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How to install the Plata GTK theme on Linux

The Plata GTK theme is a modern theme for various desktop environments, which adopts similar designs to that of Materia and other material design setups for the Linux platform.

The developer for Plata supports nearly every Linux desktop environment out there (Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Openbox, and XFCE).  Users will be able to use it on virtually any desktop environment that has support for the latest GTK+ technologies.

Install dependencies

The Plata GTK theme is a complex theme that requires quite a lot of dependencies to build from source. In this section of the guide, we’ll walk you through how to get these various dependencies working on all of the major Linux distributions.

To start the installation, launch a terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then enter the commands below that correspond with the Linux OS you use.


sudo apt install autoconf automake inkscape libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libxml2-utils pkg-config sassc git


sudo apt install autoconf automake inkscape libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libxml2-utils pkg-config sassc git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S gtk-engine-murrine gtk-engines git


sudo dnf install autofconf automake inkscape gdk2-pixbuf-devel glib2-devel libxml2 pkgconfig sassc parallel git


sudo zypper install autofconf automake inkscape gdk-pixbuf-devel glib2-devel libxml2 pkgconfig sassc parallel git

Generic Linux

In this guide, you’ll be able to install the Plata GTK theme, even if you’re using an obscure Linux distribution. The reason for this is that we’re building from the source code, rather than using various third-party software repositories.

To build Plata on a lesser-known Linux distribution, search for the packages on this list and install them the way you normally install software. Alternatively, search Pkgs.org, as it looks through various package archives for a myriad of Linux operating systems.

  • autoconf
  • automake
  • inkscape
  • libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev or gdk-pixbuf2-devel or gdk-pixbuf-devel
  • libglib2.0-dev or glib2-devel
  • libxml2-utils or libxml2
  • pkg-config or pkgconfig
  • sassc
  • parallel
  • git

Download source code

The source code for the Plata GTK theme is up on a private Gitlab instance that the project maintains. All of the theme files are there in an uncompiled state. To get your hands on the source code, you’ll need to use the Git program that was installed earlier along with the other dependencies.

Open up a terminal session by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once it’s open, use the git clone command and pull down the latest Plata GTK theme code to your Linux computer.

git clone https://gitlab.com/tista500/plata-theme.git

Let the Plata code files download. It may take a few minutes, as the data is a few hundred megabytes in size. When it’s done, use the CD command and move your terminal session from the home folder (~/) to the newly downloaded “plata-theme” directory.

cd plata-theme

Once in the plata’s code directory, feel free to use the ls command to view the contents of the files, to confirm that everything looks as it should.


Install Plata GTK

Compiling the Plata GTK theme files is a multi-step process. It starts by running the “autogen.sh” script,. The script scans your system and generates some configuration files and various installation files. To execute the script, go to the terminal window and run:


Assuming the script runs correctly, you should see a readout of information regarding Plata, and all of its features. After that, you must run the make command to start the code compilation process. When compiling the code, keep in mind that building takes time. It isn’t instantaneous, so it’s best to leave your computer alone and let the build go through.


Let the make tool compile the Plata code. Then, once it’s done, run the sudo make install command to get the Plata GTK theme fully installed on your Linux computer.

sudo make install

Update Plata

Since this version of the Plata GTK theme is compiled from the source code, rather than from a software repository, it won’t update automatically. If you’d like to update this theme, you must repeat the install process and re-compile the code. For information on updates, be sure to check the project’s Gitlab page.

Activate Plata GTK

The Plata GTK theme is now installed on your Linux PC and ready to use. Now, you must activate it and set it as the default skin for your desktop.

Unsure about how to set Plata as the default theme on your computer? Launch the “Settings” app on your desktop. From there, look for “Appearance” or “Themes,” and apply “Plata” from the list of themes available.

Confused about how to find the appearance settings on your Linux desktop and looking to apply the Plata GTK theme? Check out the list of links below, as they point to lots of different articles that can help you learn how to apply Plata on your system.

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