Gnome Shell is the user interface that you see while using Gnome 3.x on various GNU/Linux distributions. Gnome Shell is highly themable, and a wide variety of themes are available on the Internet (see http://gnome-shell.deviantart.com/ for a list of good themes). Fedora 16 comes with Adwaita as the default theme, which many of you would like to replace with other good looking themes. Discussed here is how to replace Adwaita with a different gnome-shell theme using Gnome Tweak Tool, the problem in its current version and its temporary workaround.
Installing and using new gnome-shell theme
- Create a .themes directory in your home.
- Download the desired theme, extract it, and put the resulting directory into ~/.themes/. Note that you can put any number of theme sub-directories into the ~/.themes directory.
- Install User Theme gnome shell extension.
sudo yum -y install gnome-shell-extension-user-theme
- Now install Gnome Tweak Tool.
sudo yum -y install gnome-tweak-tool
- Open Gnome Tweak Tool, and click on the Shell Extensions item in the left pane. On the right pane click on the toggle button next to User Themes Extension to enable the extension. Close the window.
- Reload Gnome Shell. Press [Alt]+[F2], type r, and press [Enter].
- Open Gnome Tweak Tool again, and click on the Theme item in the left pane. On the right page, you’ll see a list of available gnome-shell themes in a drop down box. Select the theme that you want to activate.
- Enjoy the theme that you applied.
The problem with the current version
OS: Fedora 16 (Kernel 3.1.6-1.fc16.x86_64)
Gnome Shell 3.2.1-2
Gnome Tweak Tool 3.2.1-1
User Theme Extension 3.2.3-1
With the current setup, gnome tweak tool will report “Shell user-theme extension not enabled.” This might be due to version mismatch between gnome shell (3.2.1) and user theme extension (3.2.3). See the screenshot below (you need to hover on the orange notification icon to see that message).
To fix this problem, you’ll have to change the dconf settings manually. This requires you to know the name of the theme folder in advance. As of example, if you want to set Faience as your default gnome shell theme, and there is a directory named Faience in ~/.themes/ (e.g. ~/.themes/faince), then you need to remeber the name faince (remember that you need to remember the name of the directory and it’s case sensitive).
- Install DConf Editor.
sudo yum -y install dconf-editor
- Open DConf Editor. You’ll see a list of hierarchical controls (in a tree-view) in the left pane, and relevant settings of the selected node on the right pane.
- Expand to org > gnome > shell > extensions > user-theme on the left pane. On the right pane you’ll see a key-value pair field with the key named “name”. Double click on the value field for that key, and type the name of the theme directory (e.g. faience in this case).
- After you set the value, close the editor. You’ll now see the required gnome shell theme.