Make your Ubuntu desktop more beautiful

2007/08/20 · 27 comments

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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!

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capturesteve August 20, 2007 at 3:49 am

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

Luis Medina August 20, 2007 at 11:19 pm

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. ;)

markuz August 21, 2007 at 4:24 am

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).

Armando August 21, 2007 at 7:43 am

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?

luis.torres.gomez August 21, 2007 at 12:08 pm

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


MKx August 22, 2007 at 5:58 am

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?

Vinod Ponmanadiyil August 22, 2007 at 4:11 pm

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

NamilaK August 25, 2007 at 11:16 pm


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


Richard August 31, 2007 at 8:22 am


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.


Mahomedalid September 1, 2007 at 10:16 pm

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

Robert September 2, 2007 at 3:32 am

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 :)

quark September 27, 2007 at 7:58 pm

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.

kati October 9, 2007 at 1:49 pm

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….

NamilaK December 17, 2007 at 9:17 pm

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


Buddy Stein December 25, 2007 at 4:46 am

Couldn’t get these scripts to work

Download this and ran deb installer and Wala simple.

AsphyX March 12, 2008 at 7:10 pm

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

nikhil October 1, 2009 at 1:34 am

Just applied this theme. It looks gorgeous!!

Danilo October 15, 2009 at 8:40 pm

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

JoiJoi October 17, 2009 at 7:23 am

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

Philip Petev June 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

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

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