Best GTK themes in 2016 for Linux

When you are using Linux, sometimes it is hard to find a great looking theme to make your desktop environment and apps look great. In this article, I would like to share my preferred GTK themes I collected during the time I work in Linux.

I include a theme in the list of best themes only if it fits the following requirements:

  • It should have a nice look, well-drawn controls and readable text everywhere.
  • It should at least support the most widely used desktop environments.
  • It should support both GTK+ 2.x and GTK+ 3.x.
  • And, finally, it should be in active development to support recent versions of apps and GTK+. This is important for users of rolling release distros. For example, I use Arch Linux which always comes with the latest version of the GTK+ toolkit.

So, here is a list of themes I recommend you to try out.

The default theme for GTK+ is something you can start with. It is a high quality theme, and is always up-to-date. It is usually being released along with a new version of GTK+, so it should always work on your PC. It skins the controls perfectly, but lacks support for some window managers.


Arc is a popular modern GTK+ theme which follows the principle of minimalism. When applied, most of appearance looks minimalistic and flat. This trend is very popular these days, so many users like this theme. Also, the new "Mint-Y" theme in Linux Mint 18 is a fork of the Arc theme.

The Arc theme provides light, dark and mixed appearance options. It looks quite decent in any mode.

Visit the author's Github page HERE.


Another theme from the author of the Arc theme. It does not look flat, but looks polished. It comes in two colors - dark blue and light gray and has beautiful gradients:

Visit the author's Github page HERE.

Zukitre and Zukitwo
These are two impressive themes from the same author. They are always up-to-date. The Zukitre theme comes with square and narrower controls. The Zukitwo theme has gradients and looks fancier. Zukitwo is my theme of choice for a long time.



Visit the author's Github page HERE.


Yet another flat theme with an interesting and unique design. It has many gray-colored variations and looks polished and modern. Some users will definitely like it. This theme is also in active development.

Visit the project's home page.


The Adapta theme is inspired by Material Design guidelines. Being a fan of Material Design, I found this theme surprisingly beautiful. It also supports all modern versions of GTK+. Give it a try.

Visit the author's Github page HERE.


This is the default theme of the Xubuntu project. While this theme gets delayed updates compared to GTK 3.x's rapid release cycle, it is a high-quality theme with a beautiful choice of colors and lovely gradients. This theme is mostly targeted for the XFCE desktop environment, but it provides great looking GTK widgets for other DEs too.

You can find it HERE.

In the comments, tell us what is your current favorite GTK+ theme and which theme you like from my list.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

6 thoughts on “Best GTK themes in 2016 for Linux”

  1. OK, typically rude dude, but not wrong. These are all the same: Mac fanboy grey. The only real standout is Arc, because it’s not grey but a blackish-blue. Everything else is some variant of Graphite. Future decades will look back on our time as those boring years when everything was grey with colored icons.

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