Adding a custom theme to GIMP

GIMP running on .nix distributions that support the Gnome desktop environment can be used with custom themes. Following is a brief how-to which covers doing this on OpenIndiana oi_151a x86, with GIMP 2.6. The method should be very similar or identical for Linux distributions (e.g. Ubuntu).

 

First, let’s locate a sample GTK theme. I am using a rather nice theme called “Darkilouche” found here:

http://art.gnome.org/themes/gtk2/1285

Simply download the compressed file in the above link, and extract the contents to disk.

 

Next, we need to locate the gtkrc file in the uncompressed theme folder. The sample theme we are using contains the following files and directories once uncompressed:

$ ls -al
total 7
drwxr-xr-x 4 dave staff   5 2012-03-07 22:47 .
drwxr-xr-x 3 dave staff   3 2012-03-07 22:47 ..
drwxr-xr-x 6 dave staff   9 2007-02-28 00:22 .svn
drwxr-xr-x 3 dave staff   4 2007-02-28 00:22 gtk-2.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 dave staff 240 2007-02-28 00:23 index.theme

The gtkrc file sits within the gtk-2.0 directory, and appears to be the only critical file that is needed.

 

Next, we copy the gtkrc file into the GIMP themes directory. In this example, I am using the global GIMP themes directory at /usr/share/gimp/2.0/themes. We simply create a directory named after the theme we are installing (in this case “Darkilouche”), and copy the gtkrc file into it.

 

Finally, we launch or restart GIMP and test that the theme is accessible at Edit -> Preferences -> Theme. The following screengrab illustrates that GIMP has found the theme, and, it is also the active theme:

Darkilouch GTK theme installed in GIMP

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2 thoughts on “Adding a custom theme to GIMP

  1. Norberto

    I installed Darkilouche in my Gimp 2.8 (Ubuntu 12.04) as per your directions and it works fine. The problem is that when I restart Gimp it reverts back to the Default theme and I have to select Darkilouche and press “Reload current theme” to reactivate Darkilouche. Is there a way to make Darkilouche the default theme? Thank you for your assistance. Norberto.

    Reply
    1. davekoelmeyer Post author

      Good question. I’ve been able to reproduce this issue myself, so perhaps something has changed in the current version of GIMP available in the repositories for Ubuntu 12.04.

      I’ll look into this – can any other readers otherwise offer a fix?

      Reply

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