In Eclipse on Fedora, these controls/widgets take up too much space:

Eclipse Fedora screenshot

How can I make those bars thinner with a gtk-rc file or GTK3 CSS theming?

UPDATED : I found https://github.com/jeeeyul/eclipse-themes this plugin have some builtin configurations and options makes eclipse 4.2/4.3 much more nicer.

  • 4
    GTK3 and Gnome3 made Eclipse pretty much unusable on tiny screens. The new tab and toolbar sizes are a desaster. It shows how much the Gnome3 crowd lives in the world of arts where toolbar buttons much work for touch screens. :-( Dec 23, 2012 at 16:45

6 Answers 6


The default GNOME3 themes are a disaster for tiny screens. However, the Gnome3 crowd seems to be pretty unwilling to listen to their users. They only think of how stuff looks, in particular on a tablet PC or mobile device, it seems. Soon, Gnome3 will require a 4k screen.

Anyway, the best solution I have found is to switch the theme to the XFCE themes. On Ubuntu and Debian you should be able to install them via apt install gtk3-engines-xfce gtk2-engines-xfce. Then you can use the gnome-tweak-tool to change the theme. I'm currently using XFCE-orange theme, and it has much less padding than the default Gnome3 desaster "Adwaita". Plus, it doesn't use that depressing black for half of the applications! I think the tooltips in Eclipse were also broken with Adwaita.

I'm slowly switching from Gnome3 to XFCE on my computers, one after another. Because Gnome3 keeps on getting less and less useful for me, as I'm not your average "joe clueless" user that the Gnome3 people consider to be their only audience. I'm fed up with them breaking things for me. Now they've just announced to discontinue the panel which I'm using instead of the broken by design gnome-shell.

For eclipse specifically, I suggest to

export SWT_GTK3=0

in your ~/.profile. GTK3 with Eclipse is just a crazy waste of screen space.

  • Hm, I turned to elementary os for days. It works pretty fine, in spite of some outofdate apps(svn,emacs,gnu globa,etc) elementaryos.org
    – jilen
    Dec 24, 2012 at 2:34
  • I'd stick with the well maintained stuff. Ubuntu and Debian bring e.g. LXDE and XFCE out of the box. When annoyed by the Gnome paternalism, the last to turn to is another group of "we know better than you what you need"-evangelists. I want choice to do things my way (e.g. use eclipse on a small screen). Dec 24, 2012 at 11:13
  • Yes, Stable stuff means much more to me.
    – jilen
    Jul 29, 2013 at 15:05
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    Even 3 years later with eclipse MARS on linux mint with cinnamon, export SWT_GTK3=0 is improving (read: decreasing menu bar height) a lot.
    – Harald
    Nov 15, 2015 at 11:22
  • Wow! That actually works so well, and here I'm settling with what I can do by editing the CSS. Thank you!
    – mikeymop
    May 9, 2016 at 18:02

Can you also use / convert GTK2 themes? If so, I highly recommend Martin Ankerl's nice compact version of Clearlooks.

  • I used this, but it makes menu item too narrow. I really want to reduce the places i point out in the figure above
    – jilen
    Dec 16, 2011 at 12:05

You can install a new eclipse theme. I know "extended VS presentation" which is a very minimalistic theme. Check out: http://andrei.gmxhome.de/skins/index.html

Additionally you can install a fullscreen plugin which gives you some little extra space. Check it out here: http://www.scharf.gr/eclipse/fullscreen/update/

Also the thing you have on the bottom, left and right, you can just click and drag it to the top into the same toolbar (so in the end you just have one). If they do not fit in (depending on your screen resolution), go into Window->Customize Perspecitve... and turn them off.

This is what it looks like (without fullscreen). I'm also using editbox plugin.

  • Is that a black menubar for eclipse? or Is that a global menu? (if so what did you use?)
    – mikeymop
    May 9, 2016 at 18:04
  • It's the original eclipse menu, using the fullscreen extension. I don't remember exactly, as it was 4 years ago, but certainly it's not unity's global menu.
    – lenooh
    May 10, 2016 at 13:12

Eclipse chrome theme have font size, corner size options. It works with eclipse 4.x https://github.com/jeeeyul/eclipse-themes

  • This plugin makes eclipse much better with gnome
    – jilen
    Feb 11, 2014 at 8:47

See this solution, it works perfectly on Linux Mint 16 Petra 64


  • 3
    Welcome to the U&L Stack Exchange site. While your answer addresses the question, please avoid link-only answers. It would be better if the answer would contain enough information to stand on its own, and link to the source of the information as a reference. Dec 3, 2013 at 6:26

I partially agree with @Anony-Mousse, but this problem with Eclipse hasn't started with GTK 3 or Gnome 3 - it was present for years with GTK 2.

Unfortunately with Gnome 3 it became even more visible due to bigger paddings/ margins etc. and also Eclipse has its own bugs (see e.g. Bug 456345). That's why for Eclipse, I'm personally still using GTK2 and my own gtkrc settings for paddings, margins and fonts.

Complete solution which I'm using can be found in this gist.
And it works really nice.

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