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How To Install The Canta GTK Theme On Linux

The Materia GTK theme has spawned quite a lot of spin-off themes looking to improve on it. One of the better Materia-based themes out there for Linux is the Canta GTK theme: a flat, material design theme that has great support for nearly every GTK desktop environment. Better still, it even comes with its icon theme!

Install Canta GTK Theme

Installing the Canta GTK theme starts out by getting the latest dependencies installed. These dependency files are essential because without them the theme will render incorrectly. It might even fail to install altogether. In this tutorial, we’ll cover the files you’ll need to get to use this theme on all major Linux distributions. However, if you’re using a lesser-known Linux distribution, you’ll need to do the research yourself.

Those using a lesser-known distribution will need to install “GTK engine murrine,” “git,” etc.

Note: Arch Linux users can skip this process in favor of an automatic, AUR package for Canta.


sudo apt install gtk2-engines-murrine gtk2-engines-pixbuf


sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-murrine gtk2-engines-pixbuf

Arch Linux

pacman -S gtk-engine-murrine gtk-engines


sudo dnf install gtk-murrine-engine gtk2-engines


sudo zypper install gtk-murrine-engine gtk2-engines

With all the right dependencies installed, Canta should render all visuals correctly. Now it’s time to grab the latest source code from the developer’s Github repository. To get the code, open up a terminal and use the git clone command to download it to a folder on your Linux PC instantly.

git clone https://github.com/vinceliuice/Canta-theme.git

Using the CD command, move the terminal from the home folder to the newly cloned Canta-theme directory. Then, run the ls command to reveal all files inside the folder.

cd Canta-theme


Installing the Canta theme is as simple as running a script. Run the install.sh file, and soon everything will be up and running!


By running the install.sh script as a regular user, Canta should install directly to the user’s directory. Going this route means that you’ll need to re-install the theme for each user that wants access to it. Alternatively, it’s possible to install the theme so that every user on the PC has access.

sudo ./install.sh

Note that if ./ doesn’t work, there are other ways of running the script.

sudo sh install.sh

sudo bash install.sh

Installing The Canta Icon Theme

Installing the Canta GTK theme will bring new life to your Linux desktop, especially if you love the material design language. However, even though Canta is installed, your Linux desktop may still need improving. To fix this, consider using the Canta icon theme. This icon theme is regarded as a companion app to the GTK theme of the same name. To start the installation process, open up a terminal window and do the following.

Before we can install the Canta icon theme, we’ll need the Numix Circle icons. Numix Circle is required, as Canta icons use them as fallbacks (a replacement if Canta doesn’t have an icon for a specific program).

Using the git clone command, grab Numix Circle from the internet.

cd /usr/share/icons/

sudo -s

git clone https://github.com/numixproject/numix-icon-theme-circle.git.

Installing Numix Circle directly via a Git Clone is much smarter than downloading a zip, extracting it and moving the files. Everything goes exactly where it needs to be and activates instantly.

Numix Circle is done installing on your Linux PC.  Use the CD command to move to the Canta files directory.

cd ~/Canta-theme/src

Inside the src folder, use the CD command to move into the icons sub-folder.

cd icons

The Canta GTK theme comes with everything the user needs to use it, including the optional icon theme. However, the icon theme doesn’t install with the main theme. Instead, the user needs to do this manually. Luckily, installing the Canta icon theme is very similar to the GTK theme.

Like with the GTK theme, run the icon installation script as a regular user to make the icon only available to select users, or as root for the entire system.



sudo ./installer.sh

Activating Canta

Both the Canta GTK theme and icon theme are installed, so now it’s time to enable it on the Linux desktop. So, how do you do it? Well, depending on what desktop environment you use, it’ll be different. As Canta is a GTK theme, you’ll have issues activating it fully on Linux desktop environments like KDE Plasma, or LXQt. However, if you use Gnome, Mate, XFCE, etc., the theme will work great!

To enable Canta, please refer to one of the guides below. They go into great detail all about customizing the Linux desktop environments (including applying new icon and GTK themes).

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