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Linux has traditionally been known for its stability, hardware support and robustness. Recently however, winds have changed with some of the distributions gaining popularity and catering primarily to the desktop user.

No longer do you have to be content with a user interface having overly sized buttons and the weirdest of fonts. These days there are a wealth of themes, icons, login screens and wallpapers available for your Linux system on sites like gnomelook, kdelook, Gnome Art and the likes.

You can visit these sites, look for what seems pleasing, download it and then copy the files to the appropriate directory to install. There is an application that streamlines all of these steps, its called GnomeArt-NG. GnomeArt-NG is a tool for the Gnome Desktop Environment that makes it easier for you to browse and apply themes, icons and wallpapers.

Deb packages are available for Debian/Ubuntu. Other distro users can browse the download page for a suitable download.

When you run it for the first time GnomeArt-NG needs to download thumbnail previews so go ahead, click apply and let it do its thing. Once the download has finished you will be able to browse through various elements, choose the one you like and apply. You are done already!


GnomeArt-NG lets you browse backgrounds categorised into gnome, nature, abstract and others. You can choose different window decorations, icons, gdm greeters and splash screens all right from within the window.

Click on a theme, icon pack or background and you will see additional information about it in the right hand pane. In addition to the creator and basic description GnomeArt-NG also displays the download count and rating for the currently selected element.

You can even customize the download settings letting GnomeArt-NG know how often you want it to look for new themes and where to store the thumbnails and meta data on your hard disk. If you happen to be using a proxy you can also specify it here within the network setting. You can also run “First Time Download Assistant” again if you happen to experience any problems with the thumbnail previews.

GnomeArt-NG makes it super easy to customize your Gnome Desktop. If you are new to Linux and don’t know how to install themes and icon packs you will love it. If you are an experienced user you would still like streamlining of the whole customization process, but nothing ever stops you from digging deep and editing configuration files to get everything set up perfectly the way you want to in case you feel the need to do so.

How do you install themes, icons and window decorations? What do you think of GnomeArt-NG?

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  1. Ed Hardy
    January 10, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day!

  2. Mackenzie
    July 23, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Is it faster than the old Gnome-art? That thing took *forever* because it'd try to get all the thumbnails in one batch.

    KDE users: this is like Get Hot New Stuff, but it's all squished into one app instead of being spread out with Get New Wallpapers when you configure wallpaper and Get New Themes when you do the themes. Though it's not quite as expansive, since it won't get you Rhythmbox plugins the way GHNS will get you Amarok scripts.