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How to install the Solarized Dark Colorpack GTK theme on Linux

The Solarized Dark colorpack GTK  theme is a stylish dark theme with accents of dark green and black, combined with various colors like pink, lime green, blue, purple, and others. It’s an excellent GTK theme for the Linux desktop for those that dislike light ones. Here’s how to set it up on your system.

Downloading Solarized Dark Colorpack

The Solarized Dark Colorpack GTK theme is hosted on the Gnome-look theme website, so if you’re trying to install it, you must download it from its page on the site.

As the Solarized Dark Colorpack GTK theme is a pack (hence the name Colorpack), each colored version of the theme is a separate download. To start the downloading process, head over to Solarized Dark’s Gnome-look page, and click on the “files” section. From there, follow the instructions below.


To download the Cyan version of the theme, locate Solarized-Dark-Cyan_1.9.1.zip in the Files tab, and click on the blue download button.


To get your hands on the Blue theme, click on the download button next to Solarized-Dark-Blue_1.9.1.zip.


Want the Orange version of Solarized Dark? Download Solarized-Dark-Orange_1.9.1.zip.


For the Magenta version of Solarized Dark, download Solarized-Dark-Magenta_1.9.1.zip


To get the Green theme, download Solarized-Dark-Green_1.9.1.zip from the Files section.


For Violet, grab Solarized-Dark-Violet_1.9.1.zip from the Solarized Dark web page.


Like the Red version of the Solarized Dark GTK theme? Download Solarized-Dark-Red_1.9.1.zip from Gnome-look.

Extracting Solarized Dark Colorpack

Before the Solarized Dark theme can be experienced on your Linux desktop, the files must be extracted from the ZIP archive they were downloaded as. To extract ZIP files on Linux, you can use the file manager or the terminal. In this guide, we will make use of the terminal as it is much faster.

To start the extraction process, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open, run the unzip –help command to see if you have the Unzip utility set up on your Linux PC.

unzip --help

If nothing happens when the command above runs, you must install Unzip. To do that, go to Pkgs.org, choose your distribution, and follow the instructions to learn how to get it working.

With Unzip out of the way, we can use the CD command to move into the “Downloads” directory.

cd ~/Downloads.

Once in the “Downloads” directory, we can fully extract the Solarized Dark ZIP archive with the unzip command.

unzip Solarized-Dark-*.zip

When the unzip command finishes executing, a folder in your “Downloads” directory will be created. The name of the folder is Solarized-Dark-COLOR.

Please note that “COLOR” stands for the type of theme you downloaded. For example, if you unzipped Solarized Dark Cyan, the folder will be Solarized-Dark-Cyan.

Installing  Solarized Dark Colorpack

The Solarized Dark Colorpack ZIP archive is done extracting. Now it is time to start the installation of the theme on your Linux PC. To start the installation, open up your terminal window. Then, follow the installation instructions outlined below.


Installing the Solarized Dark Colorpack theme as a single-user is a good idea if you only have one user on your Linux PC, and you do not have any reason to allow other people to have access to the theme.

To start the installation of the theme as a single-user, use the mkdir command to create a new folder named .themes.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

After creating the new .themes folder in your home directory, use the mv command to place your Solarized Dark theme into the directory.

mv Solarized-Dark-* ~/.themes


Installing the Solarized Dark theme as system-wide will make it available for all Linux users on the system, not just you. Move the terminal window to the “Downloads” directory with the CD command to start the installation.

cd ~/Downloads

Elevate the terminal to root with sudo -s 

sudo -s

Using the mv command, place the Solarized Dark GTK theme in the /usr/share/themes/ directory.

mv Solarized-Dark-* /usr/share/themes/

Enabling Solarized Dark Colorpack

The Solarized Dark Colorpack is set up on your Linux PC, but the process is not complete. The final step of the process is to enable the Solarized Dark Colorpack as the default GTK theme on the Linux desktop.

To enable the Solarized Dark Colorpack GTK theme on the Linux desktop, start by opening up the “Settings” area of the Linux desktop. Then, once you’ve made it to the “Settings” area, look for “Themes,” and change the current theme your desktop is using to the Solarized Dark theme installed from the color pack.

Having issues activating the Solarized Dark Colorpack on your Linux PC? Choose your desktop environment from the list below to find out exactly how to change the default theme.

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