Friday, August 17, 2012

zonColor: Elegant Theme, Your Own Color Scheme

This is not just another theme; this is more like a theme template. With your own colors of choice, you can easily make your own theme. Finally :)


zonColor now become a complete set of themes (plus app).

Download zonColor Themes Pack here


I decided to release this new theme pack for Linux, after writing codes and creating artworks for it for last several months. I've been working on this theme since Ubuntu 11.04 was released, but I've never felt satisfied with the details of some elements of it that its look and feel were, I think, still can be improved. So I only used it for my personal use, while I kept improving it. But now I'm satisfied with the result so I publish this theme for everyone who may like it.

I call this theme "zonColor", a smooth GTK theme for Linux/Ubuntu (GNOME-based desktop). This theme has been designed carefully with users customization in mind, especially for the colors of various elements of the theme.

Unlike many other themes out there, zonColor are using flexible color values that follow color changes from simple command, without having to manually modify the theme codes.

This theme pack is more like a GTK theme template. Several examples/presets of color scheme are provided (included in the downloadable file below), so that users can easily activate different color schemes, just by double-clicking a shell script file to use/activate new color schemes. Further more, users can easily modify the color scheme examples by using a simple text editor application (like Gedit or Leafpad) to change color values, save as a new color scheme, and activate them.

Here are some screenshots of the theme.

The above screenshots are just examples of using different colors. You can use any color you like, be it dark or light colors. Just make sure, for readability, to pick colors that are contrast enough between text and background colors.

More screenshots, GNOME Shell and Cinnamon (dark and light themes):

It works on latest Ubuntu too. Screenshots: Nemo file manager (Nautilus fork) running on latest Cinnamon 1.6 (on Ubuntu 12.10) and on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:

Even more screenshots, on MATE desktop, Xfce, and LXDE:

Various GTK 2 and GTK 3 widgets preview of the theme:

The themes are also aimed to bring consistent look across different theme engine (running on GTK-based desktop session). Here is a screenshot of Mozilla Firefox (gecko app), LibreOffice, and Smplayer (QT app), running on GNOME 3 classic desktop:


Supported Systems, Requirements

The themes are for GNOME/GTK-based Linux desktop.

Tested on the following Linux distros

  • Ubuntu 12.10, 12.04 LTS, and 10.04 LTS (and also Xubuntu, Lubuntu)
  • Debian Squeeze and Wheezy
  • Linux Mint 13 Maya
  • Fedora 17

Supported Desktop Environment/Shell

  • Unity, GNOME Shell, Cinnamon, MATE, GNOME Classic, Xfce, LXDE

Supported Window Manager (WM)

  • Metacity-based WM
    (including default Metacity, Metacity in Compiz/Unity, Mutter (GNOME Shell WM), Muffin (Cinnamon WM), Marco (MATE WM)
  • Xfwm (Xfce default WM)
  • Openbox (LXDE default WM)



If you are using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, then you can just use the theme. The following requirements are more for other Linux distros.

The following packages are required:
  • GTK 3.4 (for GNOME3-based desktop like Ubuntu 12.04) and/or
    GTK 2.20 (for GNOME2-based desktop like Ubuntu 10.04).
    Read: How to find out GTK+ version.
  • Murrine 0.98.1 and Pixbuf 2.20 GTK2 engines (for GTK 2 apps)

Optional (recommended):
  • Unico 1.0.2 GTK3 Engine (for GTK 3 apps)


In Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Linux Mint 13 Maya (Main Edition), all required engines and libraries mentioned above are already installed by default, so you can just use the theme without installing additional packages.

In other Linux distros, the required packages (package names may vary) can be installed with a package manager. Try installing them using packages from official repository first. If you can't find them, you need adding third party repository for your distro.


Download, Install, Activate Theme


zonColor now become a complete set of themes (plus app).

Download zonColor Themes Pack here

To download, install, and activate the theme, you can simply run the following single-line command in Terminal:

wget -O $HOME/ && unzip $HOME/ -d $HOME && mkdir -p $HOME/.themes && mv -f $HOME/zonColor-theme-pack/themes/* $HOME/.themes && echo "The entire contents of this folder have been moved to $HOME/.themes" | tee $HOME/zonColor-theme-pack/themes/README; sh $HOME/.themes/zonColor/; sh $HOME/.themes/zonColor/; sh $HOME/.themes/zonColorDarkNight/; sh $HOME/zonColor-theme-pack/color-schemes/

The above command will download the latest theme archive, extract it, install themes into the .themes folder within your home directory, and finally activate the default theme and color scheme.

Alternatively, of course, you can always download, install, and activate it in usual way:

Updated: 2012-09-09

Download Mirror

Theme Installation

After downloading the file, extract it, and go to the extracted folder (zonColor-theme-pack). Then Go to the "themes" folder. Next, move or copy all folders within the "themes" folder (all folders named with "zonColor") into one of the following locations:
  • /usr/share/themes
    (system's themes folder, for all users)
  • /home/[YourUserName]/.themes
    (only for you, meaning that administrative apps like Synaptic won't be styled)

Activate Theme

Use theme changer utility like Gnome Tweak Tool, MyUnity, Ubuntu Tweak, or you can activate theme using Terminal command.


Activate/Customize Color Scheme

Just double-click and run a color scheme preset available in the "color-schemes" folder to activate a color scheme.

If you want, you can easily customize it. Open a color scheme preset in a text editor, modify color values to your liking, and save it or save as a new one. Then double-click and run it to activate a new color scheme. Read the README file within the "color-schemes" folder for more info.


As a bonus, simple commands to change window buttons layout are also provided (for Metacity window decorator). Read the README file within "window-button-layout" folder.


zonColor GTK Theme is better used with zonColor Icon Themes,
a multi-colored icon themes pack.


Change Log, License, Credits



  • Fixed wrong text color of desktop icons if using Nemo file manager.

  • Added text shadow options.
  • Added more detailed color options.
  • Added more style presets.

  • Initial release.


zonColor Theme Pack is 100% free and open source, licensed under GNU GPL v.3 or newer.


zonColor is based on/inspired by the following projects:


PS: Still, sorry for my English :)
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