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Posts Tagged ‘GTK2’

As you probably know, when you open System > Preferences > Appearance, the only way to preview the themes you have installed is to click on them, thereby applying the selected theme. While that’s not such a big deal, it does take a few seconds to redraw everything on the screen, and on less powerful machines this can be quite a drag.

But there are a couple of small apps around that can show you a preview within a single window. They are tiny downloads and easily installed, so if you plan on playing around with themes a fair bit, you should give them a go.

GTK+ Change Theme

To install via Terminal: sudo apt-get install gtk-chtheme

How to Run: Applications > System Tools > Gtk-ChTheme

Official blurb: ‘Gtk Theme Switch’ based utility that aims to make themes previews and selections as slick as possible. Themes installed on the system are presented for selection and previewed on the fly.

As you can see, everything you need is in the one small window. Simply click on a theme name to see everything in that window change. When you find one you’d like to change to, click Apply.

GTK Theme Switch

To install via Terminal: sudo apt-get install gtk-theme-switch

How to Run: gtk-theme-switch2 in the terminal

Official blurb: Utilities to easily switch GTK+ themes that can be run from the console, and has an optional GUI dock and theme preview. It can install themes downloaded from gtk.themes.org as well straight from the tarball.

Just select a theme and click Preview to see a small sample of it open in its own window; you will need to close each preview manually, as it does not reuse the current window. When you find one you’d like to change to, click Apply.

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There are thousands of GTK+ and Metacity themes available to change the look of Ubuntu, and to install them it’s as easy as dragging the archive file that contains it (usually a .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 file) onto the Appearance dialogue (System > Preferences). But while some will install just fine, they won’t actually look as intended because the “engine” required to render the graphics is not installed. If you’ve seen screenshots of the theme, this will become apparent immediately, as smooth gradients and glass-like effects will not be possible without the required engine.

You can check your installed themes for missing engines by clicking the Customise… button and selecting the theme under Controls. If an engine needs to be installed, it will tell you which one beneath the list of themes.

To look for engines, open Synaptic and search for gtk2- and browse through those packages with “engines” in the name.

Obviously, you can just search for “aurora” or whatever engine it is you’re after, but you may as well save yourself doing this again later, especially if you plan to install a variety of the latest themes.

Mark the one you needed for installation, as well as any others you think might be needed down the line. Since they are small downloads and won’t conflict with one another, you may as well install a bunch of them while you’re there. Engines of note include Aurora, Murrine, Nodoka and CleanIce.

You’ll occasionally come across engines that aren’t in the standard repos (like “ubuntulooks“), so just do a web search for the name and you should find the download page.

 

See also:

How to Quick Preview GTK+/Metacity Themes

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

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