20 beautiful dark themes for Gnome and Ubuntu

by Jean. 57 Comments -

Some weeks ago, I shown you a list of 30 themes for enhancing your Gnome desktop. Many readers loved the dark themes from this list, so here’s a new list of 20 dark and absolutely beautiful themes for your Gnome desktop.


Fedora Dark


Coal and Glass



Shifty July


Ubuntu Studio


Bruzd Nodoka


Black Fate

Murrina Limelight

Moomex Theme

Blue Joy

Hey, wait, there’s only 19 themes here! Yes, absolutely. Which theme will you suggest to be the 20th?

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Comments (57) - Leave yours

  1. Dak said:

    I honestly think that the dark themes are ugly. I can see when Ubuntu 8.10 is released, thousands of users will be changing their themes to a lighter one. I’ve seen some of these dark themes that the taskbar is dark and the text on the taskbar is black, making it extremely hard to read. Whoever thought that theme scheme up needs to rethink it some more.

  2. jbj said:

    I use light themes myself, because most of the time they’re more user-friendly than the dark ones. Though, I think that dark themes can be really beautiful.

  3. NiKoB said:

    Slickness Black is very cute too !


    Thanks for having let me know about it ( http://www.catswhocode.com/blog/featured/30-gnome-themes-to-enhance-your-ubuntu-experience-18 )


  4. Vamsee said:

    People use dark themes mainly because they want to save their eyes. And these people typically use systems at night without any external light source.

    Thanks for the list.

  5. lachild said:

    “Slickness Black is very cute too !”

    I agree, but to be honest Slickness (not the black version) is a tad bit nicer.

  6. Kevin Dean said:

    Beautiful Screenshots and some great theme choices. I personally love dark themes right up until I open a browser and check my bank account.

    You can theme your desktop, but writing new CSS layouts for jaringly white sites gets old pretty quickly. For this reason, light themes are my default pretty much forever more.

  7. Ese said:

    Are you insane!? where have you left elegant brit!? that has to be the best and most complete dark theme around gnome-look

  8. Dominic said:

    Got to say I like LUX, I always find it difficult to get a decent background that looks complex, and yet isn’t too overwhelming.

    Nice choices :)

  9. Charlie M said:

    I used to really dislike dark themes, particularly the new one in the intrepid alphas. However I have been trying out one of the alternative intrepid ones, which works quite well. Its still dark but not completely black.

    The problem with dark themes is web browsing every site has a light background. So you can either override it and comply mess up the sites appearance, or you have a massive contrast change right in the middle of the screen. The semi-dark theme I am using seems to be a nice compromise.

  10. ZehRique said:

    I don’t like darker themes too. Think they are a bit confused to read, although they seems beautiful at first.

    PS: Only to remember: the correct name of the desktop environment is “GNOME”. Yes, with all capital letters.

    I know that I’m being bore. But if you want to check how it’s name is written, just visit the official site: http://www.gnome.org

  11. MOin said:

    What a wonderful post am really amazed to see why this post did’t touched digg FP because the collection really deserve it they are huge in numbers and very beautiful looking.

  12. Emanuel said:

    Some people think that dark themes use less electricity, but that is not true of LCD screens, they use pretty much the same electricity whenever they are on. I think CRT gets some benefit tho’, so even if you use a blank screen as a screen saver, you aren’t saving energy (or your battery) unless you set the screen to power down.

    Also, I like dark themes, I use LinuxMint with the Peppermint theme, which is dark grey, I think really black themes cause visibility problems on some webpages, and really light ones seem old-fashioned. I do not think light themes are more user friendly, contrast is more important to usability (and accessability) IMHO

  13. Brandon said:

    I, personally, prefer light themes over darker themes for a few reasons. For one, it’s easier to see things.
    I dunno, just a thought :)

  14. Fernand said:

    Willibex *really* kick ass, it’s the only dark theme I able to use:


  15. DAAS said:

    my favorite is blue joy, but i can’t use it because it makes my eyes hurt when i’m chatting on emesene T-T
    I wish i could edit the entry box!

  16. naughtykid said:

    prefer dark theme for the sake of the eyes.
    sometimes staring too long on the light themes makes my eyes pain. anyway, it did help to make me have a lighter mood. Dark theme is pretty cool most of the time. Suggest the 20th is the HP mini version. It’s pretty cool too.

  17. molecule-eye said:

    My favs are Cole (http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Cole?content=103837), which requires a bit of tweaking (making text brighter and scrollbars more visible), together with the ALLWHITE icon theme, and T3K (http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/T3K?content=93372) with the Ice icon theme, and finally Mira (http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Mira+0.2.1?content=102281).

  18. Longpoke said:

    The problem with dark themes on any operating system is that the applications end up hardcoding text colors and not background colors, resulting in black text on a black background (Ex: http://projects.gnome.org/dia/faq.html [This one sets the background white with CSS, but doesn't set the text color]). I’ve tried over and over to use dark themes on my Windows and Linux PCs mainly because it’s better on the eyes at night, but it never works out. There’s not really anything anyone can do about this, because it’s too easy for programmers to set either the background color or the forground color and assume that all computers have a white background and black text. I honestly don’t see this problem ever being fixed in the future of man kind.

  19. David Pariente said:

    Answering firsts post about the convenience of dark themes:

    The darker the desktop is, the less your eyes will suffer, now, or after a long time.
    That has been historically known, and one of the reasons why old text mode OS used black balckground and clear text.

    Everything got messed in the time windowed systems appeared, turning into white bright screens (my eyes felt a knock).

    Although, most of nowadays linux themes, even dark, have low contrast that makes them be even worst for eyes and less usable. That problem use to not appear with light ones since people use black fonts.

    A dark theme should have costrasted content.

  20. Karen said:

    It’s important to remember, though, that it’s more difficult to read white text on a black background than black text on a light background.

  21. pete said:


    is a good one, but there are a load more on the dark side. ‘MidnightOSX’ seemed to be popular in its day and would appeal to those mac look fans (but see the scroll bar bit below and… can’t get my head around that particular ‘mac look’ preference?? each to their own).

    ‘AmbienceNautilusMod-Dark’ isn’t too bad if you like the new Ubuntu look but want it toned down a fair bit.

    One thing that stops me downloading a dark theme, and I only use dark GTK2 themes, is if the scroll bars are too difficult to discern! I got fed up putting markers on, or highlighting the handles myself, so…

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