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How to install the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme

Black Maia is a beautiful, dark Gnome Shell theme. It goes well with the Manjaro Linux OS and is used on the official Gnome release. However, it is possible to use it on any Gnome-based Linux desktop. In this guide, we’ll go over how to set it up.

Downloading Black Maia

The Black Maia Gnome Shell theme is available for download (in many different versions) on Gnome-look.org, a popular Linux theme website. To get your hands on it, click on this link here. It will take you to the Black Maia Gnome-look page.

Once on the page, look for the “Files” tab, and click on it. After clicking on the “Files” tab, you will see various releases for the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme. They cover every version of Gnome Shell from the latest (3.36) to 3.28, ensuring that no matter how old your Gnome desktop is, you’ll be able to enjoy Black Maia! To download, follow the instructions outlined below.


If you’re running the latest Gnome Shell, locate Black-Maia-3.36.tar.xz and click on the blue button in the DL column. By doing that, you’ll be able to start the download.


Are you running Gnome Shell 3.34 on your Linux PC? Grab Black-Maia-3.34.tar.xz by clicking on the blue button in the DL column.


Need to get the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme for Gnome 3.32? If so, locate Black-Maia-3.32.tar.xz in the “Files” list and then click on the blue button in the DL column.


To download version 3.30 of Black Maia, locate Black-Maia-3.30.tar.xz in the “Files” column. From there, click on the blue button in the DL column to start the download.


Still on Gnome 3.28? Want to install Black Maia? Find Black-Maia-3.28.tar.xz and click on the blue button in the DL column to grab it.

Once you’ve downloaded your Black Maia theme archive, move on to the next section of the guide to learn how to extract it.

Extracting Black Maia on Linux

Extracting the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme file is best done with the Linux terminal. The reason? TarXZ archive files are straightforward to manipulate with the command-line, and you’ll be able to quickly extract their contents with a single command, rather than fiddling around in the Gnome file manager.

To start the extraction process, open up a terminal window on the Gnome desktop. After opening the terminal window, use the CD command to move the terminal session into the “Downloads” directory, where the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme file was downloaded earlier.

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside of the “Downloads” directory, follow the extraction instructions outlined below that corresponds with the version of Black Maia you’ve downloaded to your computer.


To extract version 3.36 of the Black Maia theme, execute the following terminal command.

tar xvf Black-Maia-3.36.tar.xz


To extract version 3.34 of the Black Maia theme, run the following command in a terminal.

tar xvf Black-Maia-3.34.tar.xz


To extract the contents of version 3.32 of the Black Maia theme, execute this command in a terminal window.

tar xvf Black-Maia-3.32.tar.xz


To extract version 3.30 of the Black Maia theme on your computer, make use of the following command.

tar xvf Black-Maia-3.30.tar.xz


To extract version 3.28 of the Black Maia theme on your Linux PC, run the command below.

tar xvf Black-Maia-3.28.tar.xz

Once the files are fully extracted from the TarXZ archive,

Installing Black Maia on Linux

Installing a Gnome Shell theme is very similar to installing GTK themes. Gnome Shell themes can go in either the ~/.themes folder as a single-user or in /usr/share/themes/ for a system-wide installation.


To install the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme as a single-user, start by creating a new ~/.themes folder.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

Once you’ve created the new folder, move the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme into it with the commands below.

cd ~/Downloads
rm *.tar.xz

mv Black-Maia* ~/.themes


To install the Black Maia Gnome Shell theme system-wide, do the following. First, move into the “Downloads” directory with the CD command.

cd ~/Downloads

Inside of the “Downloads” directory, elevate the terminal session to the root account with sudo -s.

sudo -s

Once the terminal session is elevated, delete the TarXZ files and move the files to the /usr/share/themes/ directory.

rm *.tar.xz

mv Black-Maia* /usr/share/themes/

Enabling Black Maia in Gnome

To Enable Black Maia in Gnome, start by installing the “User Themes” Gnome Shell extension. It allows users to use custom shell themes. Once the extension is installed, open up a terminal window and install the Gnome Tweak Tool.


sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool


sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S gnome-tweak-tool


sudo dnf install gnome-tweak-tool


sudo zypper install gnome-tweak-tool

After installing Gnome Tweak Tool or “Tweaks” as it is also known by, launch it on your PC. Once the app is open, find “Appearance” and click on it. Then, look for “Shell theme.”

In the “Shell theme” menu, change it to Black Maia. Once the theme is changed, your Gnome Shell desktop should automatically switch to it.

If you’re looking for some color variation, try the Ultimate Maia theme.

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