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Create Your Own GTK2, GTK3 Themes Using Oomox

Oomox – Customize And Create Your Own GTK2, GTK3 Themes

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Theming and Visual customization is one of the main advantages of Linux. Since all the code is open, you can change how your Linux system looks and behaves to a greater degree than you ever could with Windows/Mac OS. GTK theming is perhaps the most popular way in which people customize their Linux desktops. The GTK toolkit is used by a wide variety of desktop environments like Gnome, Cinnamon, Unity, XFCE, and budgie. This means that a single theme made for GTK can be applied to any of these Desktop Environments with little changes.

There are a lot of very high quality popular GTK themes out there, such as Arc, Numix, and Adapta. But if you want to customize these themes and create your own visual design, you can use Oomox.

The Oomox is a graphical app for customizing and creating your own GTK theme complete with your own color, icon and terminal style. It comes with several presets, which you can apply on a Numix, Arc, or Materia style theme to create your own GTK theme.

Installing Oomox

On Arch Linux and its variants:

Oomox is available on AUR, so you can install it using any AUR helper programs like Yay.

$ yay -S oomox

On Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint, download oomox.debpackage from here and install it as shown below. As of writing this guide, the latest version was oomox_1.7.0.5.deb.

$ sudo dpkg -i oomox_1.7.0.5.deb
$ sudo apt install -f

On Fedora, Oomox is available in third-party COPR repository.

$ sudo dnf copr enable tcg/themes
$ sudo dnf install oomox

Oomox is also available as a Flatpak app. Make sure you have installed Flatpak as described in this guide. And then, install and run Oomox using the following commands:

$ flatpak install flathub com.github.themix_project.Oomox
$ flatpak run com.github.themix_project.Oomox

For other Linux distributions, go to the Oomox project page (Link is given at the end of this guide) on Github and compile and install it manually from source.

Customize And Create Your Own GTK2, GTK3 Themes

Theme Customization

Theme Customization Using Oomox

Theme Customization Using Oomox

You can change the colour of practically every UI element, like:

  1. Headers
  2. Buttons
  3. Buttons inside Headers
  4. Menus
  5. Selected Text

To the left, there are a number of presets, like the Cars theme, modern themes like Materia, and Numix, and retro themes. Then, at the top of the main window, there’s an option called Theme Style, that lets you set the overall visual style of the theme. You can choose from between Numix, Arc, and Materia.

With certain styles like Numix, you can even change things like the Header Gradient, Outline Width and Panel Opacity. You can also add a Dark Mode for your theme that will be automatically created from the default theme.

Color Customization Using Oomox

Color Customization

Iconset Customization

You can customize the iconset that will be used for the theme icons. There are 2 options - Gnome Colors and Archdroid. You an change the base, and stroke colours of the iconset.

Terminal Customization

You can also customize the terminal colours. The app has several presets for this, but you can customize the exact colour code for each colour value like red, green,black, and so on. You can also auto swap the foreground and background colours.

Spotify Theme

A unique feature this app has is that you can theme the spotify app to your liking. You can change the foreground, background, and accent color of the spotify app to match the overall GTK theme.

Then, just press the Apply Spotify Theme button, and you’ll get this window:

Apply Spotify Theme using Oomox

Apply Spotify Theme

Just hit apply, and you’re done.

Exporting your Theme

Once you’re done customizing the theme to your liking, you can rename it by clicking the rename button at the top left:

Oomox 4

Rename Window

And then, just hit Export Theme to export the theme to your system.

Export theme using Oomox

Export theme

You can also just export just the Iconset or the terminal theme.

After this, you can open any Visual Customization app for your Desktop Environment, like Tweaks for Gnome based DEs, or the XFCE Appearance Settings, and select your exported GTK and Shell theme.

Verdict

If you are a Linux theme junkie, and you know exactly how each button, how each header in your system should look like, Oomox is worth a look. For extreme customizers, it lets you change virtually everything about how your system looks. For people who just want to tweak an existing theme a little bit, it has many, many presets so you can get what you want without a lot of effort.

Have you tried it? What are your thoughts on Oomox? Put them in the comments below!

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9 comments

Emma December 19, 2018 - 12:21 am

Hello editor,

I’ve been using Linux Mint for a couple of years now and I feel as snug as a bug in a rug with it. However, there are only 2 themes I really like and use. There’s a 3rd one, however, that I could like if only I could get rid of its not even strong transparency.

And now here’s your article on Oomox telling me about a possibility to get there. Great! 🙂 Thank you very much!

Reply
Kevin (matthekc) October 6, 2019 - 10:17 am

It seems like gnome 2 aka Mate used to be a lot more configurable. It is nice to see some of the appearance options we had not only coming back though apps like this but also improving.

Reply
Anon October 8, 2019 - 2:30 am

Is there a similar app for QT Themes?

Reply
Andi February 22, 2020 - 6:03 pm

it does not work on xbutuntu 19.10
feel very disappointed bc it seems like a great tool.

Reply
sk February 22, 2020 - 7:07 pm Reply
Don May 5, 2020 - 1:06 am

Ok, It installed fine. Now how do I run it? Can’t find oomix in the search. Tried tyipng oomix in the terminal, Doesn’t work

Reply
sk May 5, 2020 - 10:53 am

That’s strange. It should be available in Dash or Menu. As mentioned in the GitHUb page, type this to open from Terminal:

$ oomox-gui

Reply
Friar Tux June 6, 2020 - 4:34 am

I’ve been using Oomox for about two years and I do not need to go hunting for themes anymore. Most of the downloadable ‘dark’ themes online are just variations of that ugly dark grey. Since I started using the Oomox Theme Builder, I get absolutely beautiful theme in colours I like. When you first install it, it will take a bit of experimentation just to find out what Oomox can do and how, but after a few tries, you can get some stunning themes.

Reply
Eric Sebasta August 4, 2020 - 1:51 am

does anyone know if this works on 20.04?

Reply

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