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How to install the Sweet GTK theme

Are you in need of a new, unique theme for your Linux desktop? Consider giving the Sweet GTK theme a go! It’s got a great look to it, is very modern and Mac-like, while still managing to set itself apart from lots of other Apple-inspired themes.

Note: the Sweet GTK is a theme pack. When installed, users can choose to use either the “light” or “dark” version.

Install Git

The Sweet GTK theme’s source code is on the developer’s GitHub page. Downloading Sweet directly from this site is a great idea, as it enables you to get the latest version of the theme, with the newest fixes, etc. However, interacting with the Sweet GitHub page requires a special terminal package: Git. To get this program, launch a terminal window and follow the instructions that match the Linux operating system you are using.


sudo apt install git


sudo apt-get install git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git


sudo dnf install git


sudo zypper install git

Generic Linux

Git is the most popular tool for managing source code on the Linux platform. Many projects work with it (along with services like GitHub or GitLab). If you’re using a lesser-known Linux distribution and need the Git program, don’t worry! Just search your package manager for “git” and install it the way you’d typically install programs.

Can’t find the Git program on your OS? Consider downloading and installing it from source. The code is available here.

Set up Sweet GTK theme on Linux

As mentioned before: you must install Sweet via GitHub. Going this way is the easiest, as Git can quickly download all the files to any computer in an instant, rather than dealing with extracting Zip archives, or TarGZ files.  To download the Sweet theme, open up a terminal window, and run the git clone command.

git clone https://github.com/EliverLara/Sweet.git

The clone command tells Git to download the Sweet GTK theme to your home folder and place everything in the Sweet folder. You can enter this theme folder by using the CD command.

cd Sweet

Inside the “Sweet” directory, all the important GTK theme files are here. To get a closer look at the data, run the ls command.


When you can verify all of the GTK files match what is shown on the theme’s GitHub page, it’s safe to install Sweet to your Linux system. Follow the steps below to set it up correctly.

Install Sweet for a single user

Setting up the Sweet GTK theme so only one user account can access it is a good idea if you do not share a PC with anyone. To do it, you must first create the .themes folder. To make this new folder, open up a terminal window and use the mkdir command.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

After creating the new folder, move the Sweet GTK theme files into it and finish the installation.

cd ~/

mv Sweet ~/.themes

Install Sweet system-wide

Want more than one user to access and use the Sweet GTK theme? You’ll need to install it system-wide! To do it, move to your home directory with the CD command. Then, using sudo, place the theme into /usr/share/themes/.

cd ~/

sudo mv Sweet /usr/share/themes/

Sweet icon theme

The Sweet GTK theme looks great on its own, but it isn’t complete without a matching icon theme. The icon set that goes the best with this theme is known as Aqua Dark.

To get the Aqua Dark icon theme working, download it via this link. Then, follow the steps to get it set up on your Linux PC.

Step 1: Move the terminal into the ~/Downloads with the CD command.

cd ~/Downloads

Step 2: Extract the Aqua Dark TarXZ archive file using the tar command.

tar -xvf Aqua-Dark.tar.xz

Step 3: Install Aqua Dark.


To set up Aqua Dark for a single user, create a .icons folder, then move the files into it.

mkdir -p ~/.icons
mv Aqua-Dark ~/.icons/


For a system-wide Aqua Dark setup, place the icon files in /usr/share/icons/.

sudo mv ~/Downloads/Aqua-Dark/ /usr/share/icons/

Enabling Sweet

Sweet is set up on your Linux PC, but you won’t be able to use it unless you enable it.

Open up “Settings,” then, search for “Appearance,” or “themes” and change the theme to “Sweet.” Be sure to also change your default icon set to “Aqua Dark.”

Not sure how to set Sweet as the default GTK theme on Linux? We can help! Check out one of the tutorials in the list below!

Note: Sweet is a GTK-based theme, so it will not work on desktop environments like KDE Plasma 5, LXQt, or other non-GTK environments.

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