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GNOME Shell - Alternative

This is an alternative to the default GNOME Shell theme. Features the following changes.

Personal design changes mocked up for upstream.
Optimised for low resolutions.
More space for high resolutions.
9pt font size(default is mostly 10.5pt).
Ubuntu font enabled.
Consistent looking.
New switch design.
Panel translucency

Faience icon theme.

Wallpaper by dokt.


At high resolutions like 1920x1080 and above the fonts will be small. A good font hinting setting and anti-aliasing setting like Rgba will really help.


Please avoid a manual install and use the GNOME Tweak Tool, it's much easier.

You can use the gnome-shell theme extension for easier switching of themes.

GNOME Tweak Tool

Make sure you have user-theme-extension installed. Load the GNOME Tweak Tool and go to Shell Extensions and click the "Use Theme Extension" switch. Now go to "Theme" and click the Shell Theme box and locate your theme zip. Now you can select the theme in the dropdown box. Make sure you selection the right version for the GNOME version you have, otherwise the theme will not show properly.

If you run GNOME 3.4, just extract the 3.4 version to ~/.themes

License: GPL

Compatibility: GNOME 3.2/3.4

Update 1.1 - 16th March 2012

- Improved switches.
- Improved scrollbar.
- Fixed alignment of notification message.
- Reduced workspace controls' visibility by a small amount.

Update - 14 April 2012

- Added GNOME Shell 3.4 compatibility.
© 2012 - 2021 half-left
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Hello, do you plan to update this theme to be compatible with latest Gnome?
half-left's avatar
Nope, don't use GNOME anymore.
StingBL's avatar
Too bad...this is the only netbook-optimized theme as far as I know :(
half-left's avatar
You can use it at any resolution, just might be a bit too scaled on large screens or very high resolutions.
StingBL's avatar
Yeah, sure!
What I was trying to say is that this theme is/was perfect for netbooks and without support for newer versions of Gnome there aren't other themes optimized for small screens.
This is a theme not only beautiful, but extremely useful too.
half-left's avatar
Yeah well, GNOME just change their UI too much, it's like supporting alpha software, at least KDE4 maintains compatibility with themes.
nickcolley's avatar
Love this for my netbook! Thanks.
lostforsaya's avatar
very cute! thank you for share
Thank you for the great job, It's awesome.
But I have a big problem which even forced me to work in Ubuntu instead of GNOME 3. When I change my theme to this theme (or any other theme rather than the default GNOME 3) I can't see any text in my notifications, It makes a big problem when I receive a chat message, cause there is no text and instead I have just the icon and a very small bobble which I can't see any text in it. This happens for all the notifications :(

Is there any fix to this problem???

Ubuntu 12.04, GNOME 3.4
half-left's avatar
That's weird, don't quite understand why that is.
So i thought others also have the same issue, so it's only me, any advice for it?
half-left's avatar
Had no reports like that, no
magthe's avatar
I see exactly the same issue when using this theme on my systems. Another issue is that some dialogues aren't correct, e.g. the unlock key dialogue, where the tick box to select to always unlock the key is missing.

ArchLinux with Gnome 3.6
ilnanny's avatar
great for my eeepc :D
vitago's avatar
Two days ago I installed ubuntu but we will need time to cope,so I use your works are excellent Thank you... :+fav:
Hello, this is great, thank you. Although I think that "chat theme" in the right bottom panel is inverted - my messages are highlighted, instead of other's. Or is this intentional?
half-left's avatar
Intentional though you could swap it around in the gnome-shell.css.
Thanks, I just switched colors and I'm happy with it. :)
Gothspark's avatar
this theme look nice but sadly for me the icons does not show in the apps tab :( is there a fix ?
half-left's avatar
Are you using the right version?
Gothspark's avatar
i guess that no because i have gnome 3.2.1
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