Make your Ubuntu desktop more beautiful

by Vinod on 08/20/2007

The default Ubuntu Human Theme has turned more ‘lighter’ after the Hoary days – much to my dislike. Nimbus is a Sun Microsystem’s Look & Feel which looks very professional and complete. The theme has been available for many Linux distributions and is very fast and agile.

I wanted Nimbus for my Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and out of luck as most of the mirrors were down. But Sandino Flores Moreno was kind enough to provide me with the following script to install Nimbus. Execute this script, and you will have your own packages in a few minutes.


sudo apt-get install fakeroot dpkg-dev devscripts debhelper libgtk2.0-dev icon-naming-utils intltool
wget -c
wget -c
tar xf nimbus-0.0.8.tar.bz2
cd nimbus-0.0.8
zcat ../nimbus_0.0.6-1.diff.gz | patch -p1
chmod +x debian/rules
debchange -v 0.0.8-1
sudo apt-get build-dep
fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc

Install “gtk2-engines-nimbus_0.0.6-1_i386.deb” and “nimbus-icon-theme_0.0.6-1_all.deb” further. Finally go to System->Preferences->Theme and select ‘Nimbus’.
Enjoy your new Ubuntu Look!

There are 27 comments in this article:

  1. 08/20/2007capturesteve says:

    Looks nice, i might give this a try later. I am kind of reluctant though since i got so use too the default.

  2. 08/20/2007Luis Medina says:

    Well, this is a great look to profesional destop just like you say. Now im workin on my Ubuntu Desktop whit this look and feesl too good and relax. ;)

  3. 08/21/2007markuz says:

    Not only ubuntu, I have already installed it on my Slackware 11.
    Just install (if not already)
    – XML::Simple
    – icon-naming-utils => 0.8.1 (remember to copy the icon-naming-utils.pc to /usr/lib/pkg-config/)

    and run configure && make && sudo make install (or with su).

  4. 08/21/2007Armando says:

    Cuando realizo la parte del comando
    sudo apt-get build-dep

    Me dice que debo indicar al menos un paquete para dependencias, alguien sabe que onda con esto?

    E: Debe especificar al menos un paquete para verificar sus
    dependencias de construcción

    Y nada. Alguna Pista?

  5. 08/21/2007luis.torres.gomez says:

    para eso sudo apt-get install y las dependencias que te salen…


  6. 08/22/2007MKx says:

    Many errors due too many dependencies missing, when executing [[ fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc ]]..
    Isn’t there any ready theme file to install like other themes?
    Or even more straight forward method instead of filling the system with dev packages and dependencies I won’t use but to build this them?

  7. 08/22/2007Vinod Ponmanadiyil says:

    @MKx: Your problem seems weird. I was able to install without any issues on my feisty.

  8. 08/25/2007NamilaK says:


    Lo siguiente te ayudara:

    sudo apt-get build-dep gtk2-engines-clearlooks
    sudo apt-get install icon-naming-utils

    y para finalizar:

    fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc -d


  9. 08/31/2007Richard says:


    I also had to:
    sudo apt-get install intltool

    After doing that plus the ones you mentioned every thing compiled and installed.

    Man am I happy I really like this look and feel. I actually got here while trying to get the Java Nimbus look and feel working on NetBeans 6. The Java version though still has considerable issues. But with the GTK look and feel every thing just works including Java which just picked it up and used it.


  10. 09/1/2007Mahomedalid says:

    En Mandriva x64 hay que ajustar el path para PKG_CONFIG.

    * set PKG_CONFIG_PATH /usr/lib64/pkgconfig/

    He instalar el paquete de icon-naming-utils

  11. 09/2/2007Robert says:

    I also had to apt-get intltool as well as libgtk2.0-dev and icon-naming-utils.

    ‘debchange -v 0.0.8-1′ opened the changelog…then what?

    running ‘sudo apt-get build-dep’ complained that I had to specify at least one package.

    Once the build finished (after several minutes) I went to:
    Install “gtk2-engines-nimbus_0.0.6-1_i386.deb” and “nimbus-icon-theme_0.0.6-1_all.deb” using the GDebi Package Installer which complained:
    “Error: Dependency is not satisfiable:nimbus-icon-theme”

    Any suggestions?

    Edit: Ok I just tried to install the ‘nimbus-icon-theme_0.0.6-1_all.deb’ by itself and it worked. I now have The Nimbus theme in my Theme list.

    I wonder if there is a way to change the yellow ‘mouse-over’ help boxes on the Gnome Panels?

    Thanks for an entertaining morning :)

  12. 09/26/2007Martinus Ady H. BloG - Install Nimbus GTK Themes Di Slackware 10.1 says:

    […] : – Compiling Nimbus Themes – Make your ubuntu desktop more beautiful – Icon Naming […]

  13. 09/27/2007quark says:

    This sucks!

    I can’t install the theme because:
    > sudo apt-get build-deb

    Needs a file!
    I am stuck at this line and I don’t know to make it work

    Come on people, write a good tutorial, give good explanations, not all of us are as smart as you are.

  14. 09/29/2007Valentinos tiny WebServer » Blog Archive » Nimbus: Beauty for your Ubuntu Desktop says:

    […] In order to build your own Debian package for Sun Microsystem’s beautiful Nimbus Gnome theme, I found a Howto here on (including another screenshot). […]

  15. 10/9/2007kati says:

    I tried to install the deb version which I’ve download from , but a dependency problem occurred – libc6 is missing. I have installed libc6 from the repo, but still the prolem remains. Any advice is appreciated….

  16. 11/2/2007Gert-Jan’s ramblings » Blog Archive » ubuntu gnome nimbus theme for amd64 architecture says:

    […] but could not find amd64 packages for it. So i build these packages using the guidelines from Make your ubuntu more beautiful. If you need the packages you can find them here  […]

  17. 11/13/2007Munich Unix » Make your Ubuntu Desktop more beautiful says:

    […] read more | digg story […]

  18. 12/17/2007NamilaK says:

    May be this,can help you…
    sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-nimbus_0.0.8-1_i386.deb
    sudo apt-get install -f

    Try this:
    sudo apt-get build-dep gtk2-engines-clearlooks
    sudo apt-get install icon-naming-utils
    fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc -d


  19. 12/25/2007Buddy Stein says:

    Couldn’t get these scripts to work

    Download this and ran deb installer and Wala simple.

  20. 03/12/2008AsphyX says:

    nimbus_0.0.6-1.diff contains a lot of unneeded changes.
    This package can be built in simpler way:

    1. Get only debian/* files from patch (apply patch and copy these files to directory with newest nimbus sources).
    2. autoreconf
    3. intltoolize –force
    4. autoreconf again (?)
    5. Like in instructions above:
    debchange -v 0.0.12-1
    fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc

  21. 10/7/2008Valentino’s tiny WebServer » Post Topic » Nimbus: Beauty for your Ubuntu Desktop says:

    […] In order to build your own Debian package for Sun Microsystem’s beautiful Nimbus Gnome theme, I found a Howto here on (including another screenshot). […]

  22. 02/26/2009?em giao di?n Open Solaris vào ubuntu 8.10 « Will be open source ! says:

    […] b?n nào mu?n 1 cách cài ??t khác hãy ??c ? trang sau (dành cho ubuntu 7.10) : N?u g?p v?n ?? v? cài ??t hãy comment cho mình ho?c h?i tr?c ti?p anh […]

  23. 08/30/2009Nimbus Theme 0.1.3-1 su Debian e Ubuntu | LinuX Freedom for Live says:

    […] homedownload Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty tema 32 bitsdownload Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty tema 64 bitsdownload Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty icone All […]

  24. 10/1/2009nikhil says:

    Just applied this theme. It looks gorgeous!!

  25. 10/15/2009Danilo says:

    All Ok…. it’s great!

    when i was installing the line “sudo apt-get build-dep” does not work, but i continue to the next line and work ok with ubuntu 9.04

  26. 10/17/2009JoiJoi says:

    ¡Ay caramba! ¿Qué no existe otra forma más sencilla de instalar este tema?

  27. 06/7/2010Philip Petev says:

    Guys, there are compiled packages of the latest version of Numbus for both 32 and 64 bit versions of Ubuntu and Debian here: