Currently all my gtk3 apps launch in the standard Adwaita theme. I have been, so far unsuccessfully, trying to get them to launch in the dark variant.

I know this should work beacue when I do GTK_THEME=Adwaita:dark program the program will launch using the correct theme.

After some googling and checking the arch wiki I found I had to create the following config files, ~/.gtkrc-2.0 for gtk2 programs and ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini for gtk3 pograms. The ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file contains the following:

gtk-theme-name = "Adwaita-dark"

the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.inifile conatins:


I believe this worked because when I use neofetch it has a line stating Theme: Adwaita-dark [GTK2], Adwaita:dark [GTK3]yet still gtk3 applications launch in Adwaita and not Adwaita-dark/Adwaita:dark

Additionally I have also tried using the gsettings command, instaling lxappearance, and by adding export GTK_THEME=Adwaita:dark to my ~/.xinitrc file. None of these things have worked either.

I am using arch linux with xorg and i3 window manager. How do I get this to work? All I want is for gtk apps to launch in dark mode. Is there something I am missing? Something I did wrong? Maybe a work around? I honestly did not expect this to be so difficult. Any help whatsoever would be greatly appreciated!

2 Answers 2


UPDATE: So I'm still not sure why it was not working but I just downloaded another theme from the Aur and used that instead. Works fine now!

  • Would be helpful if you included which theme that was.
    – Victor
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 14:03

Add the following line to ~/.xprofile:

export GTK_THEME=Adwaita:dark

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