Cast your minds back to December and, amid all the baubles and wrapping paper, you may recall us sharing some screenshots of a refreshed version of the Adwaita GTK theme, used by GNOME.

Now, GNOME’s Matthias Clasen has spilled the beans on the refresh. In a post on the GTK blog Clasen reveals plans to test the improved Adwaita theme over the next three weeks and gather feedback on the changes.

He describes the refresh as a ‘limited set of theme changes’, and moots their inclusion in a future GTK 3 release (feedback dependant).

new gnome gtk adwaita before and after

Top: Before; Bottom: Now

Among the tweaks made to Adwaita:

  • Darker header bar gradient
  • Lighter header bar buttons
  • Drop shadow on header bar buttons
  • Rounded edges on header bar buttons
  • Rounded switches
  • Finessed colour palette

Though technically conservative — these changes don’t dramatically alter the usability, overall look or layout of GTK apps — the tweaks are substantial enough to lend modern GTK apps a cleaner, more modern appearance.

When combined with the new GNOME icon set that’s also in development for the 3.32 release, I have to say: the GNOME Shell desktop has never looked better!

You can help test it, too!

GNOME Settings with the new Adwaita theme

Anyone wanting to test the refreshed Adwaita theme can do so (even if you’re on Ubuntu 18.10) by downloading the latest test tar, and extracting it to ~/user/share/themes.

You’ll need to copy over a valid .theme file from another icon set and place it in the theme folder. Be sure to edit the icon theme name inside this file to ‘New Adwaita’ and save your changes before trying to change theme. Note: if you’re using Nautilus 3.30 the path bar won’t render under the new theme.

Finally, apply the new Adwaita theme using the GNOME Tweaks tool.

H/T Furqan