Ubuntu’s default theme is known as “Yaru.” It looks charming on the Ubuntu desktop but a little boring and doesn’t add a lot of life to Ubuntu. If you’d like to improve your Ubuntu desktop look, you can install the Yaru Colors theme.
Yaru Colors is a modification of the Yaru theme for Ubuntu. However, instead of just drab Ubuntu orange, you get a variety of different colors that are sure to spice up your Ubuntu desktop.
Before we begin
This guide will focus on the Ubuntu Gnome Desktop and its default GTK theme, Yaru. We’ll go over how to make the desktop look more colorful by replacing the default theme with Yaru Colors.
That said, Yaru Colors isn’t restricted to Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Gnome Desktop. While the Yaru Colors theme isn’t intended to be used on anything other than the Ubuntu Gnome Desktop, it is possible to install it on any Linux OS and any GTK-based desktop environment.
Downloading Yaru Colors
The Yaru Colors GTK theme is available on GitHub and comes with an installation script. The installation script means that you can quickly get everything up and running without many tedious commands in a terminal window.
Install Git package
To start the download process, you will need to install the Git package on your Ubuntu Linux PC. To install it, open up a terminal window. Once it is open, make use of the apt install command below to get Git working.
sudo apt install git
Download Yaru colors
Now that the Git tool is set up on your computer, you can download the latest release of Yaru Colors using the git clone command in a terminal window. Keep in mind that the downloader may take a couple of minutes, as there are many files to grab.
git clone https://github.com/Jannomag/Yaru-Colors.git
If you’re not a fan of using the git clone command and the Git tool, you can download the latest Yaru Colors TarGZ from the release section on GitHub. However, we will not focus on this release in the guide, so keep that in mind.
Once the Yaru Colors theme files are done downloading to your Linux PC, use the ls command to verify the folder’s contents to ensure everything is downloaded correctly.
After verifying the folder’s contents with the ls command, we need to enter the “Yaru-Colors” folder with the CD command.
When you’ve entered the “Yaru-Colors” folder, move on to the next section of the guide to get the theme files installed.
Installing Yaru Colors
Installing the Yaru Colors GTK theme on your Ubuntu desktop can be done in two ways. The first way is the single-user mode, which makes Yaru Colors only accessible to the person who installs it. The second is the system-wide mode, making it so that every user on your Ubuntu desktop will have access to the Yaru Colors GTK theme, even if they never installed the theme files.
In this guide, we’ll cover both methods of installation. However, we highly recommend going the single-user route, as the installation script works much better in single-user mode.
To install the Yaru Colors theme on your Ubuntu PC as a single-user, start by executing the installation script without the sudo command. By doing this, you will be running the script without root privileges, thus not allowing it to install the themes in the root directory.
Following the command, you will see a text-based UI appear on the screen. Press any key to start. After pressing any key, the installer will begin asking you questions on setting up the theme. Answer the questions to install the theme.
Once you get most of the questions, you will arrive at the last question. This question will ask if you wish to enable the theme. Press 1 for yes to enable Yaru Colors.
To install the Yaru Colors theme in system-wide mode, you need to run the script as root. To do that, run the script using the sudo command. By running with sudo, the script will place all files in the system-wide theme folders.
Upon running the installation command, you will be asked several questions on how you wish to install the Yaru Colors theme. Be sure to thoroughly read through all of the prompts in the script to get Yaru Colors installed and activated on your Ubuntu system.
Enable Yaru Colors on non-Ubuntu desktops
If you want to enable Yaru Colors on non-Ubuntu desktop environments, you’ll need to install it with the installation script. After that, you can attempt to enable them. If enabling doesn’t work, you can manually enable the Yaru Colors theme by following one of the guides linked below.