Elegant Googol – A GTK Theme

A few people have asked me about the theme I’ve been using when showing off my multi-touch touch work so I thought I’d oblige.  Its a GTK theme that I cobbled together myself for use with gnome environments.  Here’s a screenshot of it in use on my Ubuntu 11.04 desktop.

The wallpaper in the image shown is Bokeh by -kol.

The theme uses modified versions of Darren Jones’ Googol theme and Fabio Barbosa’s Elegant Brit theme.

I call the resulting theme Elegant-Googol, and you can grab it: here

Googol is used for the theme’s window border. I swapped the lighter background of the original googol theme for a darker one to fit in with recent default Ubuntu themes. The controls use a version of Elgant Brit which I modified to use a green scheme (I find green to be a lot easier on my eyes).

I’ve used this theme for a while now. I loved the original two themes but they didn’t really fit well together. Also their colour schemes were a bit too bright for my liking. However their clear buttons and context menus made me determined to make them work together. Originally the window borders on my system were handled by the Emerald windows decorator. I never released it as I thought that the share of linux users who employ Emerald would be relatively small. However with my change to Ubuntu 11.04 I decided to make the theme purely GTK based.

I’m happy to report that the theme works really well in the latest edition of Ubuntu, both with the Unity and Gnome sessions. The theme only defines the controls, colours and window borders so you can define your own icons and pointers to work with it. I’ve found that the Ubuntu-Mono-Dark icons and the DMZ (white) pointer style (both the default for many GTK themes on Ubuntu) work best with the theme.

To use the theme simply open the appearance preferences window (on ubuntu you can simply right click the desktop, select Change Desktop Background) and go to the theme tab. Then drag the theme’s tar.gz folder onto the window, this will install it. Then click the customise button and select Elegent Googol on both the Controls and Window Borders tabs to apply the theme.

The only problem I’ve come across with this theme is that standalone installations of Eclipse can have problems with the pixmap images it uses when using the Unity session of Ubuntu 11.04. To counter this I’ve set up a launcher that forces Eclipse to use a different theme. I simply did this by using the following command in the launcher:
env GTK2_RC_FILES=’/path/to/theme’ ‘/path/to/eclipse’
Here /path/to/theme is the location of the theme you wish to use Eclipse with which should end with gtk-2.0/gtkrc. I use the clearlooks compact theme for this as it great for working in eclipse with, (If anyone can correct the pixmap images in Elegant Googol so that this workaround isn’t needed I would be greatly thankful.)

Anyway, I hope you find it useful. Feel free to redistribute and modify (just remember to give credit to the original authors, Darren Jones and Fabio Barbosa – thanks guys).


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