Best GNOME Themes For Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

Best GNOME Shell themesThemes are the best way to customize your Linux desktop. If you install GNOME on Ubuntu, you might want to change the default theme and give it a different look. To help you in this task, I have compiled here a list of best GNOME themes for Ubuntu or any other Linux OS that has GNOME shell installed on it. But before we see the list, let’s first see how to change install new themes in GNOME Shell.

Install themes in GNOME Shell

To install new themes in GNOME with Ubuntu, you can use Gnome Tweak Tool which is available in software repository in Ubuntu. Open a terminal and use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Alternatively, you can use themes by putting them in ~/.themes directory. I have written a detailed tutorial on how to install and use themes in GNOME Shell, in case you need it.

Best GNOME themes

The themes listed here are tested on an older version of GNOME shell but it SHOULD work for all version of GNOME 3 and higher. For the sake of mentioning, the themes are not in any kind of priority order. Let’s have a look at the best GNOME themes:

1. Numix

Numix Linux Distribution

No list can be completed without the mention of Numix themes. These themes got so popular that it encouraged Numix team to work on a new Linux OS, Ozon. Considering their design work with Numix theme, it won’t be exaggeration to call it one of the most beautiful Linux OS releasing in near future.

To install Numix theme in Ubuntu based distributions, use the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:numix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install numix-icon-theme-circle

2. Elegance Colors

Elegance colors GNOME ThemeAnother beautiful theme from Satyajit Sahoo, who is also a member of Numix team. Elegance Colors has its own PPA so that you can easily install it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:satyajit-happy/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-theme-elegance-colors

3. Moka

Moka GNOME Shell themeMoka is another mesmerizing theme that is always included in the list of beautiful themes. Designed by the same developer who gave us Unity Tweak Tool, Moka is a must try:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:moka/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install moka-gnome-shell-theme

4. Viva

Viva GNOME shell themeBased on Gnome’s default Adwaita theme, Viva is a nice theme with shades of black and oranges. You can download Viva from the link below.

Suggested read
How To Use WebP Images In Ubuntu Linux

Download Viva GNOME Shell Theme

5. Ciliora-Prima

Ciliora Prima Gnome ShellPreviously known as Zukitwo Dark, Ciliora-Prima has square icons theme. Theme is available in three versions that are slightly different from each other. You can download it from the link below.

Download Ciliora-Prima GNOME Shell Theme

6. Faience

Faience GNOME Shell themeFaience has been a popular theme for quite some time and rightly so. You can install Faience using the PPA below for GNOME 3.10 and higher.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tiheum/equinox
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install faience-theme

7. Paper

Paper GTK ThemeEver since Google talked about Material Design, people have been going gaga over it. Paper GTK theme, by Sam Hewitt (of Moka Project), is inspired by Google Material design. You can definitely give it a try.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/pulp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install paper-gtk-theme

That concludes my list. If you are trying to give a different look to your Ubuntu, you should also try the list of best icon themes for Ubuntu.

How do you find this list of best GNOME themes? Which one is your favorite among the one listed here? And if it’s not listed here, do let us know which theme you think is the best GNOME Shell theme.


  1. How can I install this themes in Ubuntu 14.04? I’m getting error sudo apt-get install paper-gtk-theme


  1. […] Paper is a new upcoming GTK and icon theme inspired by Google’s Material design guidelines. It is developed by Sam Hewitt, the man behind Moka Project. Moka has always been in the list of best themes for Ubuntu and looking at Paper, I can say that once it is developed completely, it will surely be listed as one of the best GTK themes. […]

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