United theme for both gtk2 and gtk3 versions (in Gentoo with Gnome 3.6)

The default gtk+ themes do not look great at least in my eyes of a user. Additionally, if you use both gkt2 and gtk3 within your session, they also look different. And It seems that, I am not alone, there are people, which share my opinion regarding this style issue.

Fortunately, there is a one good looking theme named x11-themes/light-themes , which brings Ambiance and Radiance themes from ubuntu and depends on the theme engine called unico(x11-themes/gtk-engines-unico). The good point is that, this theme looks the same good with both gtk versions.

$ emerge -1av light-themes

Thereby the gtk-engines-unico will be pulled as a dependency if the USE flag gtk3 is enabled.

In order to apply this theme in Gnome 3.6 the Ambiance theme should be selected in the tweak tool as illustrated in the figure below:

As a result all application windows will looks accordingly. The exemplary window is shown for gnome-terminal:

If you also wish to have the same icon set used in ubuntu [1], which is named Humanity, an additional ebuild humanity-icon-theme should be emerged. At the time of this writing, however, this ebuild is not yet officially included in the portage tree. Nevertheless, you can add this ebuild manually. This process requires additional steps, which are luckily trivial. To accelerate the process of adding this ebuild to the official gentoo tree you can file a bug report, in which you describe your wishes by optionally providing the ebuild itself. The ebuild humanity-icon-theme-0.6.2.ebuild I used is listed below:

# Copyright 1999-2013 Gentoo Foundation
# Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2
# $Header: $

inherit gnome2-utils

DESCRIPTION="A nice and well polished icon theme"

KEYWORDS="~amd64 ~x86"

RESTRICT="mirror binchecks strip"


src_install() {
	insinto /usr/share/icons
	doins -r Humanity
	doins -r Humanity-Dark

pkg_preinst() { gnome2_icon_savelist; }
pkg_postinst() { gnome2_icon_cache_update; }
pkg_postrm() { gnome2_icon_cache_update; }

Similar ebuilds can be found in other overlays [2].

Next, I describe how to create a local overlay, where you can put your custom ebuilds. More information about this topic can be found here [3]. To add his ebuild to your local tree, called an overlay, simply create a directory structure

$ mkdir -p /usr/local/overlay/x11-themes/humanity-icon-theme/

navigate to it and save the above introduced ebuild file there. Afterwards, call the command

$ ebuild humanity-icon-theme-0.6.2.ebuild manifest

which tests the ebuild for errors and creates a Manifest file. Then, just tell portage system, where you local overlay is hiding by adding this line


to the /etc/portage/make.conf file, and sync your tree and emerge it (If necessary you need to keyword it as well, because it was marked as unstable ~amd64 by me in the ebuild file).

So, after installing it and applying the changes in the tweak tool by changing the icon set to Humanity the nautilus 3.6 will look similar to the one shown in the following figure:

Please note, that some icons in the Humanity set were changed [4] and especially the one of the nautilus. If you would like the have icons you used to observe during your ubuntu usage, bacause in Gentoo you make a choice, simply do the above steps by adding and emerging the corresponding ebuild by changing version of package in the ending of the ebuild file.

[1] humanity-icon-theme
[2] list of overlays
[3] local overlay
[4] changes in the icon set


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