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Arc Theme

This project needs new maintainers to continue. The current maintainers do not have the bandwidth to continue. As such this project has now been put into archive readonly mode. The theme is actively maintained under a separate project at

Arc is a flat theme with transparent elements for GTK 3, GTK 2 and GNOME Shell which supports GTK 3 and GTK 2 based desktop environments like GNOME, Unity, Pantheon, Xfce, MATE, Cinnamon (>=3.4), Budgie Desktop (10.4 for GTK+3.22) etc.

The arc-design/arc-theme repository is a fork of the horst3180/arc-theme repository which as been umaintained since March 2017. Its aim is to continue the maintenance of arc-theme. The two administrators of the project are the Arch-Linux and Debian & Ubuntu packaging maintainers.

It is strongly encouraged to submit pull-requests to suggest fixes and enhancements.

Those that show good quality submissions will be invited to become maintainers.

Arc is available in three variants


A screenshot of the Arc theme


A screenshot of the Arc-Darker theme


A screenshot of the Arc-Dark theme



Distro Package Name/Link
Arch Linux arc-gtk-theme, arc-solid-gtk-theme
Debian arc-theme
Fedora arc-theme
Gentoo/Funtoo x11-themes/arc-theme from the Scriptkitties Overlay
Sabayon arc-theme
Solus arc-gtk-theme
Ubuntu 16.10 and later arc-theme
Ubuntu 16.04 and later arc-theme from fossfreedom/arc-gtk-theme-daily
FreeBSD x11-themes/gtk-arc-themes

Packaging status

Manual Installation

To build the theme the following packages are required

  • autoconf
  • automake
  • sassc for GTK 3, Cinnamon, or GNOME Shell
  • pkg-config or pkgconfig for Fedora
  • git to clone the source directory
  • optipng for GTK 2, GTK 3, or XFWM
  • inkscape for GTK 2, GTK 3, or XFWM

The following packages are optionally required

  • gnome-shellfor auto-detecting the GNOME Shell version
  • libgtk-3-dev for Debian based distros or gtk3-devel for RPM based distros, for auto-detecting the GTK3 version

Note: For distributions which don't ship separate development packages, just the GTK 3 package is needed instead of the -dev packages.

For the theme to function properly, install the following

  • GNOME Shell 3.18 - 3.32, GTK 3.18 - 3.24
  • The gnome-themes-extra package
  • The murrine engine. This has different names depending on the 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)

Install the theme with the following commands

1. Get the source

Clone the git repository with

git clone --depth 1 && cd arc-theme

2. Build and install the theme

./ --prefix=/usr
sudo make install

Other options to pass to 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-cinnamon             disable Cinnamon 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-plank                disable Plank theme support
--disable-openbox              disable Openbox support

--with-gnome-shell=<version>   build the gnome-shell theme for a specific version
--with-gtk3=<version>          build the GTK3 theme for a specific version
                               Note: Normally the correct version is detected automatically
                               and these options should not be needed.

After the installation is complete the theme can be activated with gnome-tweak-tool or a similar program by selecting Arc, Arc-Darker or Arc-Dark as Window/GTK+ theme and Arc or Arc-Dark as GNOME Shell/Cinnamon theme.

If the --disable-transparency option was used, the theme will be installed as Arc-solid, Arc-Darker-solid and Arc-Dark-solid.



sudo make uninstall

from the cloned git repository, or

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



A port of Arc for the Plasma 5 desktop with a few additions and extras. Available here.

Arc icon theme

The Arc icon theme is available at

Plank theme

As of version 20180114 the plank theme will be installed along with the normal arc gtk theme. You can disable the install by passing disable-plank to the autogen command. Now open the Plank preferences window by executing plank --preferences from a terminal and select Gtk+ as the theme.

FirefoxColor theme

Arc color palettes for FirefoxColor testpilot project




Arc-Dark for Ubuntu Software Center

The Arc Dark theme for the Ubuntu Software Center by mervick can be installed from here. It solves readability issues with Arc Dark and the Ubuntu Software Center.


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

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


If you find a bug, please report it at


Arc is available under the terms of the GPL-3.0. See COPYING for details.

Full Preview

A full screenshot of the Arc theme Screenshot Details: Icons: Arc | Launcher Icons based on White Pixel Icons | Wallpaper | Font: Futura Bk bt