A flat theme with transparent elements
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Arc Theme

Arc is a flat theme with transparent elements for GTK 3, GTK 2 and Gnome-Shell. It supports GTK 3 and GTK 2 based desktop environments like Gnome, Unity, Budgie, Pantheon, etc.

###Arc is available in three variants


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  • Gnome/GTK 3.14 or 3.16
  • The gnome-themes-standard package
  • The murrine engine. This has different names depending on your distro.
    • gtk-engine-murrine (Arch Linux)
    • gtk2-engines-murrine (Debian, Ubuntu, elementary OS)
    • gtk-murrine-engine (Fedora)
    • gtk2-engine-murrine (openSUSE)
    • gtk-engines-murrine (Gentoo)

Main distributions that meet these requirements are

  • Arch Linux and Arch Linux based distros
  • Ubuntu 15.04
  • elementary OS Freya
  • Debian Jessie, Testing or Unstable
  • Gentoo
  • Fedora 21 and 22
  • OpenSuse 13.2 and Tumbleweed

Derivatives of these distributions should work, aswell.

If your distribution is not listed, please check the requirements yourself.


Important: Remove all older versions of the theme from your system before you proceed any further.

sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/{Arc,Arc-Darker,Arc-Dark}
rm -rf ~/.local/share/themes/{Arc,Arc-Darker,Arc-Dark}
rm -rf ~/.themes/{Arc,Arc-Darker,Arc-Dark}


Prebuilt packages for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and openSUSE are available at

Note: elementary OS Freya users can install the package for Ubuntu 15.04

Arch Linux users can install the theme from the AUR


Note: If you're having trouble with the AUR package please email the package maintainer at zach@zach-adams.com before creating an issue.

Manual Installation

To build the theme you need

  • autoconf
  • automake
  • pkg-config or pkgconfig if you use Fedora
  • libgtk-3-dev for Debian based distros or gtk3-devel for RPM based distros
  • git if you want to clone the source directory

If your distributions doesn't ship separate development packages you just need GTK 3 instead of the -dev packages.

Install the theme with the following commands

1. Get the source

If you want to install the latest version from git, clone the repository with

git clone https://github.com/horst3180/arc-theme --depth 1 && cd arc-theme

2. Build and install the theme

./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr
sudo make install

Other options to pass to autogen.sh are

--disable-transparency     disable transparency in the GTK3 theme
--disable-light            disable Arc Light support
--disable-darker           disable Arc Darker support
--disable-dark             disable Arc Dark support
--disable-gnome-shell      disable GNOME Shell support
--disable-gtk2             disable GTK2 support
--disable-gtk3             disable GTK3 support
--disable-metacity         disable Metacity support
--disable-unity            disable Unity support
--disable-xfwm             disable XFWM support
--disable-xfce-notify      disable XFCE Notify support

--with-gnome=<version>     build the theme for a specific Gnome version (3.14, 3.16)
                           Note: Normally the correct version is detected automatically and this
                           option should not be needed.

After the installation is complete you can activate the theme with gnome-tweak-tool or a similar program by selecting Arc, Arc-Darker or Arc-Dark as Window/GTK+ theme and Arc as Gnome-Shell and Xfce-Notify theme.

Uninstall the theme


sudo make uninstall

from the same directory as this README resides in, or

sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/{Arc,Arc-Darker,Arc-Dark}


The extra directory in the same directory as this README resides in contains a Chrome/Chromium and a Plank theme.

To install the Chrome/Chromium theme go to the extra/Chrome folder and drag and drop the arc-theme.crx or arc-dark-theme.crx file into the Chrome/Chromium window. The source of the Chrome themes is located in the source "Chrome/arc-theme" folder.

To install the Plank theme, copy the extra/Arc-Plank folder to ~/.local/share/plank/themes or to /usr/share/plank/themes for system-wide use. Now open the Plank preferences window by executing plank --preferences from a terminal and select Arc-Plank as the theme.


If you get artifacts like black or invisible backgrounds under Unity, disable overlay scrollbars with

gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

Bug reporting

If you find a bug, please report it at https://github.com/horst3180/arc-theme/issues

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