Install Elementary Theme in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

From the start the Elementary project received a lot of positive feedback from the open-source community mainly due to the confidence their applications represented from the beginning. Few week ago they released the long awaited Elementary OS as well.

Anyhow, like most of their "projects" the default Elementary theme was also a hit. But after moving to Ubuntu 11.04 Natty... if you're already missing the Elementary theme in your GNU/Linux Laptop or PC :) then fear not... you can use that theme in Natty Narwhal with ease.

1. First download the icon theme from here. It's a ".deb" file, so just double click on it after downloading to install it.

2. Then download the Unity theme package from here, extract it to somewhere and find the "elementary_unity.tar.gz" in the extracted folder.

Now go to your Theme-manager in Unity and give the path to the "elementary_unity.tar.gz".

That's it, see, who says that using and learning GNU/Linux is hard! :D.


Anonymous said...

Any way to get a light panel?

Gayan said...


Um... not quite sure what you're asking friend... did you mean something like.. a gnome panel ??. I don't think it's possible (Canonical just like Gnome does not allow much other than what suits their "motives")

BTW i removed by Ubuntu alpha (11.04) and have to download the official one ... gonna take few hours because I have to be somewhere today :(. So if it's available with the official Natty... I'll do my best to find out

Scott said...

Will this theme work for fallback mode, for the people who want the newest version but still want to use Gnome 2.32?

If so how?

Gayan said...


Well as far as I know it should work on Gnome 2+. But remember, Fallback-mode in Gnome3 is looks a lot like the gnome2, but it's not Gnome 2+ since it still uses the GTK3.

But the Gnome2+ themes should work in fallback mode (not using G3... waiting for FC15 :) )

Anyway, if you're using Ubuntu 10.10 with classical gnome desktop,then you can install Elementary by using the below command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:am-monkeyd/nautilus-elementary-ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

And for original Gnome 2+ versions, please get it from below URL

the wiseguy said...

@Gayan, love the Elementary theme and thx for this info! =)

But i have a problem, i been looking all over but haven't found a solution. I also like the Union Blue theme with a blue panel with white text, but i don't like the white windows with blue text imo it should be more like the classic clearlooks theme, so i used it's windows and it works rather nice.. but the thing is that i hate the fat lines you get in a terminal window, so maybe you know how to modify a theme so i can remove those lines or change the union blue theme so that it will look more like the classic clearlooks theme? The terminal window in union blue is otherwise perfect!

Gayan said...

@ the Wiseguy,

OK.. it took me sometime to figure out Murrina theme engine customizations (it's been years since i ever put my hands on theme customizations.. and I'm not an expert either, average dude).

Finally I came up with something similar to your request. It may not be perfect.... but I did my best :P.

First remove your "Union Blue" theme. Then Install the customized theme from below link.

You can download it from =

Note: The "blue" buttons don't go that well with the blue borders (obviously...) in that case, after installing.. go to your "Home" folder (make sure your hidden files are showing in Nautilus) and go to

"./themes" -> "Union_Blue_0_0_1-1" -> "metacity-1"

and open the file named = "metacity-theme-1.xml" in your text editor.

Once opened.. search for the this keyword = #587EAD

And replace that code with your own Color code... + for the Title font color search for = #FFFFFF and = #E0E0E0

then replace them with your own color codes again.

Wiseguy... below "text" is not for you :P

Seriously.. Gnome developers... why don't you have decency to let users change their themes as easy as with KDE??? frustrating, so much disrespect in name of "freedom" >:(.

Dude... good luck :), thanks for the almost 1 hour of hell (just kidding :D).

Gayan said...

@ The Wiseguy,


when you search for the keyword = #587EAD .. replace all the color codes for that keyword (there should be about 14 of them... if I'm not mistaken... replace them all with your color codes)

the wiseguy said...

Oh, how nice of you to put that much effort into it.. really appreciate it! =)

Yeah, i totally agree with you.. why is it this complicated to change a Gnome theme?? And it's not that much i wanted to changed! :/

Thx i'll probably need it! :D

and again much appreciated! =)

tornike said...

go to your Theme-manager in Unity and give the path to the "elementary_unity.tar.gz"
I went to the Emerald theme manager and tried importing the extracted file, but it does not show it in the 'browse' menu. Is this what I should have done, or is there another way of giving the path?
Thanks in advance.

Gayan said...


Well, I'm not that much familiar with emerald anyhow, even though Compiz adopted Emerald, since it's a separate window decorator, these themes may not work while Emerald is running...

tornike said...

Thanks for the info.

Gayan said...


You are welcome :D.

ajizle said...

What is the "theme manager" that you speak of? I know that unity has an appearance settings but i am confused what the theme-manager is

Gayan said...


It's no longer available in Unity.

But you still can manually add themes in Unity by using the 'gnome-tweak-too'. Good luck :).

Anonymous said...

sudo apt-get install elementary......

easier than download a deb file and instal it :D

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