List of Gnome Shell themes compatible with 3.8

It is pretty uncool that almost every new release of Gnome Shell breaks the theme system.

More often than not this ends up making themes obsolete, and the designers don’t want to continue working on them for various reasons, and so they end up not working anymore.

I’ve been playing around with 3.8 lately, and can’t do without constantly changing my theme. So I decided to comprise a list of themes that are compatible with the latest installment of Gnome Shell.

I’m too lazy to also provide a preview for each specific theme, but there aren’t many to begin with, so I suppose it’s fine if I just link them to their respective pages.

I’ll update the list as I find more.

That’s all I’ve managed to find so far. If you know of any more, drop me a message and I’ll add it to the list.

To add, though, I’ve just learned that the Gnome team doesn’t really provide the end user with theme support. It’s a function developed and headed by the community.  

This kinda turns me off regarding Gnome Shell. Especially since it’s a lot of work for theme makers to make updates to their themes every time a new Gnome Shell release rolls out, just to make it work. This makes theme support harder to maintain.

Too bad, I was starting to like Gnome Shell. I’m also fascinated by Pantheon in Elementary, though. XFCE still has stellar theme support, and so does KDE, so that’s good too, even though I’m not a big fan of the latter.

Enjoy the above mentioned themes however, and the future isn’t exactly that bleak. Some designers do like to update their themes to work with 3.8, it’s just a matter of when they get down to doing it, if they do want to.

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A list of Unity keyboard shortcuts and mouse tricks.
Also, long press SUPER (usually the Windows key,) on your keyboard for a similar looking display of Keyboard Shortcuts in Unity.
[Credit: Octavian Damien on]

A list of Unity keyboard shortcuts and mouse tricks.

Also, long press SUPER (usually the Windows key,) on your keyboard for a similar looking display of Keyboard Shortcuts in Unity.

[Credit: Octavian Damien on]

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What different desktop environments and shells are available?

Here’s a pretty extensive list of Desktop Environments and Shells available for your Linux operating system via a question asked on

Almost all the big names are here, and even though it’s not a complete list, it’s a pretty good single location for info on some of the more popular DEs’ and shells out there and the list is pretty big.

Check it out then.

Ubuntu 11.10 - August 15th (Unity 4.8.0) by nilarimogard.

A video highlighting some of the changes that have been made to Ubuntu 11.10.

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Install Gnome-Shell in Ubuntu 11.04

First of all, the warning:

  • Installing gnome-shell will most definitely break Unity. There is no workaround, all your configuration files will be switched over to gnome-shell, and going back to Unity is a very difficult task. In fact, if you decide you do want to go ahead and install gnome-shell, the only way you’ll have your previous vanilla install of Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity, is if you re-install.

After you’re done with the necessary decision making step of installing gnome-shell, you can go ahead and get started with the actual installation!

As you are probably already aware, there are multiple ways of installing things in Linux.

The two ways I’d feel comfortable installing gnome-shell with, are either the Graphical User Interface of the Ubuntu software center - or the command line.

I’m going to go over both these ways, and you can pick whichever you’re most comfortable with.

Graphical User Interface - Ubuntu Software Center:

This method should be suitable for people that aren’t much comfortable with the command line interface. If that is you, read through. Otherwise, installing gnome-shell via the command line is right after this part.

Open up the Ubuntu Software Center, click on Edit from the menu, and select Software Sources.

Click add in the Software Sources window. We will add the Gnome 3 PPA to your list of available software sources, so you can click and install it.

Add the following text, and click Add Source, and click close.


A new menu item called Gnome 3 will be added to your software sources list after you add the Gnome 3 PPA.

Now simply run Update Manager and apply all the updates. This will take some time, depending on your internet connection and the server, so go grab a soda and listen to a song or two.

After the update and upgrades are complete, you will need to manually install two packages. You can do so by searching for the following packages in the Ubuntu Software Center (or you can just click them):

  • gnome-shell Install gnome-shell
  • gnome-tweak-tool Install gnome-tweak-tool - This is a tweaking tool that helps you get to a lot of options that aren’t right in front of you while using Gnome 3.

Command Line Interface:

This is my preferred method because it’s way easier and much less time consuming, since you don’t have to navigate menus and point and click much.

  • Add the repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

  • Update, and upgrade:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

  • Install gnome-session:

sudo apt-get install gnome-session

  • Another upgrade and dist-upgrade:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

sudo apt-get upgrade

  • Install gnome-shell:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

After that, simply log out and select “Gnome” at the GDM Login Screen. You’re all set!

UPDATE: After installing Gnome3, I noticed that my graphics didn’t look like they were supposed to at all! Specifically the window borders, and the scrollbars, etc. Upon some internet searching, I quickly found a simple solution. I just had to install some missing packages and restart Gnome3 to fix everything. I was just missing some theme files. 

The following single command will install three theme related packages that will solve problems concerning how windows etc. look in Gnome Shell:

sudo apt-get install gnome-themes-selected gnome-themes-standard gnome-themes-extras

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