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How to Theme Gnome 3

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Even if in WoGue we love to love Gnome, that doesn’t mean we won’t discuss its weaknesses and accuse its deficiencies.Who would believe some years later that in a default Gnome installation you wouldn’t be able to change your icons? Who could imagine that wallpaper would be the only customization option in Gnome?

On the other hand, Gnome developers gave community some cool tools (CSS, JS) to customize Gnome and community acted fast building awesome stuffs.In the end of the day, my only complain goes to “why Gnome doesn’t merge gnome-tweak-tools (Advanced Settings) to the gnome-control-center (System Settings).

Enough said, lets see how you can theme Gnome:

Window Theme: This is the top bar with the controls (minimize, maximize, close).

GTK+ Theme: This is the rest of the GTK windows. You have to note that even if you are using Gnome 3, many applications like Firefox and Chrome (and many others) still using GTK2, that is why most themes include GTK2 and GTK3 configurations files. Also note that some themes require extra gtk rendering engines like unico and murrine.

Gnome-Shell Theme: You know what is this, right? Just be cautious when you download themes because they don’t work in all Gnome-Shell versions. Their authors always are clear about the version of the Shell the theme is for, so just read it :)

Icons, Cursors, Fonts: You know what these are, right?


First off you need gnome-tweak-tool and gnome-shell-extension-user-theme so if your distribution doesn’t have them, install by:

sudo yum install gnome-tweak-tool
sudo yum install gnome-shell-extension-user-theme


sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extension-user-theme


Something else depending your package manager



For our example we will use Zukitwo GTK, Window and Shell themes, Faience Icons, Ubuntu Fonts and Ecliz Mouse Theme. For using Faienza you need also the Faenza theme.

Get Eliz Cursor Get Zukitwo GTK/Shell  Get Faenza Icon Theme Get Faience Icon Theme

Ubuntu Fonts


Icons: Unzip Icons in ~/.icons folder
GTK/Shell Theme: Unzip GTK and Shell themes in ~/.themes folder
Cursor: Unzip Cursor themes in ~/.icons folder
Fonts: Unzip Fonts in ~/.fonts folder

Notes1: “~/” symbol stands for your home folder and “.” symbol frond of a file/folder defines it as hidden. You can see/hide hidden folder by pressing “Ctrl+H”.

Notes2: You also need to enable user-theme extensions from Tweak Tool in order to can switch Shell Themes and do not forget to install the GTK engines that Zukitwo author recommends.


That’s all, all you need to do now is just use them. Open gnome-tweak-tool and pick them!



Notes: In some occasions you need to restart Shell for changes to take effect. Press “Alt+F2” enter “r” and hit Enter.

This is a quick guide and there are more things that you can customize, but we will open a permanent page for it.

Get Themes at: and

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