Theming and customization is a huge aspect of the Linux world. No other operating system offers such kind of flexibility in customizing the desktop. Every desktop environment is great for customizing the look of the Linux system. The Xfce desktop environment is no exception. Instead, it has a massive library of themes and large community support. They are consistently developing Xfce themes for your desktop. Installing and customizing Xfce themes for Linux is also very easy. This article is going to be a handbook for Xfce desktop customization and tweaks.
Best Xfce Themes for Linux
The huge Xfce themes library leads to the biggest confusion of choosing the best Xfce themes for one’s desktop. No one can try out every free theme and experiment with them. But we got you covered. We have enlisted the best 20 Xfce themes here to get you started with the Linux customization game. Though the taste of every individual is different, we believe that this list will be sufficient for anyone to give their desktop a gorgeous and unique look.
1. PRO Dark
PRO Dark is one of the most popular Xfce themes for Linux. It is compatible with any version of the Xfce desktop environment since it has three different editions for different versions of GTK and Thunar file manager.
It is very clean and doesn’t strain the eyes. This is why it is very useful for those who use their desktop regularly. GTK2 and GTK3 applications look no different in this theme. Users can customize different aspects of this theme. PRO Dark uses the Xfwm window manager as the compositor.
Prof is a simple and minimalist theme for the Xfce desktop environment. The author of the theme is “PaulXfce,” and is famous for another popular theme PRO Dark. The motto of the creator is to create such kind themes that do not cause any strain on the eyes. So, you will see that this theme doesn’t have modern dark color schemes.
Rather it uses a light color scheme and clean typography. It has a translucent application launcher and notification panel, which has a black tint on to that. The custom icons make it a beautiful flat Xfce theme for the admirers of flat design language.
3. Dots Theme
Dots is a popular flat theme for Linux. This Xfce theme will not completely change the look of your desktop environment. It will only change the window panels. There are two color schemes, black, and white used in this theme. The title bar buttons will be replaced by red, green and blue in the white variant.
In the dark variant, all the buttons will be gray colored. You can separately control the color scheme of the background and title bar color. The users can enter into the Linux Window Manager and apply this amazing theme.
OneColor is an interesting Xfce theme for Linux users. It is very simple and lightweight. It will bring a unique and colorful attire to your window title bar. The buttons will look just like the buttons from Windows operating system. But the design is a bit rounded, which we see in the material design language of the Android operating system.
It will give a modern flat look to your desktop. You can choose from six different bright and bold colors for the window title bar and border, such as red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and violet. It has a HiDPI version for 4K displays and is an XXL version for the touch screen devices included with the package. You can set it up with solid flat colored wallpapers to get a minimal desktop setup.
5. McOS CTLina
This is a clone of Cupertino’s flagship operating system. It is based on the latest version of macOS named Catalina. The creator tried to replicate every detail to give almost the same look and feel of macOS for the Linux users. It has two different variants that are dark and light.
This theme works great with the latest Xfce version 4.14. The default application icons are customized to look like Apple’s icons. This theme also changes the look of the title bar and buttons. You can move the taskbar to the top of the screen and add a dock panel to get the complete macOS feeling.
The City is a beautiful and elegant dark theme for the Xfce desktop. It effectively changes the color of the title bar and window panel. This theme is from the same author who created the OneColor theme. The buttons and icons of this theme are similar to those on OneColor. But unlike OneColor, it doesn’t pain the whole title bar.
Rather it colors the close button, window title, and window borders. There are more than ten variants of this theme, including Wine, Grass, Ocean, Ruby, Emerald, etc. There is an additional version of this theme that doesn’t include any preset color. Users can freely customize the color of their choice.
Arctodon is a simple changemaker for the Xfwm window manager, a default for the Xfce desktop environment. For this reason, this theme changes the look of the window and title bar of different applications. It is one of the best add on for the popular Arc theme. It also looks good with the Qogir theme.
The title bar buttons are flat with colored highlights. The title bar icons look like old-school Windows XP icons. But the total attire of this theme is quite modern and eye-soothing. It has both dark and light variants to choose from.
Plano is a neat and clean Xfce flat theme. This window manager theme is highly inspired by Microsoft’s very own Windows OS. It has three different variants, including Normal, Modern, and XP. The latest XP variant brings back the classic maximize button along with 2px borders.
On the other hand, the Modern variant is borderless to bring an immersive vibe to the window panels. Users can use Alt+RMB+drag to change the window size in the Modern variant. This flat theme has three different colored versions called Fixed, Blue, and Dark.
Pop is a simple and minimal theme for the Xfce desktop environment. It is highly inspired by the Pop GTK theme from the Pop! OS. It has two variants that are light and dark. The dark variant is the default and normal variant for this theme. The title bar buttons are placed nicely in this theme.
The icons are inspired by material design language. There is rounded padding on the close button. The active and inactive windows show different colors on their exit buttons. You can set it up with the Pop GTK theme to get a complete experience of the theme.
10. Neon Knights
Neon Knights is a modern-looking theme inspired by neon light design. It looks beautiful with complete dark or pitch-black backgrounds. The title bar buttons have a very minimal appearance in this theme. There are two different variants for the button icons. One set is rounded with less detail, and another set has got a better detail on them.
There are several customization colors for the theme, including blue, green, red, yellow, and orange. The author of this theme recommends Neon Knights GTK theme, Neon Knights folder icons, and Neon Knights wallpapers two used with this window manager theme.
Azenis is a different-looking theme. It has a futuristic techno vibe. The window of applications has beveled edges. The title bar is quite modern and beautiful. The buttons have got a 3D effect on them. The title bar has a carbon fiber texture painted on it. The default typeface is a modern designed san serif font.
For this reason, the total setup will remind you of the supercomputer from a sci-fi movie. The window panels and title bars can be customized through the window manager software. The improved version of this theme has repositioned title bars and bold borders with more ergonomic spacing.
Ninja is one of the most vibrant looking Xfce themes for Linux. But it was originally developed for the Windows operating system. Later it was ported for Linux distributions. This theme is all black, but its orange accent helps it to bring a bold and elegant look into it.
You can easily customize the toggle buttons and other aspects by using the Xfce theme manager. The folder icons have a stainless steel-like metallic texture on them. It is also compatible with the popular customization tool, A Widget Factory.
13. Alien Evolution
It is a very popular theme for Linux. It is highly inspired by a Windows paid skin named Alienware Evolution. The theme has a dark color scheme with a blue accent. But the background of the applications has a light cyan tint. All of the title bar buttons use the same icons, and there is no visible difference between them.
This thing can confuse some users. The window panel borders have a beautiful design. The windows are not rectangular, like other Xfce themes. Instead, the unconventional look will make your desktop setup unique and gorgeous.
CopperDeck is a heavily customized appearance for the Xfce desktop environment. It has an orange accent on its dark background. The default application icons and folder icons are heavily customized to blend with this theme. The folder icons are metallic textured.
The buttons have fine detailed highlights and shadows so that it brings some depth to the design. The theme is very clean and has enough ergonomic spacing though the creator tried to keep it compact. Very few themes are as complete and versatile as this theme. Those who want a robotic vibe into their desktop can give it a shot.
It is a newly released flat theme for Linux. Hitori is a very simple and minimal theme compatible with the latest version of the Xfce desktop environment. It is an Xfwm window manager theme that matches the color palette of the popular GTK theme Adapta.
The title bar of the theme is blended with the main background because it has a borderless material design. The title bar buttons are rounded and flat. The button arrangements, window title alignment, and title bar font style can be adjusted using the Xfce theme manager.
Midnight is one of the most popular Xfce themes for Linux. The author created it on the base of the popular GTK theme Arc. It is fully compatible with the Xfwm4 window manager. The title bar buttons have bold and bright colors, just like the macOS. The application background, title bar, and search bar have different color schemes.
There are five different color variants of this theme: Red, Orange, Green, Gray, and Blue. Each color variant has both light and dark modes from which the users can choose their favorite one.
As the name suggests, this theme will bring a futuristic hacker vibe to your desktop. It will remind you of the popular video game Watchdogs. This theme is compatible with the Xfce desktop environment. The backgrounds have a dark blue tint.
The inactive window has cyan borders, while the active window will be visible with glowing green borders. The title bar buttons have a hexagonal shape, which is kind of unconventional. But the overall look and feel of the theme are pretty classy.
Cyanogen is a complete theme package for Linux. It works great with the Xfce desktop environment. You have to install Adwaita and Murrine theme engines before installing this theme. It has got another version named Cyanogen Mini for the smaller screen devices.
The windows, app icons, wallpapers, launcher, and almost everything is painted with Cyan color in this theme. The color is refreshing and eye-soothing. The buttons, menu, borders, and other aspects can be customized using the software named A Widget Factory.
This theme resembles the title button of Google’s very own Chrome OS. This is a full HD version, and this is why it looks great, even on large displays. Adapta and Arc are two of the very popular Linux desktop themes. Chr-title-buttons has two extra variants that blend with Adapta and Arc themes. The original variant has blue, gray, and dark buttons to suit best with any flat themes out there. This modern Xfce theme will be like by every minimal setup lover.
JacWin10 stands for “Just a copy of Windows 10.” As the name suggests, this theme resembles the visual aspects of Microsoft’s Windows 10. If anyone wants to get back to a familiar Windows look, this is the best option to go for. The developer tried to replicate even the fine details as far as he could.
The layout of this theme is fixed for the Xfwm window manager to resemble Windows 10 correctly. Application icon and window title are left-aligned, while the Maximize, minimize, and close buttons are right-aligned. You can set this up with Windows 10 icon pack to get the full experience.
How to Customize the Look of Xfce Themes
The default look of the Xfce desktop environment is not bad. But if you want your desktop to look even cooler, you can customize the look by downloading Xfce themes and tweaking them. The above list has some great themes to get started with the customization of the Xfce desktop. You can even use some third-party applications like the Xfce theme manager to tweak the theme. Now it’s time to learn how to get gorgeous desktop attire.
1. Downloading the Theme File
Firstly, you have to download the theme file from your desired website. You can use the download buttons of the above list to download the best Xfce themes. Normally the theme files are in a compressed file format like ZIP, RAR, GZ, etc. For this reason, you have to extract the files in your desired directory after downloading them by using any of your favorite extractor software.
2. Applying the Desired Theme
For applying the downloaded Xfce themes, you have to place the extracted files into the .theme folder located in your home directory. Then, open the Settings app and go to Appearance > Style. Here you will find all the installed themes, including the one you have recently downloaded and placed inside the .theme folder. Just select the theme, and you are done. Now log out of your account and log back in to see the changes.
3. Tweaking the Applied Theme
Different themes bring different changes to your overall look. The out of the box theme package won’t change everything on your desktop. You may want to change the wallpaper, fonts and set up custom matching icons to bring completeness in your desktop customization.
To change the wallpaper, right-click on the desktop and click on Desktop Settings. Choose Background from the folder option and select your desired wallpaper. There are thousands of free wallpapers available on the internet. You can always download and apply them.
Customizing the icons brings a huge change to the overall look. You can download your favorite icon packs, just like the themes from the internet, after downloading the icon file extract and put it in your home directory under the .icons directory. Then go to Settings > Appearance > Icons to select that icon theme. You can even change the typeface of your system, just like this method.
Wrapping Things Up
Linux distributions offer a huge customization option. The Xfce desktop environment is no different. Those who have to work on a computer regularly can get bored seeing the same old desktop. Trying out new themes is like reshuffling the furniture of your living room. It will drive you away from the monotony. The above list of the best Xfce themes will give your desktop a new life. Just install and try them out.
As you saw that, installing themes and tweaking the look is not rocket science. Anyone with basic navigation knowledge of Linux can do it. When you get stuck, the above guide is always here to accompany your customization journey. Share your favorite Xfce themes in the comment below, or if you are a theme developer, don’t forget to share your creation with us.