Change Install Theme in Kali Linux – GTK 3 themes

Kali Linux default GNOME Theme is very boring and plain. The reason it is like that is because Kali Linux Dev team wanted to make a fast and reliable environment so that you can boot your system quickly and ge to work. But work (or hacking?) is just part of it. Like you, I sometimes get bored looking into the same old desktop over and over again and feel like having a new desktop or change color here and there. If you have a decent enough graphics card and processor (and RAM??) you might want to change or install theme in Kali Linux (this guide applies to any Kali version, so don’t worry which version you have). As Kali uses GNOME3 (GDM) Window Manager, so we will stick with GTK3 themes. The whole process takes only a few minutes and by the end of that, you should be able to:

  1. Install theme in Kali Linux
  2. Change default theme in Kali Linux
  3. Most importantly, roll back your changes and get same old Desktop back.

I’m a big fan of being able to roll back my changes so that if I mess up things, at least I will know where to go back and how to roll back. This saves a lot of trouble for later usage. Some themes are poorly made and throws errors all over my terminal. In that case, rolling back and using a different theme is the best idea. At the same time, I prefer to remove that erroneous theme or clean up theme directory. I guess that’s sound good, so let’s get on with it.

Before we start, there’s two different ways you can change theme.

  1. Manually install theme
  2. Install theme via PPA repository.

I will show both because both got their own merits and the only way you learn enough is by trying every possible corners on anything.

Choice A: Manually install theme

A lot of people wants to manually install theme and there’s nothing wrong with it. Takes a few more minutes, but in this way you learn how theme works in Linux rather than just blindly typing in few commands and install themes.

Step A.1: Install gnome-tweak-tool in Kali Linux

To install themes manually, we need to install a tool called Gnome Tweak Tool. But before you do that, please ensure you have the correct Kali Repositories added. You can follow my guide on adding official repositories in Kali Linux.

At this point I would assume you have the correct repositories added. So just type in the following command to install gnome-tweak-tool.

root@kali:~# apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

1 - Install Gnome Tweak Tool - Change Install Theme in Kali Linux - GTK 3 themes - blackMORE Ops

Step A.2: Open Gnome Tweak Tool

You can now go to Applications > System Tools > Preferences > Advanced Settings and select Theme TAB to inspect the current settings.

2 - Open Gnome Tweak Tool - Change Install Theme in Kali Linux - GTK 3 themes - blackMORE Ops

STOP: At this point I would like to take a screenshot of GNOME Tweak Tool. The reason I want it because I want to keep a copy of existing settings so that if I want, I can re-select the same settings to roll back my changes.

3 - Gnome Tweak Tool default settings - Change Install Theme in Kali Linux - GTK 3 themes - blackMORE Ops

See the Tab Window Theme, Theme Icon and GTK + Theme I still use (the default) as my default settings.

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22 comments

  1. WOW…..An awesome description….THNX

  2. You are a grate teacher. Tnx a lot

  3. I haven’t been able to get any window themes to work. Cupertino & Ambiance/Radiance work when I select them in the GTK+ theme tab, but when I select them from the “window” tab, it doesn’t change anything.

    Any ideas on that? Maybe some kind of other engine or dependency is missing?

  4. The theme that I downloaded does not show up in the menu. Something wrong?

  5. When i adding official repositories in Kali Linux and then apt-get update i get this
    W: GPG error: http://repo.kali.org kali-bleeding-edge Release: The following signatures were invalid: KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400
    W: GPG error: http://http.kali.org kali-dev Release: The following signatures were invalid: KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400
    W: GPG error: http://security.kali.org kali/updates Release: The following signatures were invalid: KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400
    W: GPG error: http://http.kali.org kali Release: The following signatures were invalid: KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400
    W: Duplicate sources.list entry http://security.kali.org/kali-security/ kali/updates/main amd64 Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/security.kali.org_kali-security_dists_kali_updates_main_binary-amd64_Packages)
    W: Duplicate sources.list entry http://security.kali.org/kali-security/ kali/updates/contrib amd64 Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/security.kali.org_kali-security_dists_kali_updates_contrib_binary-amd64_Packages)
    W: Duplicate sources.list entry http://security.kali.org/kali-security/ kali/updates/non-free amd64 Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/security.kali.org_kali-security_dists_kali_updates_non-free_binary-amd64_Packages)

    and then i tryed apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool and got a bigger error lol im a noob plz help i add other repositories to get dhcp going as well.

  6. Thanks for your ansewer dam another reinstall i wanted dhcp-server to work so bad so i could use easy-creds i wacthed a youtube clip i didnt know it would make it unstabe using these repo Bleeding Edge and 3rd party.

  7. If i install your repo would i be able to dhcp-server?? when i used repo Bleeding Edge and 3rd party. i was ab;e to install isc-dhcp-server But after i installed it i starting having new issiues it wouldnt even let me install firefox simple things just wouldnt work but it gave me isc-dhcp-server

  8. I reinstall kali and used your repo and installed gnome-tweak-tool thanks!! it worked but now i want to install mac-os-lion-theme-v2 when i tryed i got this.
    root@makaveli:~# apt-get install mac-os-lion-icons-v2
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Unable to locate package mac-os-lion-icons-v2
    What did i do wrong?? i was able to install Cupertino.

  9. yahoo….i have done it…..Thanks for this post coz it’s help me… :)

  10. How in the world do you find the file name to download? when I go to gnome-look they are using some PHP to do it, and please forgive the nooob who is truly brand new at using this beast. . . i always have to get the computer looking right before I can spend further hours delving its depths.

  11. Hello i got this message at step B2.2 ! checked my internet , everything is fine :/

    gpg: requesting key F59EAE4D from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com
    gpg: requesting key F0B5D826 from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com
    gpg: keyserver timed out
    gpg: keyserver receive failed: keyserver error

  12. It hasnt been working with Kali Linux 2.0. Is it possible?

  13. Hey BlackMoreOps!! You know what you should REALLY do? You should throw some more plugins for ads on your site. It’s not quite completely ruining the user’s experience, pretty damn close though. Jesus….even scrolling through the damn page is ridiculous.

  14. Sir i am not able to change default cursor theme in kali :( even i have a different cursor package installed on it

  15. This doesen’t say at all how to install theme! Remove the fucking tutorial or change the topic ffs ! (I hate when i get to pages who does not belong to the actual search im looking for “HOW TO INSTALL GTK THEME”)

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