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How To Install The Arc Theme For Thunderbird On Linux

Arc is one of the most well-known Linux themes out there. It’s included in a ton of official software sources on major Linux distributions, used as a basis for other themes, and sometimes even set as default. One of the reasons that people love Arc so much is because of how clean it is. Out of all the favorite GTK themes on Linux, this one manages to rework applications in such a way that everything is clean and modern. As a result, many in the community have taken it upon themselves to create native Arc-integrated themes. One such theme is the Arc theme for Thunderbird.

Install Thunderbird

Before installing any themes to Thunderbird, it’s essential to install the email program first. It is true that this software comes with a lot of Linux distributions, but not all of them. To remedy this, open up a terminal and use the commands below to install Thunderbird.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install thunderbird

Debian

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S thunderbird

Fedora

sudo dnf install thunderbird

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install thunderbird

Other Linuxes

Thunderbird is one of the Linux community’s favorite email programs. As a result, nearly every distribution, both big and small, packages it. Still, if you’re having issues getting this piece of software on your Linux operating system, you shouldn’t worry. Just head over to the official website and download the latest binary package. Included in the package is a self-contained, executable file that can run without the need for native packages.

Don’t feel like using the downloadable version? Check your operating system’s Wiki page and look for information on Thunderbird.

Download Arc Theme For Thunderbird

The Thunderbird Arc-integration theme is on Github as un-compiled source code. For anyone interested in modifying the theme in any way, it’s recommended to consider grabbing it. To get the latest code, use the Git tool in the terminal. If you don’t have this program installed, follow the instructions below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install git

Debian

sudo apt-get install git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git

Fedora

sudo dnf install git

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install git

Next, grab the latest source code directly from the GitHub repository using git clone.

git clone https://github.com/JD342/arc-thunderbird-integration

Use CD to change the terminal’s working directory from /home/username/ to the newly cloned arc-thunderbird-integration folder.

cd arc-thunderbird-integration

Once there, head over to the official Mozilla website to learn how to create your XPI installation module.

Don’t want to compile anything? Go to the release page instead, and download a pre-made file. Be sure to scroll to the top and select the newest release.

Enable Theme

Now that the Arc theme file is downloaded, it’s time to enable it in Thunderbird. Start off by opening up Thunderbird. As it opens, select the menu on the far right. Inside the application menu, click the “Add-ons” button to open the Thunderbird add-on center.

In the add-on center, there are many things to choose. Specifically, the “Get Add-ons”, Extensions”, “Appearance”, and “Plugins” sections. Click on the “Extensions” button to go to Thunderbird’s extensions area.

The theme area probably won’t have anything in it by default. It should say “You don’t have any add-ons of this type installed.” To install the new Arc theme, open up the file manager to your home folder. Find the downloaded XPI file, and drag it into Thunderbird.

Alternatively, if dragging the XPI file into the window doesn’t work, click the gear icon next to “Search all add-ons,” and select “Install add-on from a file.”

After dragging in the XPI file, Thunderbird will show a pop-up confirmation window. This confirmation window will make you wait a few seconds, then ask if you want to install it. When the timer finishes counting down, click the button to allow it to install.

If everything goes well, the theme be applied instantly. As Thunderbird restarts, it should now look a little more like Arc.

Disable Theme

To remove the Arc integration from Thunderbird, open the application menu like before and select “Add-ons,” then “Extensions.” Look for “Disable” and click it. Selecting this option should instantly disable any Arc aesthetics in Thunderbird. Next, click the “remove” button to remove it from Thunderbird.

Restart Thunderbird. After the email client finishes restarting, the extension will be gone.

Final Thoughts

Arc theme integration for Thunderbird is an excellent way to make the aging email client look better. However,  the Thunderbird Arc-integration extension is a hybrid extension. It’s not a standalone theme. For it to look right, you’ll need to be already using the Arc GTK theme and have it enabled.

The Arc GTK theme is available on Github. Download it and enable it on your GTK desktop environment of choice. Need help applying Arc on your Linux PC? Follow one of our guides below to learn how!

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