launcher look in the GNOME Shell. It changes things like the text, panel icons, and background.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with GNOME Themes Installation

  • Ubuntu Version: It’s important to know what version of Ubuntu you’re using (20.04 LTS, 22.04 LTS, etc.), because the steps for installing themes and fixing problems may be slightly different depending on the version.
  • Theme Source: Where did you get the theme you want to install? Was it from the GNOME Extensions website, a different website, or somewhere else? This information helps figure out what problems might arise with compatibility.
  • Installation Method: What steps did you take to try to set up the theme? Did you use a theme extension manager or the “extract files” method? Knowing the process helps you find mistakes that might have been made.
  • Specific Errors: Are you getting any error messages or seeing strange things happen during the installation? Giving detailed descriptions of these helps figure out what the problem is.

General Steps to Fix Problems:

  • It’s important to make sure that the theme works with your version of Ubuntu and GNOME Shell. Usually, the theme’s download page or website will tell you if it works with your computer.
  • Check the Installation Location: Make sure you’re installing the theme in the right place. For system-wide themes, this is usually /usr/share/themes, and for user-specific themes, it’s usually /.themes.
  • Make sure you have the right permissions to install the theme files by checking the permissions. If you’re in a terminal, use sudo to run commands.
  • Think about using a theme manager. If you know how to use the command line, gnome-tweaks or gnome-shell-extensions can make the installation process easier.


How do you reload GNOME themes?

When you press ALT + F2, type rt to load the GNOME Shell theme again. This is helpful if you’re a theme designer and want to see how changes to your theme work without having to restart the whole shell.

How do I customize my GNOME?

To add a customisation, all you have to do is go to, where you can also remove customisations and change how they work. To use the site, you need a web browser plugin, and if you need to, it will ask you to install it. After adding the plugin, don’t forget to refresh the page.

How do I download Gnome settings?

To get it, use the add-apt-repository universe command to add the Universe repository. Then, run sudo apt install gnome-tweaks to install it. After that, run gnome-tweaks at the prompt to change how your interface looks.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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