How to Change Themes in Linux Mint

Using Linux Mint is, from the start, a unique experience for its main Desktop Environment: Cinnamon. This is one of the main features why I love Linux Mint.

Since Mint’s dev team started to take design more serious, “Themes” applet became an important way not only to choose new themes, icons, buttons, window borders and mouse pointers, but also to install new themes directly from it. Interested? Let’s jump into it.

How to change themes in Linux Mint

Search for themes in the Menu and open the Themes applet.

Install Theme Linux Mint
Theme Applet provides an easy way of installing and changing themes

At the applet there’s a “Add/Remove” button, pretty simple, huh? And, clicking on it, you and I can see Cinnamon Spices (Cinnamon’s official addons repository) themes ordered first by popularity.

Install Theme Linux Mint 2
Installing new themes in Linux Mint Cinnamon

To install one, all it’s needed to do is click on yours preferred one and wait for it to download. After that, the theme will be available at the “Desktop” option on the first page of the applet. Just double click on one of the installed themes to start using it.

Install Theme Linux Mint 3
Changing themes in Linux Mint Cinnamon

Here’s the default Linux Mint look:

Linux Mint Default Theme
Linux Mint Default Theme

And here’s after I change the theme:

Linux Mint Carta Theme
Linux Mint with Carta Theme

All the themes are also available at the Cinnamon Spices site for more information and bigger screenshots so you can take a better look on how your system will look.

Installing third party themes in Linux Mint

“I saw this amazing theme on another site and it is not available at Cinnamon Spices…”

Cinnamon Spices has a good collection of themes but you’ll still find that the theme you saw some place else is not available on the official Cinnamon website.

Well, it would be nice if there was another way, huh? You might imagine that there is (I’m mean…obviously there is). So, first things first, there are other websites where you and I can find new cool themes.

I’ll recommend going to Cinnamon Look and browse themes there. If you like something download it.

After the preferred theme is downloaded, you will have a compressed file now with all you need for the installation. Extract it and save at ~/.themes. Confused? The “~” file path is actually your home folder: /home/{YOURUSER}/.themes.

So go to the your Home directory. Press Ctrl+H to show hidden files in Linux. If you don’t see a .themes folder, create a new folder and name .themes. Remember that the dot at the beginning of the folder name is important.

Copy the extracted theme folder from your Downloads directory to the .themes folder in your Home.

After that, look for the installed theme at the applet above mentioned.

Note

Remember that the themes must be made to work on Cinnamon, even though it is a fork from GNOME, not all themes made for GNOME works at Cinnamon.

Changing theme is one part of Cinnamon customization. You can also change the looks of Linux Mint by changing the icons.

I hope you now you know how to change themes in Linux Mint. Which theme are you going to use?

João Gondim

João Gondim

I’m a computer science undergraduate, passionate for free and open source software ideas and Data Science enthusiast. Love playing basketball, petting dogs and Salvador’s carnival.

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  • This didn’t work for me. I tried the “CBlue” theme from the Cinnamon-Spices this morning, and nothing changed. The background didn’t change, nor did the buttons, the window-decorations, and I didn’t get the neat dock thing either.

  • Thank you for this tutorial!
    Do you know if anything changed in Mint 19.3 (Cinnamon)? The Themes Applet still looks the same.

    I have downloaded a new theme (tried it with several, just to be sure that one didn’t have a bug). It’s the only one with a checkmark in the view “Add/Remove.” But it doesn’t get applied.

    I don’t know how to change anything. If I double-click – nothing. If I double-click and then switch to view “Themes”, it still just shows all the theme options for the default Mint themes. No matter how long I wait.

    Is there maybe a setting I made inadvertently that prevents the theme from changing? (I fiddled around quite a bit in the default theme, colors, etc.)

  • Default Linux Mint themes are boring. Some are available at cinnamon spices but more rich source is gnome-look.org
    There’s no theme that makes menu transparent.

  • Pretty limited themes available on Cinnamon when compared to GNOME or KDE.
    Maybe it happens due to Cinnamon being a forked version of Gnome. Same applies to LXQt.