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SolArc Theme

SolArc 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.

SolArc is a fork of the Arc theme:

Colours are based on the Solarized colour scheme by Ethan Schoonover:

Most of the work is done inside, which replaces various Arc colours with matching Solarized colours.

⚠️ Help Wanted

If you like SolArc and want to help improve it, please get in touch! I don't have the time anymore to maintain this properly.

SolArc 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


Arch Linux

You can install the AUR package: gtk-theme-solarc-git

Manual Installation

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

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

To build the theme the following packages are required

  • autoconf
  • automake
  • wget for pulling the Arc source
  • 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

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

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

2. Download & patch the Arc theme source


3. Build and install the patched theme

cd arc-theme-[version]
./ --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 SolArc, SolArc-Darker or SolArc-Dark as Window/GTK+ theme and SolArc or SolArc-Dark as GNOME Shell/Cinnamon theme.

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

Uninstall the theme


sudo make uninstall

from the patched Arc source directory, or

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


Every contribution is very welcome! Please create an issue and/or a pull request.


If you have Ubuntu with a newer GTK/Gnome version than the one included by default (i.e Ubuntu 14.04 with GTK 3.14 or Ubuntu 15.04 with GTK 3.16, etc.) the prebuilt packages won't work properly and you have to install the theme manually as described above. This is also true for other distros with a different GTK/Gnome version than the one included by default


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


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

Full Preview

A full screenshot of the SolArc theme Screenshot Details: Icons: Arc Icon Theme | Wallpaper: Jason Levesque | Font: DejaVu Sans