An adaptive Gtk+ theme based on Material Design Guidelines

Logo Adapta-gtk-theme

An adaptive Gtk+ theme based on Material Design Guidelines.

Before using Adapta


Adapta strongly depends on Material Design resources, especially its fonts.

  1. Noto Sans

    • Noto (NO TOfu) sans-serif truetype/opentype font covers a lot of languages.
    • Developed by Monotype and Adobe.
    • Weight used in Adapta: 400, (500), 700
  2. Roboto

    • Very famous as the default truetype font in Android (English ver.).
    • Multilingual support is not good.
    • Weight used in Adapta: 400, 500, 700


  • Roboto is very nice with Adapta, but in some locales, it causes Tofu.
  • NotoSans may work well in vairous locales, but NotoSans lacks 500 (Medium) weight. So elements defined with 500 will be drawn with 400 automatically.
  • NotoSans CJK supports 500 weight.

Adapta uses NotoSans as the primary font-family in Gnome-Shell and Cinnamon (Cantarell is for fallback). In some distributions, users may need to install fonts-noto-hinted.

Adapta is designed with nominal 13px (or 14px) Roboto font. In Gnome, “window-scaling-factor = 1.0” means -gtk-dpi = 96, it also means:

  13 [px] x 72 [pt/inch] / 96 [px/inch] = 9.75 [pt]
  14 [px] x 72 [pt/inch] / 96 [px/inch] = 10.5 [pt]

That’s the reason why 13.33px = 10pt is used for rem/px conversion in Gtk+ 3.2x theming (In Gtk+ 3.18.x theming, em unit is directly used).


NotoSans CJK (ChineseJapaneseKorean) opentype fonts are actually 0.1em taller than Roboto fonts, so if 10pt Roboto was suitable on your LCDs, set 9pt for NotoSans CJK families.

Verify the fonts are rendered correctly via font-viewer tools like Gnome-Font-Viewer.

Variant Matrix

Adapta Adapta-Nokto Adapta-Eta Adapta-Nokto-Eta
Gtk+ 2.24.x
Gtk+ 3.20.x
Gtk+ 3.22.x


  • Nokto is a dark variant.
  • Eta is a tiny Gtk+ 2.x/3.2x Gtk+ widget variant for saving space.
  • I suggest you use the Eta variants if your LCD resolution is lower than FHD (1080p). Eta draws widgets around -20% to -30% spacing.
  • Metacity theming supports Eta variants (>= 3.20.x or 3.22.x).



Required Components

Adapta supports Gtk+ 3.22.x and 3.20.x

 * Gtk+-3.0             >= 3.20.0
 * Gtk+-2.0             >= 2.24.30
 * gtk2-engines-pixbuf  >= 2.24.30
 * gtk2-engines-murrine >= 0.98.1

Supported Desktop Environments

 * GNOME-Shell     >= 3.18.3
 * GNOME-Flashback >= 3.18.2
 * Budgie-Desktop  >= 10.2.7
 * Cinnamon        >= 2.8.6
 * Unity7          >= 7.4.0 (Gtk+ 3.x only)
 * XFce4           >= 4.12.2
 * Mate            >= 1.14.0 (Gtk+ 3.2x only)
 * LXDE            >= 0.99.1 (Gtk+ 2.x only)


  • Mate-Desktop support is a W.I.P.

Unsupported Gtk+ Based Desktop(s)

  • Pantheon


  • Adapta does NOT support elementaryOS.

Installation from Package(s)


  • Solus OS has an eopkg (ypkg) in main repository.

Installation from Git Source

  1. If previous versions were installed/existed, remove them first.
 sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/{Adapta,Adapta-Eta,Adapta-Nokto,Adapta-Nokto-Eta}
 rm -rf ~/.local/share/themes/{Adapta,Adapta-Eta,Adapta-Nokto,Adapta-Nokto-Eta}
 rm -rf ~/.themes/{Adapta,Adapta-Eta,Adapta-Nokto,Adapta-Nokto-Eta}
  1. Check build-requirements: Currently Adapta bundles neither pre-generated stylesheets nor PNG images. So users and/or contributors should generate proper CSSs, PNGs and gresources at build-time.
 * autoconf
 * automake
 * inkscape                                  >= 0.91
 * libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev (gdk-pixbuf2-devel)  >= 2.32.2
 * libglib2.0-dev (glib2-devel)              >= 2.48.0
 * librsvg2-dev (librsvg2-devel)             >= 2.40.13
 * libsass0 (libsass)                        >= 3.3
 * libxml2-utils (libxml2)
 * pkg-config (pkgconfig)
 * sassc                                     >= 3.3


  • In OpenSUSE, add 3 extra dependencies:

    > gdk-pixbuf-devel >= 2.32.2 > gdk-pixbuf-loader-rsvg >= 2.40.13 > librsvg-devel >= 2.40.13 > > > * Adapta employs SassC wrapper of libsass to generate CSS stylesheets. > * Adapta uses inkscape to generate installable PNG files. > * Adapta uses glib-compile-resources to compile the gresource files for Gtk+ and Gnome-Shell.

  • Build and install system-wide:

 sudo make install


  • Default prefix is /usr.
  • All 4 variants are installed by default.
  • make generates proper CSSs and PNGs to be installed. It will take about 5min to 15min to build. For example, Ubuntu’s build-server takes 10min.
  • sudo make install installs multiple versioned theme and Gtk+ automatically selects the properly versioned one when running.
  1. To speed up by using concurrency-build, pass this specific option to
 --enable-parallel       enable parallel-build support (type: bool)


  • This feature requires GNU parallel, so please add parallel to build-requirements. Parallel can execute multiple scripts and binaries to be suitable for multi-threading. It could especially shorten the rendering-time via inkscape.
  • -jN option to be passed to GNU make is surely usable, but Adapta currently employs parallel.
  • This feature should not be applied when packaging on remote/shared build-servers.
  1. To disable some DE supports, pass these specific options to
 --disable-cinnamon      disable cinnamon support (type: bool)
 --disable-flashback     disable flashback support (type: bool)
 --disable-unity         disable unity support (type: bool)
 --disable-xfce          disable xfce support (type: bool)
 --disable-mate          disable mate support (type: bool)
 --disable-openbox       disable openbox support (type: bool)


  • The installer installs GNOME/Budgie-Desktop support even if all of options above were applied.
  • Cinnamon/Unity/Mate support hooks metacity-1 directory even if GNOME-Flashback support was disabled.
  1. To enable extra Gtk+ release support, pass these options:
 --enable-gtk_legacy    enable Gtk+ 3.18 support (type: bool)
 --enable-gtk_next      enable Gtk+ 4.0 support (type: bool)
  1. To change the default 5 Key-Colors, pass these options:
 --with-selection_color        Primary color for 'selected-items' (Default: #00BCD4 = Cyan500, type: int)
 --with-second_selection_color Primary color for 'select' effects (Default: #4DD0E1 = Cyan300, type: int)
 --with-accent_color           Secondary color for notifications and OSDs (Default: #4DB6AC = Teal300, type: int)
 --with-suggestion_color       Secondary color for 'suggested' buttons (Default: #009688 = Teal500, type: int)
 --with-destruction_color      Tertiary color for 'destructive' buttons (Default: #FF5252 = RedA200, type: int)


  • Color-codes are defined as # + 6-digit HEXs (Standard RGB definitions in HTML codes). Uppercases are strongly recommended in Adapta code-base.

  • The Material Design Color Palette can be found here.

  • Example: If you would like to use ‘Teal500’ as selection_color, use this:

    ./ --with-selection_color=#009688 --with-second_selection_color=#4DB6AC > > This switchese the theme to almost Teal key colors. > * Basically selection_color and suggestion_color should use 500 colors, > and second_selection_color and accent_color should use 300 colors. > * While doing make, Adapta changes those 5 colors in all stylesheets and images, > and make clean cleans up all generated files from source directories. > * This feature unfortunately is not supported in Openbox-3 and Telegram 1.0 theming.

GtkSourceView/Gedit Color Scheme Support

A theme file adapta.xml is installed by default into Adapta(-Nokto)/gedit directory. See details in


  • The color-scheme can be used in Gnome-Builder and Gedit if installed to ~/.local/share/gtksourceview-3.0/styles directory.
  • Currently only dark-variant is supported.

Extra Browser Support

To try experimental browser specific theming, pass this option:

 --enable-chrome         enable Chrome(ium) support (type: bool)

The compressed crx files will be installed into Adapta/chrome and Adapta-Nokto/chrome.


  • Currently only Chrome(ium) theming is supported.

  • Chrome(ium) 59.0.30xx or newer, theming is pulled from Gtk+ 3.x directly.

  • Vivaldi can make custom themes via settings like these: > Background: #FAFBFC (#263238) > Foreground: #263238 (#CFD8DC) > Highlight: #00BCD4 > Accent: #222D32 > Accent Color from Active Page: [ ] > Apply Accent Color to Window: [*] > Transparent Tabs: [*] > Corner Rounding: 2px >

Extra Dock Support

To try “Plank” theming, pass this option:

 --enable-plank         enable Plank support (type: bool)

Then select Gtk+ via plank --preferences.


  • Both Adapta and Adapta-Nokto shares the same theming.
  • Don’t expect too much. Plank is NOT a themeable widget for me!

Extra Compositor Support

Compton is the famous stand-alone compositor that works well with the Openbox window-manager. The installer installs recommended configuration file compton.conf into Adapta/openbox-3 directory if Openbox support is enabled.

Next, copy that file into ~/.config/ and restart compton to read the settings. That compositor still has some limitations in its features for Adapta, however.

Extra Telegram Support

To try “Telegram 1.0” theming, pass this option:

 --enable-telegram      enable Telegram 1.0 support (type: bool)

The installer installs compressed tdesktop-theme files into Adapta/telegram and Adapta-Nokto/telegram directories if Telegram support is enabled. Then open the file via Telegram > Main Menu > Settings > Chat background > Choose from file.


  • The adapta.tdesktop-theme is for light-variant, and adapta-nokto.tdesktop-theme is for dark-variant.
  • Bundled noise-texture images are for tiled mode.
  • Telegram support is a W.I.P currently.

Work in Progress

  • Conversion to Gtk+ 4.0


  • Prepare for Meson build system (priority: high)
  • Prepare for FlatPak packaging (priority: mid)
  • Prepare for Steam theming (priority: Low)
  • Add Firefox specific theming (priority: undecided)

Public License



SVG files are licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Special Thanks to

Nana-4, the developer of Flat-Plat.

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