Shiki-Colors and Community Themes in Ubuntu 8.10

A few days ago, the Ubuntu Tutorials blog pointed out the excellent Shiki-Colors theme. It’s my new favorite!

On the theme’s GNOME Look page, you can download the GTK theme, or a script which can also install icons, a GDM login screen theme, and wallpapers. I just wanted the GTK theme so I selected this download. To install, drop the downloaded file into the System->Preferences->Appearance Theme tab. You’ll then have the option to select one of the four Shiki variants.

If you’re still using Ubuntu 8.04, don’t forget to install the required version of the Murrine theme engine. Here’s the i368 package from theme’s author.

In the screenshot above, I’m also using the Liberation fonts set, which I think looks a bit better than the default fonts. Install Liberation fonts from the package ttf-liberation (click the link to install), or by running the command below in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install ttf-liberation

Use the Fonts tab in System->Preferences->Appearance to apply the new fonts. I switched from the default font Sans to Liberation Sans.

If you’re looking for a theme for your Ubuntu 8.10 desktop, don’t forget to check out the new community themes package. It includes a three other excellent themes: Dust, Kin, and New Wave.

Install the community themes from the package community-themes (click the link to install), or by running the command below in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install community-themes

If you’ve installed a new theme, applications running as root like Synaptic may display unthemed. Here’s how to fix that problem.

What are your favorite themes for Ubuntu?

Archived Comments


Azul is my current favorite skin for Ubuntu 8.10:


Great theme - I’m gonna give it a try!

btw - the first link to is wrong


You are right, this is cool!
Shiki reduces Dust theme to dust!


Must say I like Gnome more than stupid KDE. Hope my plunge with KDE Kubutnu goes nice. I’ll miss gnome


I’ve been using Shiki for a few weeks now and have found it to be the only darker theme I’ve been able to stick with. I’m using the Shiki-Brave style (gives it a bit of blue undertones).

Have to say it’s my new favourite theme as well.


Daniel Holm

Thanks for the info and the fix for the root theme.

My favorite is MurrineDust Blue.


How do you get the transparent title bars?


“If you’ve installed a new theme, applications running as root like Synaptic may display unthemed”. I don’t relate to this as a problem rather then a good habit feature. it always remind you that you are doing an administrator and you must think before you changing some thing.
I also love that Shiki-Color theme!

Fujiko Fujio

I never liked dark themes, never knew about the community-themes pack before, now I’m using the Kin theme and love it :)

Bas Doodeman

Hi Tom,

This link does not work:


Just FYI.

Best regards,

Bas Doodeman


I really like this theme as well. Thanks for sharing. Firefox 3.0.3 menu bar is too light to see, otherwise, everything else is perfect.


Seconded about the broken link. You added one too many http in the HTML


Mark, Bas Doodeman:
Thanks for the heads up, link fixed.

You can get transparent window borders by turning on desktop effects (Compiz).


Wow, thanks!
BTW, there’s also a clearlooks version if you don’t have Murrine SVN or want a more traditional look.

You should probably try out the icons as well, they are probably the most complete and consistent sets I’ve seen.


Thanks for the write-up.

I initially had the same issue as anonymous above (with the menu bar being too light). My theme was specifying specific colours so the ‘menubar’ was grey which, with white text, was not readable. There are a couple of options; one, edit your theme’s source and/or userChrome.css file and add options for the ‘menubar’, or two, revert to a theme that doesn’t specify colours for the ‘menubar’. (and make sure you use the ‘Firefox fix for Shiki-Colors GTK linux theme’ over at ->

Jayson Rowe

I kinda like DarkRoom so far…



Many thanks for sharing the info about this great theme!



I like this theme a lot. It’s really smooth with Arial fonts on the desktop. Thanks

Lou Quillio

Liberation Mono is the big success, to my eye. Try it for editors and shells. The other Liberation typefaces are nice, but not worth getting excited about.

Know what’s really nice for general UI? This is weird and unexpected, and I sort of hate to say it. Verdana. Try it.


Dogger Dog

Has anybody experienced Firefox 3 crashing when trying to print after installing this theme? I love the theme, but now when I click “print” or try control+P, Firefox (and Thunderbird) just close out entirely no matter how many tabs I have open. Please help.


i loved the theme but there is one problem- how to fix the firefox menubar where the text is practically invisible?


I am looking for Ubuntu 8.10 themes this week, then I found this one, tried it and it gives me the one I wanted for my machine, thanks.


I just upgraded to Jaunty from Intrepid, and I’ve tried installing the Clearlooks theme, as well as the community themes, but I keep getting the error: “This theme will not look as intended because the required window manager theme ‘Shiki-Colors Metacity’ is not installed.

Also, I only have 3 shiki colors available in the appearance manager: Shiki Wise, Shiki Wine and Shiki Human’.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.



i downgraded to intrepid from jaunty and so i lost ‘dust’ =[

but now i have my favourite theme back! thanks! =]

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