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Elementary GTK, Icon Theme to Be Pantheon-Only

Change is afoot for one of Linux’s most popular GTK themes.

Elementary, from its latest release onwards, only “intend” to provide support for its GTKand icon set under the Pantheon desktop environment – the default desktop of the elementary OS.

Project lead Dan Rabbit describes the effort to support the various desktop environments and applications in both the gtk theme and the icon set as‘a royal pain’.

“So I’m just focusing on making Pantheon work.”

“[The latest release] won’t work with the older GTK3 version available in Oneiricand I don’t have any special classes in place for Unity or GNOME Shell(and I don’t plan to implement special cases for Unity or GNOMEShell)”Elementary’s Dan Rabbit told me.

He also adds that the subsequent releases of the Ubuntu-based elementary OS may switch to using Mutter as its compositor, a change that would throw another potential use-case/headache into proceedings. Unity uses the GTK-friendly and Compiz-based ‘Unity Window Decorator’ to draw its window borders.

eGTK 3 in Ubuntu 12.04

What’s New

But intentions aside, the latest release of the theme does work well under 12.04. It’s not flawless, something Dan warns Ubuntu users not to expect, but it is still pretty much the same theme hundreds-of-thousands of Ubuntu users will known and love.

Amongst the minor changes are additional classes added for the elementary ‘Granite‘ GTK extension and a switch to theUnicothemingengine.There’s full GTK3 support (though no dark theme orantialisedwindow borders), and GTK2 ‘classes’ have been dropped for GTK3 apps.

The only drawback I’ve found so far is the ‘Unitymaximisedwindow control icons aren’t themed‘ issue that affects all themes bar Ubuntu’s defaults.

eGTK not perfect

The window controls also sport anoticeabledifference, with a ‘close:maximize’ button pairing. The maximize button is now denoted by two out-ward facing arrows.

New Window Controls in eGTK 3


eGTK 3.0 can be downloaded by hitting the button below. Non-Unity/GNOME-Shell specific bugs should be reported at @

Download eGTK 3.0