Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

After upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04 to Ubuntu 11.10 I got disappointed with "Unity". I wanted my old-style Gnome 2 back. That's why i purged "Unity" and installed Xfce4. But, now i have a problem: All my Gtk+ apps i have used to (like Totem) have "Windows 95" kind of interface...they look very bad. Is there any "libgtk" I should install to fix that? Currently, i have "libgtk-3.0" installed but i'm kind of new to Linux so i don't even know if instaling some old "libgtk" would solve my problem. Can you guys help me?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can change the theme of GTK applications by editing (resp. creating) ~/.gtkrc-2.0 to use installed themes, for example (adjustment needed!)

include "/usr/local/share/themes/ThinIce/gtk-2.0/gtkrc"

What you need to install is some gtk2-engines-* package.

According to this, you can also use some GUI tool to choose a theme, Applications->Settings->User Interface Settings.

By the way,

I wanted my old-style Gnome 2 back [so I] installed Xfce4.

kind of confuses me.

share|improve this answer
First method won't work (i have created ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file) tried with gtk2 themes in "/usr/share/themes/" and with gtk2 themes in "~/.themes" with no luck. Installed gnome-tweak-tool, when i change my theme there there's no result at all. And yes, I HATE that new "revolutionary" Unity and Gnome3 "Tablet look" but (as it seems) i can't downgrade back to gtk2 so i started using XFCE. – BoPe Oct 18 '11 at 14:39
Hmm strange (the important bit is not where the theme is installed but that the include refers to the right file). Also this is a bit more thorough: XFCE wiki on GTK themes – sr_ Oct 18 '11 at 14:57
When i install clean Xubuntu (virtual machine) and then Totem, Totem has nice gtk theme by default... :\ It seems it's time to reinstall whole system again... I generally don't like Ubuntu because after few years of those "every six months major upgrade" system my computer starts acting...unusual :\ When I setup my system once, i want it to work nice for at least 3-4 years :))) Maybe i should start using Debian :) – BoPe Oct 18 '11 at 15:04
have you tried to install gtk-themes via software center? try a search for "shiki-colors" and install "shiki-colors" and "shiki-colors-xfwm-theme" for example – marto Nov 7 '11 at 1:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.