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How to install the Kripton GTK theme on Linux

Kripton is a dark, flat-style GTK theme for Gnome-like desktop environments, with a heavy focus on colors that are easy on the eyes. Suffice it to say if you like dark themes, Kripton is for you. Follow along below to learn to install the Kripton GTK theme on Linux!

Downloading Kripton

The Kripton icon theme is not in any mainstream Linux distribution software repository, unfortunately. However, it is possible to get your hands on it quite quickly through Gnome-look.org, a theme website for Gnome users. To start the download, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Head over to the Kripton page on Gnome-look.org. Once there, locate the “Files” button, and click on it with the mouse to view the files available for download.

Step 2: Locate the Kripton.tar.xz file, and click on it the blue button” in the DL column to open up the download page on Gnome-look.org.

Step 3: In the download page that pops up, click “Download.” Selecting the “Download” button will automatically start the file download for the Kripton theme files to your “Downloads” folder.

When the Kripton file has been downloaded to your Linux PC, move on to the next section of the guide.

Extracting Kripton

Now that the Kripton theme file is on your Linux PC, it must be extracted. The reason that the file must be extracted is that Linux theme files cannot be interacted with when they are in a compressed state.

Extracting Kripton is done with the tar compression tool in the Linux command-line. The reason? Extracting an archive in the command-line is much more straightforward and very fast compared to the file manager (although many new users may not know it).

To start the extraction, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, when the terminal window is open and ready to use, execute the CD command to move the terminal session from the home directory (~) to the “Downloads” folder where the Kripton TarXZ file is located.

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside of the “Downloads” folder, run the tar xvf command on the Kripton.tar.xz file to extract the theme files from the compressed archive.

tar xvf Kripton.tar.xz

When the tar command finishes extracting the contents of the Kripton.tar.xz archive file, it will create a directory in the “Downloads” folder by the name of ‘Kripton.’ To view the contents of this new directory, run the ls command.

ls Kripton/

After you’ve looked in the Kripton folder with the ls command, move on to the next section of the guide.

Installing Kripton

To install the Kripton GTK theme on your Linux PC, a terminal window is needed. The reason? Much like file extraction, moving things around on a Linux system is best done with the command line. To launch a terminal window press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.

After launching a terminal window, follow the instructions outlined below for either Single-user or System-wide. Unsure about what those terms mean? Single-user is an installation method that makes it so that only one user can access the Kripton GTK theme. System-wide means every user on the Linux PC has access.


To install the Kripton GTK theme as a single user, you must start by creating a folder with the name of .themes in the home directory. This folder will hold all theme files so that only your user account can access it. Using the mkdir command, create the .themes folder.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

With the themes folder taken care of, use the CD command and move the terminal session from the home directory (~) to the “Downloads” folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Once the terminal session is in the “Downloads” directory, you’ll be able to install the Kripton GTK theme to the .themes folder with the following mv command.

mv Kripton/ ~/.themes


Installing Kripton system-wide means moving the theme files from the “Downloads” directory to the Linux system-level folder /usr/share/themes/. However, the installation must start in the “Downloads” directory. Using the CD command, move the terminal session to “Downloads.”

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside of the “Downloads” directory, use the sudo -s command to transition your command-line session to the root user without leaving the “Downloads” directory.

sudo -s

Finally, install the Kripton GTK theme to the /usr/share/themes/ folder by executing the following mv command.

mv Kripton/ /usr/share/themes/

Activating Kripton on Linux

The Kripton GTK theme is now installed on your Linux PC and ready to use. However, no Linux desktop environment will automatically switch to this theme. Instead, you must dig into the system settings and change from the default theme to “Kripton” by hand.

To make the Kripton GTK theme the default on your Linux desktop environment, do the following. First, open up “Settings.” Once the “Settings” area is open, look for the “Appearance” or “Theme” settings. Then, change the default theme to “Kripton” to start using it.

Unsure on how to set up the Kripton GTK theme on your Linux desktop? Check out the links below for help customizing the desktop you use!

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