GTK3 Themes

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Score 76%

OneStepBack is a Gtk 2 and 3 theme with some colors and embossed widgets inspired by the good old NextStep look. I'm old.

It is developed from scratch, is light and minimal, uses only three shades of grays and one color. That was the challenge.

It has been tested on Arch Linux with Gnome-Shell, Gtk+ from 3.16 to 3.22, a good amount of Gtk2 and Gtk3 applications. A lot of widget controls are still missing and it is not tested at all with unity or xfce.

Current version is 0.991, released in July 2018.

The screenshots show OneStepBack theme and some color variations. They show also: Ubo Icons Theme with personal additions, Dash to Dock and Dynamic Top Bar Gnome Shell extensions.

To install the theme, unzip the archive and copy the theme in your theme directory. There is no need for any extra engine.

This is a GPL 3 free software. Feel free to change and share the code.

Web pages:

Known bugs:

  • gtk3: in firefox, thunderbird and QT5 applications: arrow buttons shape and colors, color of active menu items: unfortunatly, nothing I can do.


Version 0.992, working version

Version 0.991, July 2018

  • change the grey-brown color variant for a grey-brown-green-blue color variant
  • gtk2: improve generation of the derived colors
  • gtk2: improve colors of progressbar label
  • gtk3: improve color backdrop color in headerbar
  • gtk3: improve button color consistency in headerbar
  • gtk3: fix a bug in toolbar button hover
  • gtk3: fix a color name bug
  • improve differentation of selected text, menuitem and listitem colors

Version 0.99, April 2018

  • gtk3: improve spacing for icons in nautilus sidebar
  • gtk3: fix a color name bug
  • add a grey-brown color variant

Version 0.98, March 2018

  • gtk3: fix a color bug when toogle button in hover
  • fix a bug in the headerbar roundness
  • fix a color bug in the windows shadows
  • improve design of the thumbs on scales and scrollbars
  • improve colors of arrows and scrollbars
  • improve support for easy color changes
  • change colors of the variant color version: the colors are inspired by the earth-brown gtk3 theme

Version 0.97, January 2018

  • gtk3: fix a color bug in the flotting bottom information bar in nautilus
  • add a color variant
  • gtk3: fix a color bug in popover (modelbutton:active)
  • gtk3: drop support for gtk 3.16 and 3.18

Version 0.96, July 2017

  • fix a color bug for mouse color selection in caja (mrnhmath)

Version 0.95, July 2017

  • fix a color bug for background in icon view in caja (mrnhmath)
  • fix a color name bug

Version 0.94, July 2017

  • fix a color bug for selected and unfocused wxgtk items

Version 0.93, May 2017

  • gtk3: fix a color bug in nautilus for selected and unfocused icons
  • gtk3: fix a color bug for selections in firefox gtk3
  • change for a blue-gray color for progress bars and switch

Version 0.92: November 2016

  • gtk3: fix a color bug in headerbar pathbar
  • gtk3: add a left margin to arrow in menus
  • gtk2: fix wrong background color in rox when switching theme
  • gtk3: improve css syntax for font definitions

Version 0.91, September 2016

  • gtk3: disable the GtkWidget-window-dragging function that breaks things in gnumeric (thanks Ingo S.)

Version 0.9, August 2016

  • add support for easy color changes
  • gtk3: add a minimal lenght to the scrollbar sliders
  • gtk3: improve arrows design in scrollbar when disabled

Version 0.8, April 2016

  • gtk3: fix a bug in desktop borders when nautilus manages the desktop
  • gtk3: more consistant design of the scrollbar arrow buttons
  • gtk3: add support for scale indicators
  • gtk3: fix bug for scale sliders overpassing trough
  • gtk3: fix a bug with labels of scale bars
  • gtk3: add support for arrows in popover menus
  • gtk3: change behaviour of the checked button in hea.derbar
  • gtk3: add basic support for calendar and iconview widgets
  • gtk3: fix a color bug for radiobutton label when disabled in list
  • gtk3: add support for expander arrows when active

Version 0.7, April 2016

  • gtk3: port to gtk 3.20: gtk3 part rebuild from scratch !
  • orange progress bar color
  • gray active widgets
  • no more highlight on hover

Version 0.6, November 2015

  • gtk3: improve borders of menus (thanks behrz)

Version 0.5, October 2015

  • gtk3: improve borders/shadows to better match the gtk2 part (thanks behrz)
  • gtk3: improve switch borders
  • fix some colors and rocking in toolbar buttons
  • change borders of scrollbar sliders to match the new button shadows
  • gtk2: better centering of the scrollbar thumb
  • gtk3: fix a padding problem in gedit open document popover (thanks to bd209ocp)

Version 0.4, October 2015

  • gtk3: fix some color and padding tweeks for nautilus 3.18
  • add arrow buttons to scrollbars
  • gtk3: test with gtk 3.18: ok

Version 0.3, October 2015

  • gtk2: fix shadow glitchs in the scrollbar design
  • add a shell script to easily change the colors of the theme
  • gtk3: improve calculation of shadows on buttons

Version 0.2, September 2015

  • gtk3: fix borders glitchs in menus
  • gtk3: improve borders of the embossed widgets
  • gtk3: define help colors for borders
  • gtk3: fix :hover colors on switchs
  • gtk3: add support for gnome-logs selections
  • fix color of insensitive combobox and check and radio buttons labels
  • gtk2: fix color of gimp loading bar

Version 0.1, August 2015

  • initial version

Version numbering:

$\forall n \in \mathbb{N}^*, v_n=1-0.1^{\int(n/9)}+\rest(n/9)*10^{-\int(n/9)-1}$.


3 years ago

Download link to the most recent version appears to be broken. When opened all it says is "Not found".



3 years ago

Hi, great theme!

I did some testing, and if you add for the 3d borders of buttons and such on Gtk3 the border width to "1.5px" it gives a more in line effect with the Gtk2 variant.




3 years ago

Thanks ! I was not aware we can use decimal numbers in border sizes...

I will add it to the next release, soon.



3 years ago

Really great work. The only thing that I'm missing right now are the buttons below the scrollbar.





3 years ago

It's easy for the gtk2 application, because we can use the default layout. In OneStepBack/gtk-2.0/gtkrc, find:

GtkScrollbar::has-backward-stepper = 0
GtkScrollbar::has-forward-stepper = 0

and change to:

GtkScrollbar::has_backward_stepper = 0
GtkScrollbar::has_secondary_forward_stepper = 0
GtkScrollbar::has_forward_stepper = 1
GtkScrollbar::has_secondary_backward_stepper = 1

For the gtk3 part, we have to build the layout. Maybe in a future version.



3 years ago

Requires mechanical keys.



3 years ago

You have absolutely no idea for how long I've been looking for a classic, non-flashy, uniform across gtk2/gtk3 theme that actually works!.

Thank you so much for it. It's perfect, and the fact that I can change colors without any problem (your grays are a little bit too dark, i prefer the Win2k era colorscheme) makes it even better!

I just hope you will not abandon it shortly after a release, knowing how much gnome devs like to ruin theme compatibility.

Please leave some donations info (pay pal preferably). I wish to buy you a beer!

Thanks once again.




3 years ago

Thanks !

By the way, I just wrote a shell script to easily change the four colors of the theme. I will join it to the next release.

Please do your donation to the charitable organization of your choice.



3 years ago

Hell. Yeah.

Thank you. (I'm old too)



3 years ago

I had been looking for something fitting into my WindowMaker desktop for long. This looks really good.



3 years ago

Very nice. Btw, what is that icon theme on the screenshot ?




3 years ago

It's Ubo Icons Theme:


product-maker sfeist Sep 15 2018

old school

product-maker bascha Aug 21 2018


product-maker daveies Jul 31 2018


product-maker unix-junkie Jul 17 2018


product-maker unxusr Jul 10 2018


product-maker dergnome Jul 01 2018

very nice!

product-maker Frettchen Jun 19 2018


product-maker fautrez Jun 11 2018


product-maker thwald Jun 11 2018


product-maker Jehzz Jun 01 2018


product-maker ReiLucio May 17 2018


product-maker Moimeme May 14 2018

Good job :)

product-maker fritz5 Feb 21 2018

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product-maker izzzy Feb 11 2018


product-maker xfcegure Jan 12 2018

product-maker zigzed4wilbur Dec 06 2017

product-maker megacoder Nov 01 2017

I'm been searching for this look for a long, long time. Thank you very, very much!

product-maker mentis Aug 09 2017

product-maker mrnhmath Aug 09 2017

product-maker vistaus Aug 09 2017

product-maker freelancer96 Aug 02 2017

brings back some good memories...

product-maker tepca Jul 31 2017

product-maker fracaburda Jul 31 2017

product-maker tremep Jul 31 2017

product-maker dubious Jul 30 2017

product-maker mnbvc Jul 30 2017

product-maker bascha Jul 26 2017

product-maker fishears Jul 25 2017

This is the prefect antidote for having had too much flat/osx/transparent theming

product-maker spalecawer Jul 14 2017

product-maker gpyra Jul 14 2017

Cool :-)))

product-maker raorn Jul 12 2017

product-maker mullah Jul 01 2017

product-maker dshdsh May 09 2017

product-maker Laszcz Feb 09 2017

product-maker krig Jan 07 2017

product-maker brycelynch Oct 29 2016

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product-maker Moatib Oct 21 2015

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product-maker behrz Oct 06 2015

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product-maker Helena84 Sep 08 2015

product-maker lenich Sep 06 2015

product-maker Feudor32 Aug 22 2015

product-maker isabell Aug 12 2015

product-maker zolix Aug 11 2015

product-maker 6 6

File (click to download) Version Description Downloads Date Filesize DL OCS-Install
*Needs ocs-url or ocs-store to install things
updated Jul 08 2018
added Aug 11 2015
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