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How to Install Arc GTK Theme on Ubuntu

It's one of the most popular themes for Linux desktops

arc theme on ubuntu

The Arc GTK theme for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions is one of the most popular GTK themes currently available.

And with good reason. The Arc theme is a flat theme with transparent elements, 3 variants, and support for both GTK2 and GTK3 based desktop environments. That means it looks and works just as good on Ubuntu Unity and GNOME Shell as it does on the MATE and Cinnamon desktops.

Recent updates to the theme add support for GNOME 3.22, Cinnamon 3.2 and, and the budding new Budgie desktop.

Install Arc GTK Theme on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS +

ARC Gtk Theme

So you want to install the Arc GTK theme on Ubuntu 16.04? Well, the good news is that it’s pretty simple to do!

You can add the theme designer’s personal repository (below) to get new versions of Arc on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as and when they’re released.

To add the Arc GTK on an Ubuntu system you should open a new terminal and run the following command:

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/Horst3180/xUbuntu_16.04/ /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/arc-theme.list"

Next, refresh your software sources and install the theme:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install arc-theme

At some point (now is a good time) you will need to import the repo’s key to quieten any command-line errors:

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:Horst3180/xUbuntu_16.04/Release.key
sudo apt-key add - < Release.key

If you don’t wish to add a PPA you can download an Arc Ubuntu installer direct from the repository. You’ll need to use this method if you want to use the Arc theme on Ubuntu 16.10.

Arc GTK Theme Installer for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Source packages are also available from the theme’s Github page, should you need them:

Arc GTK theme on Github

Set Arc Theme on Ubuntu

To change GTK theme on Ubuntu you need to use a third-party tool. Unity Tweak Tool is highly recommended. This app is freely available from Ubuntu Software. Click the button below to be prompted to install it.

Install Unity Tweak Tool on Ubuntu

Once both app and theme are installed you can open Unity tweak tool and switch your GTK theme to Arc:

  1. Open Unity Tweak Tool
  2. Go to Appearance > Theme
  3. Select ‘Arc’

setting theme with unity tweak tool

Theme changes are applied instantly. If you like what you see you can exit the Unity Tweak Tool app and enjoy your desktop!

Bonus tip: Arc themes for Firefox, VLC and other apps are also available.