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Darkness gtk2 (rgba true)


GTK 2.x Theme/Style

Score 65%
Darkness gtk2 (rgba true)

Darkness gtk2 (rgba true)

Darkness gtk2 (rgba true)

Downloads:  5331
Submitted:  May 11 2010
Updated:  May 30 2010


To those who vote bad, please write a comment with the reasons, it will give me more to work with in order to improve the theme.

Info for updating from v1.0
The files and folders has been restructured since v1.0, some files moved and some renamed etc. Because of this it is best to completely remove any previous installations of the Darkness theme prior to installing this (only the actual theme, the murrine engine and rgba module can remain unchanged).


Darkness is a set of different themes and skins wich main purpose was not to publish here but rather to have a consistent look for my own desktop. The complete sets does have inspirations from both windows and mac but is not intended to be a lookalike for either (wich should be quite obvious from the screenshots).

This GTK theme primarily uses the Murrine gtk2 engine with rgba enabled but also has a few areas using pixmaps. It is however not a "plug & play" theme and does require a little bit of work to install.


To use this theme you first need to enable window transparency (rgba). I don't know how that works for all distributions so the guide below is for Ubuntu only. For those using other distributions you will unfortunately have to find another solution.

Notice/Warning: Not all computers and/or applications will play nice with this enabled. If you want to install the theme i advice you to first test rgba on your system by following the instructions on the wiki-link below. Darkness is only a murrine theme and i do not have anything to do with the repository or rgba window opacity other then having it enabled in my theme, my help for troubleshooting if any problem may occur will therefor be limited.

For more information about window transparency you can check these two links:

First step is to install the things required to activate rgba.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:erik-b-andersen/rgba-gtk
sudo apt-get update && sudo aptitude upgrade
sudo apt-get install gtk2-module-rgba

Darkness gtk theme uses different opacity-settings then the default. Because of this we need to change the opacity levels manually and then recompile the murrine gtk2 engine.

sudo apt-get install checkinstall
sudo apt-get build-dep gtk2-engines-murrine
mkdir tempbuild
cd tempbuild
apt-get source gtk2-engines-murrine

(cd into the only folder that exists)

gedit src/support.h

Scroll down to find the section "/*Opacity Settings*/". You can change the opacity levels to what you want but for the windows to blend in nicely with my emerald theme you need to set WINDOW_OPACITY to 70 or 85 (depending on what emerald version you use). My own personal settings are as below:

Higher transparency, use with emerald theme Darkness 70
/* Opacity settings */
#define WINDOW_OPACITY 0.70
#define ENTRY_OPACITY 0.92
#define MENUBAR_OPACITY 0.70
#define TOOLBAR_OPACITY 0.70
#define MENU_OPACITY 0.70
#define TOOLTIP_OPACITY 0.70

Less transparency and darker, use with emerald theme Darkness 85
/* Opacity settings */
#define WINDOW_OPACITY 0.85
#define ENTRY_OPACITY 0.92
#define MENUBAR_OPACITY 0.85
#define TOOLBAR_OPACITY 0.85
#define MENU_OPACITY 0.85
#define TOOLTIP_OPACITY 0.85

When the changes are done, save and go back to terminal.

./configure --prefix=/usr/ --enable-animation
sudo checkinstall

After the above steps to activate window opacity you may however need to restart X or simply log out and then back in. When that is done you can install the theme as you would with any other gtk theme.

Please note that it has been a while since i did this myself and may have forgotten or left out something. If something is not working with the guide above, drop me a note and i will try to figure out what may be missing.


Blur Windows: First off it is adviced to activate Blur Windows in compiz. This will make it much easier to see the active window.

1. Start CompizConfig Settings Manager.
2. Go to "Blur Windows".
3. In the textfield for "Alpha blur windows" type in "any".
4. Activate the checkbox for "Alpha Blur".
5. Change "Blur Filter" to "Gaussian".
6. Change "Gaussian Radius" to 5 (or play around some until it suits you).
7. Change "Gaussian Strength" to 0.2 (or same as gaussian radius, play around some).

Colortones: Each of my Darkness gtk themes has 10 colortones to choose from. Since there are a rgba version and a non rgba version i have chosen not to make each colortone into a separate theme since that would result in 20 different themes.

Inside the gtk-2.0 folder you will find an additional folder named "colors". To change the colortone simply copy (not cut/move) the 2 files (colors.rc + panel_button_prelight.png) from a specific colorfolder and paste into top of the colors-folder, replace the existing files.
Example: copy the files from gtk-2.0/colors/red and paste into gtk-2.0/colors/

After you have changed the color you will need to reload the theme or simply log out and then back in.

Gnome-panel: The gnome panels has a default background. If you wish to change this background and/or make them transparent follow these steps:

1. Open the file panel.rc inside the gtk-2.0 folder.
2. Add a # at the beginning of the line: bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "pixmaps/panel_bg_default.png"
3. Open up the panel properties window and click "Background".
4. Choose a background image for the panel.
5. Reload the Darkness theme (or log out and then back in).

The theme has a few different panel backgrounds included inside the gtk-2.0/pixmaps folder, each are 32px high:
panel_bg_default.png = Default background, not transparent, made for top panels
panel_70_btm.png = Transparent, bottom panels, opacity settings at 70
panel_70_top.png = Transparent, top panels, opacity settings at 70
panel_85_btm.png = Transparent, bottom panels, opacity settings at 85
panel_85_top.png = Transparent, top panels, opacity settings at 85

Open Office: The theme has a small fix included for Open Office when using a dark theme. The actual fix may not be perfect but it should work fine. For now i have temporary made use of the NOX theme for gtk2 but with a few minor changes in base colors and also making it possible for it to read chosen colortones of the Darkness theme.

Install method 1:
in terminal, cd into the fixes folder included inside the theme

mkdir ~/bin
cp ooffice ~/bin/ooffice

Open the file ooffice located in ~/bin with a suitable texteditor and uncomment the correct line wich corresponds to install method 1 and location of where darkness theme is installed.

Install method 2 (requires root-privileges):
in terminal, cd into the fixes folder included inside the theme

sudo mv /usr/bin/ooffice /usr/bin/oofficeBIN
sudo cp ooffice /usr/bin/ooffice

Open the file ooffice located in /usr/bin with a suitable texteditor and uncomment the correct line wich corresponds to install method 2 and location of where darkness theme is installed.

Please note that the ooffice file located in either ~/bin or /usr/bin must be set as an executable file.

More Darkness themes

GTK2 (rgba false) + Metacity

GTK2 (rgba true)

Emerald theme

DockbarX theme

GnoMenu button theme


- Fixed a minor error with the paths in the fix for open office

- Completely remade the fix for open office, no longer based on Nox theme
- Moved sections from gtkrc into the colorfiles to improve the customization of each colortone
- Improved appearance of each colortone
- Tabs modified slightly for a more smooth look

- Slightly increased the size of scrollbars to increase it's usability

- Cleaned up the filestructure a bit
- Remade the panelbackground and added alternate versions depending on opacity settings
- A small fix for Open Office by making use of a modified version of the NOX theme

2010-05-12 17:51
Same version of the theme but updated installation guide with optional opacity levels to match v1.1 of emerald theme.

(Darkness gtk2 (rgba true))
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 No sources for gtk-engine

 by XxAndoxX on: May 22 2010
Score 50%

when i type the command sudo apt-get build-dep gtk2-engines-murrine the terminal gives me: couldn't find a source package for gtk2-engines-murrine
any solution?

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 Already fixed¡¡

 by XxAndoxX on: May 23 2010
Score 50%


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 fps of progressbar

 by Vinschni on: May 28 2010
Score 50%

Is there a way to increase frames per secound of the progressbar animation? It would look much smoother with 30fps. I was looking around in the gtkrc, but i didn't find something.

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 Re: fps of progressbar

 by adamantis on: May 28 2010
Score 50%

Unfortunately i have no idea, this is my first gtk-theme to make so am no expert on it. But i would guess that it would be something in the murrine engine in that case.

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 Applets have black background

 by Moringotto on: Jul 30 2010
Score 50%


All works fine, except some applets for gnome-panel (including DockbarX): they have black background.

How can I fix this?

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 Re: Applets have black background

 by MezzoForte on: Mar 6 2011
Score 50%

For the gnome panel I solved this issue by creating a transparent background with gimp. A 1*24 pixels png image with an alpha channel for example.

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 Re: Re: Applets have black background

 by MezzoForte on: Mar 6 2011
Score 50%

I forgot : in gnome-color-chooser go to the last tab (engine), and choose another engine for the panel ("Mist" for example"). You will see the gnome panel as it was before.

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 Thank you

 by JhonDoeKs on: Feb 7 2011
Score 50%

Thank you for this works pretty

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 Problem videos in the browser

 by JhonDoeKs on: Feb 18 2011
Score 50%

Problem videos in the browser

After installing a theme that seems successful.
I get to see more videos, there's sound but the frame is black.

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