Tag Archives: Themes


With the introduction of the new theme for Ubuntu 10.04 there has been much controversy over the placement of the window management buttons. A lot of people (or perhaps a small but very loud group of people) have complained about how the positioning on the left is bad. The thing is another major OS places its window management buttons on the left; OS X. I’m positive that Apple put a lot of usability research into the placement of those buttons. There’s no way the developers just arbitrarily placed the buttons on the left. But that’s besides the point of this post. What I find kind of ironic amongst all of the complaining is the most downloaded theme on gnome-look.org is this theme. And guess where the buttons are placed. That’s right, on the left. If buttons on the left are so bad, why do so many people want them? Just sayin’.


Changing GDM’s GTK Theme

This guide is outdated and will not work the current GDM.

I’m surprised I didn’t figure this out a while ago because the answer has been staring at me in the face this whole time. 😆

Have you ever gotten a very nice looking GDM theme only to be disappointed because the widgets and highlights were still themed in the Human theme and it clashed horribly?  Like this?

Ugh. 😯

Well there’s actually a very simple solution to this.  If you go under System→Administration→Login Window, the General tab contains a check box that says “GtkRC file:”.  This is where you can specify a gtkrc file for GDM to use so it will use a different GTK theme.

Most themes can be found in /usr/share/themes/ and the gtkrc file will be located in the gtk-2.0 directory under the theme name.  In the example I used the Clearlooks gtkrc and afterwards my GDM looked like this:

Ah, much better. Happy theming! 🙂