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How to install the Arc Ambiance GTK theme on Linux

The Arc Ambiance GTK theme is a fantastic fusion of the default Ubuntu Linux GTK theme and the very popular Arc GTK theme. The result of this fusion is a beautiful, flat, Ubuntu-like theme setup with stylish orange, black, and gray colors.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to get the Arc Ambiance GTK theme installed on your Linux system. Also, we’ll show you how to activate the new theme on various desktop environments!

Download Arc Ambiance

The Arc Ambiance GTK theme is freely available on the Gnome-look.org theme website. To get your copy of the theme Arc Ambiance head over to its official page here.

On the official Arc Ambiance Gnome-look page, find the “Files” button and select it with the mouse to reveal download options for the theme. From there, click the blue download button next to “Arc-Ambiance.tar.xz.” Or, if you prefer the ZIP format, click the download button next to “Arc-Ambiance.zip.”

When the download is complete, open up a terminal window pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard, and move the terminal window to the “Downloads” folder with the CD command below.

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside of the downloads folder, follow the command-line instructions below to extract the theme archive file.

Extract Arc Ambiance

Extracting the Arc Ambiance theme on Linux is done with the Tar command. To start the file extraction, use the command below.

tar xvf Arc-Ambiance.tar.xz

Following the extraction, you’ll see a folder appear in the “Downloads” directory with the label of “Arc-Ambiance.”

Did you download the ZIP version? Using the unzip command, extract the “Arc-Ambiance.zip” archive with the command below.

unzip Arc-Ambiance.zip

From here, like the TarXZ release of the theme, a folder will appear labeled “Arc-Ambiance” in “Downloads.”

Install Arc Ambiance

Now that the Arc Ambiance GTK theme is downloaded and fully extracted, installation can begin. To start the installation, open up a terminal window on the desktop. Sadly, installing GTK themes are difficult to do with the GUI, so command-line is required.

To open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, with the command-line terminal window open, follow the instructions below to get the Arc Ambiance theme setup on Linux.

Set-up for a single user

Installing Arc Ambiance on Linux is best done for a single user. The reason for this is that most Linux users only have one user account set up, so there’s no sense in installing a theme in system-wide mode.

To set up the Arc Ambiance GTK theme as a single user, you’ll need to have a directory with the label of “.themes” in your home directory. Check and see if you’ve got this folder already by running the command below.

ls -a | grep themes

If “.themes” shows up as a result in the terminal, the folder already exists on your system. If nothing happens, use the mkdir command to create a new directory.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

With the new directory created, use the mv command to place the Arc Ambiance folder extracted inside of “Downloads” into the new “~/.themes” directory.

mv ~/Downloads/Arc-Ambiance ~/.themes/

Once the new folder is placed in the theme folder, move on to the instructions to activate it on your Linux PC.

Set-up system-wide

Those who have more than one user account on a Linux system and are looking to give multiple users access to the Arc Ambiance GTK theme need to set everything up system-wide. To do this, start by using the CD command and move to the “Downloads” directory.

cd ~/Downloads

Inside of the “Downloads” folder, use the sudo -s command to elevate the command-line from a standard user to the root account.

sudo -s

From here, use the mv command and place the “Arc-Ambiance” folder into the system-wide themes directory (/usr/share/themes/).

mv Arc-Ambiance /usr/share/themes/

Once the “Arc-Ambiance” folder is set in the system-wide theme directory, move on to the activation steps.

Activate Arc Ambiance

The Arc Ambiance GTK theme is set up correctly on your Linux PC. However, it won’t activate itself automatically. So, if you’d like to start using this as the default skin for your Linux PC, you must manually switch your desktop environment to Arc Ambiance in the theme settings.

To access the theme settings in Arc Ambiance, open up “System Settings” on your Linux PC. Once the settings app is open, look for “Appearance” or “Themes,” and change the default theme to Arc Ambiance.

Can’t figure out how to enable the Arc Ambiance GTK theme on your Linux PC? Look at the list below, choose the desktop environment you currently use, and follow the instructions to learn how to enable it.

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