Arc-Theme-Red is a Variation of the Popular Arc Theme For Linux Desktops

Customization options for Linux in regards the looks and feel of the GUI of your system do very well come in an extensive variety for the several desktop environments available to the platform. Most of these DE’s are however based on GNOME which in essence means that whatever works for the parent DE should mostly work for its derivatives.

You’re probably well accustomed with the popular GNOME Arc theme by Horst3180 – which is a flat theme for GTK 2 and 3 based DE’s available in three variants.

Arc-Theme-Red is essentially a Red variation forked from Horst3180’s Arc theme and specially tailored for Lenovo Thinkpads – to suit their black/gray and red exterior – however, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it with whatever system you own.

The theme basically features the same characteristics of the Arc theme it’s based on with transparent elements and support for the most common desktop environments like Gnome, Unity, Budgie, Pantheon, XFCE, and Mate.

The theme is also available in variants of Arc-Red, Arc-Red-Dark, and Arc-Red-Darker. The main requirements of the theme are as listed below followed by the main distributions that already have them preinstalled (as seen on their GitHub page).

  • Gnome/GTK 3.14, 3.16, 3.18 or 3.20
  • The gnome-themes-standard package
  • The murrine engine. This has different names depending on your distro.
  • gtk-engine-murrine (Arch Linux)
  • gtk2-engines-murrine (Debian, Ubuntu, elementary OS)
  • gtk-murrine-engine (Fedora)
  • gtk2-engine-murrine (openSUSE)
  • gtk-engines-murrine (Gentoo)

Compatible and tested distros

  • Arch Linux and Arch Linux based distros
  • Ubuntu 15.04, 15.10 and 16.04 (Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 are not supported)
  • elementary OS Freya
  • Debian 8, Testing or Unstable
  • Gentoo
  • Fedora 21 – 24
  • openSUSE 13.2, Leap 42.1 and Tumbleweed

Installing Arc-theme-Red

You can basiccally clone the latest version from git after which you’d subsequenly enter the follow up commands for installation.

$ git clone --depth 1 && cd arc-theme
$ ./ --prefix=/usr
$ sudo make install

Once installed, you’d need the GNOME Tweak Tool (which should be available in the standard repo of your system) or any other tweak tool of your choice (so far it works with GNOME) to make the necessary theme change.

In case you need to uninstall the theme, you can use the following commands down below.

$ sudo make uninstall

$ sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/{Arc,Arc-Darker,Arc-Dark}

There’s even more configuration options some of which are specific to some applications like the Ubuntu Software Center, Chromium, Plank, and Firefox of which you can find instructions and more info on the theme here.


Jesse is that tech enthusiast you never heard of...he's mainly into things relating to Linux and Android and has an unending passion for both platforms which is why he writes about them.

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