I'm currently using Linux Mint 15, Cinnamon 1.8. I really like it except for the customization and theming part.

In Widows 7, themes also affect the windows of programs or you can set colors. Is this not possible in Linux? In my Linux Mint I installed a black/dark theme. It affects the task bar, main menu and system tray panel but not the windows of the applications. It really looks ugly because the windows are still the default gray color while the task bar and main menu is black/dark.

Is this the same for all graphical interface in Linux? or is this just cinnamon?

  • What theme did you install?
    – slm
    Aug 8, 2013 at 1:42
  • I installed Loki
    – markuz
    Aug 8, 2013 at 1:46

2 Answers 2


In Linux you have the following high level components each of which could be themed:

Desktop Environments

  • Gnome
  • Mate
  • KDE
  • Cinnamon
  • etc.

Window Managers

  • Mutter
  • Metacity
  • Marco
  • Emerald
  • Plasma
  • Muffin
  • etc.

GUI toolkit

  • GTK
  • QT
  • etc.

Additional items that can also be themed

  • icon sets
  • mouse cursor
  • display manager
  • widgets (conky), and so on. Generally each of these components is themed separately.
  • You don't have to highlight all those words 8-). Make it a bullet list instead.
    – slm
    Aug 8, 2013 at 2:30
  • I learned this (the hard way) today after searching around the web for many hours. I also asked the same question in linux mint forum and receive no correct answer. Too bad, I only checked for new answers now. Thanks any way.
    – markuz
    Aug 8, 2013 at 12:13

Here's the blog post on how to do theming within Mint/Cinnamon. Also I would use only the default themes to start.

Since you're using Loki which is an official theme I'd also check to make sure which applications you're running and make sure they're GTK+ native applications. If they're KDE applications then I don't believe there window decorations can be modified so that they look native as with GTK+ applications.

  • I'm not planning to create my own theme. I know how to install themes and where to get them. I don't think you understand my question
    – markuz
    Aug 8, 2013 at 1:47
  • @markuz - I thought I did. I'm not telling you how to build a theme. There's a section in the first link that shows how to customize a theme. As to your question about GUI's in Linux I would say it really depends on the distro/Window environment. KDE is pretty good wrt. theming. GNOME is too. Much of Linux is more like bricks and mortar and you put together what you want. Many of the GUIs have to be customized using other tools such as gconf-editor or editing files.
    – slm
    Aug 8, 2013 at 1:50

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