How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04

gnome and ubuntu logos on purple background

The GNOME tweaks tool enables you to change themes. However, the challenging part could be installing and using the tool effectively.

This article guides through installing the GNOME tweaks tool in Ubuntu 22.04. It then walks you through downloading and changing themes.

How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Step-by-step

Step 1: Check if the GNOME tweaks tool is already installed

The first step toward installing the GNOME tweaks tool is checking its presence. Run the gnome-tweaks command on the terminal.

gnome-tweaks

You get the following output if the application is not installed.

Command gnome-tweaks not found, but can be installed with:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/Gnome tweaks tool is not installed.png

Let’s install the tool by following these steps.

Step 2: Update and Upgrade the System

It would be best to update and update your system before installing packages.

Update
sudo apt update
Upgrade
sudo apt upgrade

Step 3: Enable the Universal Repository

Confirm whether the Universal repository is enabled on your system or install it.

sudo apt-add-repository universe

The system notifies you it is adding universe components to all repositories.

Adding component(s) universe to all repositories.

The system then asks you to press the enter key and proceeds to install and enable the Universal repository on your system. You get an output similar to mine:

Adding component(s) 'universe' to all repositories.
Press [ENTER] to continue or Ctrl-c to cancel.
Hit:1 http://ke.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy InRelease
Hit:2 http://ke.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-updates InRelease
Hit:3 http://ke.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-backports InRelease
Hit:4 https://deb.nodesource.com/node_18.x focal InRelease
Hit:5 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-security InRelease
Reading package lists... Done

You can now install the GNOME tweaks tool.

Step 4: Install the GNOME Tweaks Tool

Run this command to install the GNOME tweaks tool in Ubuntu 22.04.

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/install GNOME tweaks tool.png

Step 5: Launch the GNOME Tweaks Tool

You can search the tweaks,

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/tweaks.png

or launch the tool from the terminal after it is installed.

gnome-tweaks

The application appears on GUI or opens up when launched from the terminal. That confirms you successfully installed the GNOME Tweaks tool.

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/launch GNOME tweaks tool.png

You can now change your desktop environment’s appearance like themes and fonts. Let me show you how to do that right away.

How to Use GNOME Tweaks Tool

This section teaches you how to use the GNOME tweaks tool by installing and customizing themes.

The two types of Gnome themes are application and shell themes. An application theme changes the look of the application windows. On the other hand, a shell theme modifies shell elements like the top panel.

You can check the installed themes by visiting Appearance -> Themes on the tool’s interface and then changing the themes as follows.

Change Application themes

Choose an installed theme from the Legacy Applications dropdown. For example, I can switch from the default Adwaita to Adwaita-dark by choosing it from the menu.

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/change application theme.png

You can also install themes by

  • downloading a theme from the GNOME’s website,
  • extracting and
  • putting it in the .themes folder (for the currently logged-in user) or /usr/share/themes folder (for all system users).

GNOME tweaks tool makes the theme available for selection under Appearance -> Themes -> Legacy Applications.

Assume we want to install the Bubble GTK3/4 theme for the current user. We can follow these steps to install it.

Create a .themes folder.

mkdir /.themes

Open the themes download page, choose your preferred version and download it.

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/download theme.png

Return to the Downloads tab of your Folders and extract the downloaded theme into the .themes directory.

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/extract to.png

Lastly, open the GNOME tweaks tool and select the new theme.

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/select the new theme.png

You can also install a theme in /usr/share/themes by opening it root permission,

sudo nautilus

Clicking on Other Locations,

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/Other Locations.png

Computer,

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/Computer.png

Followed by usr -> share -> themes, then paste the extracted folder. Lastly, you should return to the GNOME tweaks tool and pick the newly installed theme.

Similarly, you can download and extract icons folders to the .icons or /usr/share/icons folder and set them with the GNOME tweaks tool.

Change Shell themes

Start by picking a shell theme from the Shell dropdown. If you are unable to change the shell theme, install the GNOME User Themes, as follows.

Install the GNOME shell extension manager,

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-manager

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/install GNOME shell extensions manager.png

search extension manager, then click it.

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/search extension manager.png

Next, search and install User Themes from the Browse tab,

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/install User themes.png

then turn it on by clicking the Installed tab and scrolling down the page to the User Themes section.

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/turn on User Themes.png

Now retry changing the shell theme from the GNOME tweaks tool.

Besides, you can install a specific extension or all Tweak tool’s extensions on Ubuntu 22.04

a specific extension
sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-[extension name] # e.g sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-hijra
all extensions
sudo apt install $(apt search gnome-shell-extension | grep ^gnome | cut -d / -f1)

Notes/Articles/How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks Tool in Ubuntu 22.04/install extensions.png

Conclusion

You can install the GNOME tweaks tool by enabling the Universal repository and running the sudo apt install gnome-tweaks command. As illustrated in this article, you can then use the tool to customize your desktop environment’s appearance.

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