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How to install the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme on Linux

PurpIE (AKA Rounded-Rectangle-Purple) is a Gnome Shell theme that turns your Gnome desktop from the basic black/grey/blue colors to a refreshing purple. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install PurpIE and set it up as the default theme.

Downloading PurpIE 

The PurpIE Gnome Shell theme is available for download in multiple places online. This section of the guide will go over how you can download the PurpIE theme for your Gnome Shell desktop in both methods (Gnome-look and GitHub.)

To start the download process, follow the instructions down below that corresponds with the download method you prefer. 


Perhaps the easiest way to get your hands on the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme is to go to Gnome-look.org, a popular theme website. To start the download, find the “files” tab on the PurpIE page.

Inside of the “Files” tab, you’ll see a single file available for download. Look to the blue “DL” column, and click on the arrow. After clicking on the arrow, a pop-up window will appear. In this pop-up window, select the download option to allow PurpIE to download directly to your Linux PC.


If Gnome-look isn’t your style, you’ll also be able to get the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme downloaded through GitHub via the git clone command. Some users may choose to go with Git over Gnome-look, as there is no need to extract any of the theme files once downloaded.

To download the PurpIE theme from GitHub, you’ll need to first install the “Git” tool onto your Linux PC. This program is small and easy to install and will allow you to interact with Git repos like this one.

To install Git, open up a terminal window, and follow the installation instructions below.


sudo apt install git


sudo apt-get install git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git


sudo dnf install git


sudo zypper install git

After installing the Git tool onto your computer, downloading PurpIE is as easy as a single command. Using the git clone command in a terminal window, download the theme files.

git clone https://github.com/metro2222/-rounded-rectangle-purple-theme-.git PurpIE/

Move the theme files out of the PurpIE folder using the mv command.

mv PurpIE/Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ ~/

Delete the PurpIE folder with rm.

rm PurpIE/

Extracting PurpIE

If you’ve chosen to download PurpIE through the Gnome-look method, your theme files come packed inside of a TarXZ archive. This archive file needs to be decompressed before the installation can begin. 

To decompress your theme files, open up a terminal window. Once the terminal window is open, use the CD command to move into the “Downloads” directory. Then, run the tar xvf command to extract the contents of the archive.

cd ~/Downloads

tar xvf Rounded-Rectangle-Purple.tar.xz

When the extraction process is complete, a folder with the name of “Rounded-Rectangle-Purple” will appear in your “Downloads” directory. “Rounded-Rectangle-Purple” is the other name for the PurpIE theme. 

Installing PurpIE

The PurpIE Gnome Shell theme is installable in two ways on Linux. The first way of installation is known as single-user mode, which means that only the user who installs the theme can access it. The second method is system-wide, which means that no matter what user installs PurpIE, everyone will have access to it.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to install PurpIE in both methods. To start the installation, follow the instructions below that corresponds with the configuration you prefer.


Installing the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme in single-user mode, start using the mkdir command to create a new “.themes” directory. This new folder will be created in your home directory and handle the theme files for your user.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

After creating the new folder, run the command below to install the theme in single-user mode.

mv ~/Downloads/Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ ~/.themes/

Or, if you downloaded the PurpIE theme via GitHub, run:

mv ~/Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ ~/.themes/


To install the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme in system-wide mode, start by accessing the “Downloads” directory where the theme files are.

cd ~/Downloads

After moving into the “Downloads” directory, you can start installing the theme files using the commands below.

sudo -s

mv Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ /usr/share/themes/

Or, if you’ve downloaded the files from GitHub, do the following.

cd ~/

sudo -s

mv Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ /usr/share/themes/

Enabling PurpIE

The PurpIE theme needs to be set as the default Gnome Shell theme before you can use it. Here’s how to do it. First, install the Gnome Tweaks application with the commands below. 


sudo apt install gnome-tweaks


sudo apt-get install gnome-tweaks

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S gnome-tweaks


sudo dnf install gnome-tweaks


sudo zypper install gnome-tweaks

Launch the Gnome Tweaks app on your computer by searching for “Tweaks” in the Gnome app menu. Then, follow this guide to get Gnome extensions working on your system (if you don’t have this set up already).

Once Gnome Extensions are set up, install this Gnome extension that allows for custom shell themes. Then, in Tweaks, select “Appearance,” followed by “Shell,” and change it from the default to “Rounded-Rectangle-Purple” to activate PurpIE. 

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