I’ll be honest: it feels like it’s been years since we saw a truly original GTK theme appear.
Sure, the new Ubuntu theme is pretty great, but it’s still largely a mix of Ambiance, Adwaita and the proposed Unity 8 style. I.e. all known quantities.
We’ve previously listed what we think are the best GTK themes for Ubuntu (and Linux in general). If you’ve read that list you may have noticed that a number of themes featured look similar, share design trends, or use a similar theme as a foundation.
With former theme makers like ~half-left no longer making truly original GTK themes, Linux design has fallen into a bit of a creative lull. Every other theme that appears is (seemingly) based on either Adwaita, Arc or Adapta, uses material design cues (like Pop GTK), echoes macOS (Greybird, elementary) or is flatter than the response to most of my jokes (Arc, Plano, Ant, Vimix, et al).
Few GTK themes these days stand out these days — not so ‘Arrongin’.
Arronging GTK Theme
The Arrongin GTK theme caught my eye because it’s one of the most individual and unique looking themes of recent years.
The theming of the Nautilus sidebar is particularly interesting. It creates the effect of a double-sidebar, one column for icons, the other for labels.
I’m not sure if the sidebar styling is entirely to my tastes, but it’s a design I haven’t seen before, and, as someone who champions variety and diversity, I applaud the author for opting to take an original approach.
If there’s one area that I feel lets the theme down it’s in the circular outline window buttons. The rest of the theme’s buttons, toggles, etc, have a dark, present impression. It makes the ‘lightness’ of window controls feels …out of keeping. Solid slate grey dots, with light grey or orange controls would lend some consistency.
The theme is under active development (so expect rough patches) but you can download it and try it on your desktop by grabbing the tarbell/tarball from the Open Desktop website below.