Top 10 GNOME Themes for Your Ubuntu Desktop

6 min

You can use this list of 10 GNOME themes to transform your Ubuntu distro look in 2022.

You can use GTK themes to give your GNOME or Ubuntu a sassy look without much effort. Themes are straightforward to download/install, and the result is a stunning desktop.

There are hundreds of GTK themes available. It’s challenging to pick the best ten among them. To help you choose some of the best ones, we give you the ten best GTK based themes on this page.

Points to Note

Before you apply these themes to your latest GNOME desktop and Ubuntu, a few important points.

  • All the below GNOME themes uses the GNOME Tweak tool for configuration. Also, you should install the User Themes GNOME extensions to apply these themes.
  • Moreover, if you apply these themes, the GNOME’s default light and dark styles in settings are automatically turned off. If you are using Ubuntu 22.04 and above, the accent colour is also turned off to honour custom themes. Because accent colours and the light/dark style combinations set the respective Yaru theme variant.
  • Make sure to close the Settings application in Ubuntu while applying the themes because the settings window gives default Yaru themes higher priority via the Appearance tab.
  • Finally, change the Shell and Legacy Application themes to custom themes (see the below example image).
Changing GNOME Theme in Tweaks Tool
Changing GNOME Theme in Tweaks Tool

Best GNOME Themes For Your Ubuntu Desktop in 2022

1. Arc

The first GNOME theme we want to feature in this list is the Arc theme. It is the most popular GNOME theme and is suitable for giving the best look with its looks. Arc brings a simple 2D interface with a basic flat look across the desktop. The Flat look is designed so lovely that it gives you a perfect modern desktop look without gradient or glossy effects. It also provides a nice touch to the sidebars in Nautilus and other sidebar-based apps with its Dark version.

Arc theme comes in light, dark and darker versions. Installing the Arc theme is easy in Ubuntu because it is available in the official repo. Fire up a terminal window and run the following command to install.

sudo apt install arc-theme

If you want to install via source, you can grab the files on GitHub and follow the compilation instructions.

After the installation, set the theme using the Tweaks tool and pair it using any Yaru-blue icons in Ubuntu for the best look.

Arc Darker Theme in Ubuntu GNOME
Arc Darker Theme in Ubuntu GNOME

2. Layan

The second theme we highlight here is Layan. Based on material design (materia-gtk), Layan gives you a flat layout for the entire GNOME Shell. In addition, it comes with a few more rounded corners in the windows and larger shadows. Moreover, it brings light and dark variants for every taste bud.

Perhaps the unique feature of this theme is the sidebar in Nautilus (see below image). It’s a sleek vertical bar with a little mountain icon at the top. I must say, it enhances the entire desktop look with this touch.

We recommend that you pair it with Yaru-prusiangreen icon and a nice gradient wallpaper for best results.

For installation, download the theme from GitHub and extract it. Then run the

It is also available as a snap if you prefer.

sudo snap install layan-themes
Layan GNOME Theme
Layan GNOME Theme

3. Orchis

If you ask me to choose one theme for all possible renovation of your desktop, then I would suggest Orchis. The Orchis theme combines Google’s material design and rounded corners with a sober colour palette. Furthermore, Orchis is bound to make an impression with its visual tone, which brings eight colour options, with each having dark, compact and light variants.

Orchis colour options
Orchis colour options

For an instant desktop makeover, you can easily pair Orchis with any icon themes and wallpaper.

Installation is super easy for Orchis. Download the package from Github. Then run the below command from the installation directory for all variants and colours.

./ -t all
Orchis GNOME Theme
Orchis GNOME Theme

4. Numix

Numix theme for GNOME desktops is similar to the Arc theme featured in this list. But it’s a little different in terms of its colour tone. The primary highlight colour is complemented by its flat design. It comes with light and dark variants. However, you can only download and install the light version for free.

You can easily install it using the following command in Ubuntu.

sudo apt install numix-gtk-theme

If you prefer the dark variant, you can get it via the developer’s home page instructions.

Numix Theme
Numix Theme | image credit: Author of Numix

5. Adapta

Adapta is one of the most popular GTK themes, which inspired many child themes. The theme creators often base their theme on Adapta and modify it further. Hence you can imagine its flexibility and features. In addition, Adapta is based on Google’s Material Design principle.

Moreover, if you like the Android user interface, you will enjoy the Adapta theme on your GNOME desktop because it brings ample padding, well-placed shadows and layers, better contrast, etc.

Before installing, you should know that the installation size is slightly larger for a theme (~200MB+).

Finally, you can easily install the Adapta theme using the command below.

sudo apt install adapta-gtk-theme
Adapta Theme - follows Android Style
Adapta Theme – follows Android Style

6. Cloudy

Cloudy provides a comfortable and smooth look. It is based on the Arc theme featured in this list. In addition, it follows the material design approach that offers a unique feel of “cloudy sky”. Moreover, the Cloudy theme offers grey and blue flavour with light/dark variants.

If you love the colour sky blue and want a material design theme, then choose this one.

Download this theme from the gnome-look website here and copy the extracted files in your ~/.themes directory to install.

Cloudy GNOME Theme - gnome themes for 2022
Cloudy GNOME Theme

7. Nord

The Nord theme is one of the famous GTK themes you can install on the GNOME desktop. It tenders a cool and stylish piece with several colour options. In addition, all the colour options come with light and dark variants.

The colour options are blue, green and grey. If you want this for your desktop, follow the below instructions to install.

Download the files from gnome-look and place them in the ~/.themes folder after extract.

Nord Theme
Nord Theme | Image Credit: Ant Author

8. Prof-GNOME

The eighth theme in this list is the Prof-GNOME theme. It is a perfect theme that calms your mind with its unique way of resting your eyes. In my opinion, if you want to renovate your GNOME desktop but still want it to look like a professional desktop with a legacy macOS look, then choose Prof-GNOME.

Moreover, it is not a fancy theme but rather a legacy theme with a modern approach to design, keeping the older macOS look alive.

To try this theme, download the files from GitHub and place them to ~/.themes after extracting.

However, a word of caution is that it’s not updated for some time.

Prof-GNOME Theme - gnome themes for 2022
Prof-GNOME Theme

9. Whitesur

A list of GNOME themes is incomplete without a theme which makes your desktop look like macOS. Hence, as its name suggests, we present the 9th theme in this list – the popular Whitesur theme. It’s a GTK theme that helps you make your desktop look like macOS Big Sur.

Furthermore, the Whitesur theme is compatible with non-GNOME based desktop Xfce, Cinnamon, etc.

Pair it with the Plack Dock and Whitesur Icon theme for a complete macOS makeover.

Download the theme from GitHub and place the files in the ~/.themes after extracting.

Whitesur theme for GNOME - gnome themes for 2022
Whitesur theme for GNOME

10. Ant

The final theme in this list is Ant. The Ant is an exciting theme which is a little bold in its approach. It brings the Flat look and feels but with a twist of “Dracula” and “Bloody” flavour.

I must say a perfect Halloween theme, and you can download it from here.

Ant Theme for GNOME - gnome themes for 2022
Ant Theme for GNOME | Image Credit: Author of Ant theme

Closing Notes

I hope this list of 10 best GNOME themes of 2022 encourages your to renovate the rather mundane Ubuntu distro look or any GNOME desktop setup. In the comment box below, let me know which one is your favourite? Also, add your favourite one, which you think should be on the list.


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