Let’s face it; Gnome Shell doesn’t have the best design out there. I’m sure you can think of many ways to make it look better, but the reality is that you’re stuck with that design. Or, are you really? If you would rather look at anything besides the custom Gnome shell themes that Gnome comes with then, you’re in luck.
The good news is that there are quite a few Gnome shell themes you can choose from to give it your own personal style. You’ll finally be able to make Gnome look the way you’ve always wanted it to look. With the following Gnome shell themes, you’ll finally be able to look at Gnome and not have a disgusted look on your face.
How to Install GNOME Shell Themes?
If you already know how to install theme then good for you but if you don’t or just need someone to refresh your memory, here how you can install Gnome shell themes.
First, you’ll need to download and extract the Gnome theme of your choice. Inside the folder you extracted, you should see a directory called Gnome-shell but go ahead and rename it “theme.”
Open Nautilus as root and hit ALT + F2 and run gksudo nautilius. Hopefully, you remember your root password since you’re going to need it.
Look for /usr/share/gnome-shell directory. You should now be able to see a theme directory. Rename it to theme-original or something similar. This is so you have a copy of the original just in case you ever want to go back to it.
Copy-paste the new theme directory into /usr/share/gnome-shell. Keep in mind that you changed the name from gnome-shell to theme, just in case you can’t find it.
You’re done! All you have to do now is hit ALT+F2 again and run the command r.
You should now be looking at your new theme, and hopefully, it’s one you were able to find on this list of best Gnome shell themes. As you can see, it wasn’t as hard as you probably thought it was. Just follow each step carefully, and you will be just fine.
Top 10 Best Gnome Shell Themes to Beautify Gnome Shell
In this post, we’ll be taking a look on 10 of the best Gnome shell themes that will help you change the design and layout of Gnome a bit.
1. Super Flat Remix
A Gnome Shell theme you might like is the Super Flat Remix theme for Gnome. The design is inspired by material design, and the default colors look a lot like the ones you would find on Google Keyboard. So, if you like the colors on that keyboard, then I’m sure you’ll love looking at this Gnome shell theme as well.
I think that you’ll also be happy to know that the Super Flat Remix theme makes the Gnome top bar almost entirely transparent. If it went any further, it would completely remove it, and that’s not what you want of course.
You’ll also like this theme if you like to keep things simple since it’s a pretty simple theme. The design since it’s mostly flat and it features subtle shadows, gradients, and highlights to add some depth to it. Sometimes, simple themes are best since you can have a hard time finding things if it’s too cluttered.
2. Zukitwo Gnome Theme
If the first Gnome Shell theme didn’t convince you then the Zukitwo theme just might. It’s a good looking theme for Gnome that’s minimal and transparent. If you just want Gnome to look good without having to waste too much time making it look good, then this is your theme.
There is one crucial thing to keep in mind, and it’s that this Gnome shell theme is only made for Gnome 3.18 and Gnome 3.20. So, if you are running on other versions, you should try another theme for Gnome.
3. Copernico Theme
The Copernico Gnome theme is another great option if you’re a fan of keeping things simple. It will give you a transparent top bar that will give your desktop that refreshing look you have been looking for. It’s a great option if you’re just getting to know Gnome.
This Gnome theme has received good reviews, and it has even been called a nice and professional looking theme for Gnome. Believe it or not but all of the comments describing this theme are positive, and no one criticized it. Give it a try and see if you can find one thing wrong with it.
4. Paper Gnome Theme
The Paper Gnome Theme is another minimalistic and simple theme for Gnome that you can try. This Gnome theme relies on modern GTK+ aspects, and the entire theme is inspired by Google’s Material design trend and cultivated for desktop viewing through its shell and GTK themes. To give you an idea of what the theme looks like if you like Android 5.0 and up, you’ll like this Gnome shell theme.
5. Vertex Gnome Theme
Another great option is the Vertex Gnome Theme. Besides having a shell theme, it can also support a GTK theme. You can choose between different colors such as a light variant, dark header bars, and a dark variant. There aren’t a lot of colors to choose from, but maybe more will be added in the near future.
It’s a great Gnome Shell theme suite that has full support for the majority of the popular desktop environments including Gnome 3. The goodies don’t end there since it also includes themes for Chromium/Chrome and Firefox. If you like things to match this is a great option since you’ll get a matching appearance with your desktop.
Still, haven’t found a Gnome shell theme you like? How about the Xenlism theme. It’s a great shell theme for Gnome that was inspired by elementary OS design principles. You’ll love the flat and transparent top bar that has light colors.
It even has a couple of subtle effects that will be added to your desktop. If you want to change to Gnome Shell on Pantheon’s image, then this is the Gnome theme to go with.
If you love KDE and Gnome, then you’re going to jump for happiness when you find out that this Gnome shell theme makes Gnome Shell look like KDE. I’m talking about Oxygenium of course. This is the Gnome Shell version of the KDE Plasma theme that may know as Oxygen. So, if you’re a KDE fan but you’re currently using Gnome, this is a great Gnome theme to consider.
8. Ambiance Gnome
If you’ve always wanted your Gnome Shell desktop to have a similarity to Ubuntu or Unity, then I recommend that you try the Ambience theme out. You won’t be disappointed since if you add the Dash to Dock extension, you’ll get more functionality out of the Gnome theme.
For example, the focus on the running application. If you’re going to use this theme for Gnome, I would recommend that you use the Ubuntu or Liberation fonts.
If you’re a fan of dark Gnome shell themes, then this is another great option to keep in mind. EleganZe is similar to Nova Shell with a dark base and also comes with a transparent interface. If you’ve tried Nova, you’ll notice that this theme is more transparent. Give both Gnome Shell themes a try to see which one you like best.
Are you a Mac fan? If you can’t get enough of OS X Yosemite, then this is your theme, Yosemite. It gives you the best parts of the OS right to Gnome 3. There’s also the possibility of installing a simple dock application such as Docky or Plank to make your desktop even more similar to the Mac OS. Who ever said that you needed to have a Mac to enjoy the themes it has to offer? Thanks to Yosemite, it’s possible.
Which Gnome Shell Theme is the Best?
I hope you were able to find the theme you were looking for in the options above. You won’t be disappointed with the above options since you’ll be enjoying the Gnome shell themes that are considered to be the best out there.
You can obviously continue to look, but if you don’t have time to browse through the large variety of themes, you’ll be just fine with the options listed in the article. Which theme are you going to try out first? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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