How to reset the favorite list in Gnome Shell on Linux

Is the favorite list on your Gnome Shell desktop getting too full? Don’t want to go through and manually unfavorite a bunch of apps to clear it out? If so, this guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how you can quickly reset the favorites list in Gnome Shell on Linux!

Note: looking for information on how to reset Gnome Shell to defaults? Check out our guide on the subject.

Reset favorite list with the GUI

The favorite list in Gnome Shell is what you see in the Gnome overview mode on the dock when the Win key on the keyboard is pressed. The favorite list holds all of the apps you’ve added to the dock for quick access. As you use Gnome Shell, this favorite list may become cluttered and messy. Thankfully, you can reset it using the GUI. 

The GUI tool you can use to reset the favorite list is Dcof editor. It’s a graphical editing tool that allows you to customize and modify the Gnome Shell desktop environment’s settings files. However, the Dconf editor isn’t pre-installed on many Linux OSes, so we must demonstrate how to install it first.

To start the installation of the Dconf editor on your Linux PC, launch a terminal on the Linux desktop. Once the terminal window is open and ready to use, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the Linux OS you currently use.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, you can install the Dconf editor on your computer using the Apt install command below.

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Debian

The Dconf editor application can easily be set up on Debian Linux by executing the following Apt-get command in a terminal.

sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

Arch Linux

Those on Arch Linux will be able to get the Dconf editor using the following Pacman command in a terminal window.

sudo pacman -S dconf-editor

Fedora

If you’re on Fedora Linux, there’s a good chance Dconf editor may already be installed. The reason for this is that Fedora works closely with Gnome. If, however, the Dconf editor isn’t pre-installed, you can get it set up by executing the following dnf command in a terminal window.

sudo dnf install dconf-editor

OpenSUSE

On OpenSUSE Linux, the Dconf editor may be pre-installed on the Gnome version. If it is, there is no need to follow the installation instructions. If, however, you do not have it set up on your Linux PC, you can quickly get it set up by executing the following zypper command.

sudo zypper install dconf-editor

Once you’ve gotten the Dconf editor installed on your Linux PC, launch it by searching for “Dconf editor” in the application menu in Gnome. When the app is open, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to clear your favorites list!

Step 1: Upon opening up the Dconf editor, you will see a notification appear in the center of the app window. This notification warns you that messing with the editor could break things. Select the “I’ll be careful” button to continue.

Step 2: Look through the list of folders in Dconf editor, and select the “org” folder.

Step 3: After selecting the “org” folder, look for the “gnome” folder and click on it.

Step 4: Once you’ve selected the “gnome” folder, click on the “shell” folder to access it.

Step 5: Inside the “shell” folder, you will see tons of different Gnome Shell options. Scroll through and look for “favorite-apps.” Then, click on it with the mouse to access the “favorite-apps” configuration.

Step 6: Scroll through “favorite-apps” to the bottom, and you’ll see “Custom value.” This value is filled with all of the custom favorites you’ve added to the Gnome dock. To reset it, click on the “Use default value” button, and it will reset to default.

Close Dconf editor when done!

Reset favorite list with terminal

The GUI app is handy for resetting the favorite list in Gnome, and beginner Linux users are sure to love it. However, the GUI isn’t for everyone. If you prefer to use the Linux terminal on your system, you’ll want to be able to reset your Gnome Shell favorites list using the command-line.

To start the reset process, open up a terminal window on the Gnome desktop. Once the terminal window is open and ready to use, it’s time to reset the favorites list using the gsettings command below.

gsettings reset org.gnome.shell favorite-apps

Keep in mind that this command will completely wipe out your favorites list from the dock, with no way to back it up. Only execute this command once you’re sure you’re ready to clear the favorites bar!

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How to change the default Yaru Colors on Ubuntu

Ubuntu’s default theme is known as “Yaru.” It looks charming on the Ubuntu desktop but a little boring and doesn’t add a lot of life to Ubuntu. If you’d like to improve your Ubuntu desktop look, you can install the Yaru Colors theme.

Yaru Colors is a modification of the Yaru theme for Ubuntu. However, instead of just drab Ubuntu orange, you get a variety of different colors that are sure to spice up your Ubuntu desktop.

Before we begin

This guide will focus on the Ubuntu Gnome Desktop and its default GTK theme, Yaru. We’ll go over how to make the desktop look more colorful by replacing the default theme with Yaru Colors.

That said, Yaru Colors isn’t restricted to Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Gnome Desktop. While the Yaru Colors theme isn’t intended to be used on anything other than the Ubuntu Gnome Desktop, it is possible to install it on any Linux OS and any GTK-based desktop environment.

Downloading Yaru Colors 

The Yaru Colors GTK theme is available on GitHub and comes with an installation script. The installation script means that you can quickly get everything up and running without many tedious commands in a terminal window.

Install Git package

To start the download process, you will need to install the Git package on your Ubuntu Linux PC. To install it, open up a terminal window. Once it is open, make use of the apt install command below to get Git working.

sudo apt install git

Download Yaru colors

Now that the Git tool is set up on your computer, you can download the latest release of Yaru Colors using the git clone command in a terminal window. Keep in mind that the downloader may take a couple of minutes, as there are many files to grab.

git clone https://github.com/Jannomag/Yaru-Colors.git

If you’re not a fan of using the git clone command and the Git tool, you can download the latest Yaru Colors TarGZ from the release section on GitHub. However, we will not focus on this release in the guide, so keep that in mind.

Once the Yaru Colors theme files are done downloading to your Linux PC, use the ls command to verify the folder’s contents to ensure everything is downloaded correctly.

ls ~/Yaru-Colors

After verifying the folder’s contents with the ls command, we need to enter the “Yaru-Colors” folder with the CD command. 

cd ~/Yaru-Colors

When you’ve entered the “Yaru-Colors” folder, move on to the next section of the guide to get the theme files installed.

Installing Yaru Colors

Installing the Yaru Colors GTK theme on your Ubuntu desktop can be done in two ways. The first way is the single-user mode, which makes Yaru Colors only accessible to the person who installs it. The second is the system-wide mode, making it so that every user on your Ubuntu desktop will have access to the Yaru Colors GTK theme, even if they never installed the theme files.

In this guide, we’ll cover both methods of installation. However, we highly recommend going the single-user route, as the installation script works much better in single-user mode.

Single-user

To install the Yaru Colors theme on your Ubuntu PC as a single-user, start by executing the installation script without the sudo command. By doing this, you will be running the script without root privileges, thus not allowing it to install the themes in the root directory.

./install.sh

Following the command, you will see a text-based UI appear on the screen. Press any key to start. After pressing any key, the installer will begin asking you questions on setting up the theme. Answer the questions to install the theme.

Once you get most of the questions, you will arrive at the last question. This question will ask if you wish to enable the theme. Press for yes to enable Yaru Colors.

System-wide

To install the Yaru Colors theme in system-wide mode, you need to run the script as root. To do that, run the script using the sudo command. By running with sudo, the script will place all files in the system-wide theme folders.

sudo ./install.sh

Upon running the installation command, you will be asked several questions on how you wish to install the Yaru Colors theme. Be sure to thoroughly read through all of the prompts in the script to get Yaru Colors installed and activated on your Ubuntu system.

Enable Yaru Colors on non-Ubuntu desktops

If you want to enable Yaru Colors on non-Ubuntu desktop environments, you’ll need to install it with the installation script. After that, you can attempt to enable them. If enabling doesn’t work, you can manually enable the Yaru Colors theme by following one of the guides linked below.

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How to make KDE apps look better on XFCE in Linux

Apps built with QT (aka KDE apps) do not look great on the XFCE 4 desktop because they don’t respect the default theme. The way to fix this is to use Kvantum. With Kvantum, you can set KDE app themes to use a similar theme to what you use in XFCE 4.

Before we begin

In this guide, we’ll be using the Adapta GTK theme for XFCE. We’re focusing on Adapta because it has a Kvantum theme that is widely available and helps blend KDE apps in with XFCE 4 quite well.

Before starting this guide, we highly recommend installing the Adapta GTK theme onto your Linux PC and enabling it as the default theme in XFCE. For information on how to set up Adapta, click here.

Installing Kvantum on Linux

To get Kvantum working on your Linux PC, you will need to install it alongside the management tool. To get started, open up a terminal window and install the Kvantum manager, as well as everything else necessary to use it.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, you can get the Kvantum tools on your system via the Papirus PPA. This PPA has everything you need to get it working. To add the PPA, use the following add-apt-repository command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:papirus/papirus

After adding the Papirus PPA to your Linux PC, run the update command to refresh your software sources. 

sudo apt update

Finally, use the apt install command below to get the Kvantum packages to use the Kvantum theme engine on Ubuntu.

sudo apt install qt5-style-kvantum qt5-style-kvantum-themes

Debian

On Debian 11 and 10, the Kvantum packages should be available for installation without any need to add a third-party software repository to your computer. To get it working, open up a terminal window and enter the command below.

sudo apt-get install qt5-style-kvantum qt5-style-kvantum-themes

Arch Linux

Kvantum is available to Arch Linux users and has been for a very long time. There is an AUR package. There’s also a package in the official Arch Linux software sources, which we recommend.

To get the latest Kvantum on your Arch Linux PC, enter the following terminal command. 

sudo pacman -S kvantum-qt5

Fedora

On Fedora Linux, you can get the latest Kvantum on your PC with the following Dnf command. There is no need to add any third-party software repositories, as they’re inside the official software sources.

sudo dnf install kvantum

OpenSUSE

Kvantum is available to OpenSUSE users via a third-party software repository. To start the installation, you must add the repo with the command below.

sudo zypper ar obs://home:trmdi trmdi

After adding the software repo, you can install the latest version of Kvantum on your OpenSUSE PC using the zypper command below.

sudo zypper in -r trmdi kvantum

Downloading Kvantum themes

In this guide, we’re focusing on the Kvantum Adapta theme. However, if you want to use a different GTK theme and need a matching Kvantum theme to go with it, the best place to go is the KDE Store.

The KDE Store has tons of stuff to download, including Kvantum theme engine themes. To download a Kvantum theme, head over to the Kvantum page on the KDE store. From there, look through the latest themes to download.

Once you’ve downloaded a theme, launch Kvantum Manager, select “Install/Update Theme,” and install it. Then, select “Change/Delete Theme” to start using it on your system.

Using Kvantum to make KDE apps look better

To make your KDE apps look better on the XFCE 4 desktop, start by launching “Kvantum Manager” from the app menu. If you cannot find it in the app menu, open up the XFCE 4 quick launcher with Alt + F2, and enter “kvantummanager” in the launch box.

Once the Kvantum Manager app is open on the XFCE 4 desktop, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Locate the “Change/Delete Theme” option in the Kvantum Manager. If you cannot find it, it is directly below the “Install/Update Theme.” 

After selecting the “Change/Delete Theme” button, you will see a menu that says “Select a theme,” followed by a blank text box. Change it to “Kvdapta.” 

Step 2: Open up a terminal window and install the Qt5ct app.

Ubuntu
sudo apt install qt5ct
Debian
sudo apt-get install qt5ct
Arch Linux
sudo pacman -S qt5ct
Fedora
sudo dnf install qt5ct
OpenSUSE
sudo zypper install qt5ct

Step 3: Open up a terminal window and use the echo command to edit the profile file to add the environmental variable.

echo "export QT_QPA_PLATFORMTHEME=qt5ct" >> ~/.profile

Step 4: Log out of your XFCE 4 session and log back in.

Step 5: Open up Qt5ct via the app menu. Or, launch it via the terminal with the qt5ct command.

Step 6: Locate the “Appearance” tab. Then, find the “Style” menu. In the menu, select “kvantum.” Then, select “Apply” to apply changes.

Upon applying your changes, KDE applications on XFCE 4 should be using the Kvantum theme set up earlier. 

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How to install the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme on Linux

PurpIE (AKA Rounded-Rectangle-Purple) is a Gnome Shell theme that turns your Gnome desktop from the basic black/grey/blue colors to a refreshing purple. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install PurpIE and set it up as the default theme.

Downloading PurpIE 

The PurpIE Gnome Shell theme is available for download in multiple places online. This section of the guide will go over how you can download the PurpIE theme for your Gnome Shell desktop in both methods (Gnome-look and GitHub.)

To start the download process, follow the instructions down below that corresponds with the download method you prefer. 

Gnome-look

Perhaps the easiest way to get your hands on the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme is to go to Gnome-look.org, a popular theme website. To start the download, find the “files” tab on the PurpIE page.

Inside of the “Files” tab, you’ll see a single file available for download. Look to the blue “DL” column, and click on the arrow. After clicking on the arrow, a pop-up window will appear. In this pop-up window, select the download option to allow PurpIE to download directly to your Linux PC.

GitHub

If Gnome-look isn’t your style, you’ll also be able to get the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme downloaded through GitHub via the git clone command. Some users may choose to go with Git over Gnome-look, as there is no need to extract any of the theme files once downloaded.

To download the PurpIE theme from GitHub, you’ll need to first install the “Git” tool onto your Linux PC. This program is small and easy to install and will allow you to interact with Git repos like this one.

To install Git, open up a terminal window, and follow the installation instructions below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install git

Debian

sudo apt-get install git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git

Fedora

sudo dnf install git

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install git

After installing the Git tool onto your computer, downloading PurpIE is as easy as a single command. Using the git clone command in a terminal window, download the theme files.

git clone https://github.com/metro2222/-rounded-rectangle-purple-theme-.git PurpIE/

Move the theme files out of the PurpIE folder using the mv command.

mv PurpIE/Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ ~/

Delete the PurpIE folder with rm.

rm PurpIE/

Extracting PurpIE

If you’ve chosen to download PurpIE through the Gnome-look method, your theme files come packed inside of a TarXZ archive. This archive file needs to be decompressed before the installation can begin. 

To decompress your theme files, open up a terminal window. Once the terminal window is open, use the CD command to move into the “Downloads” directory. Then, run the tar xvf command to extract the contents of the archive.

cd ~/Downloads

tar xvf Rounded-Rectangle-Purple.tar.xz

When the extraction process is complete, a folder with the name of “Rounded-Rectangle-Purple” will appear in your “Downloads” directory. “Rounded-Rectangle-Purple” is the other name for the PurpIE theme. 

Installing PurpIE

The PurpIE Gnome Shell theme is installable in two ways on Linux. The first way of installation is known as single-user mode, which means that only the user who installs the theme can access it. The second method is system-wide, which means that no matter what user installs PurpIE, everyone will have access to it.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to install PurpIE in both methods. To start the installation, follow the instructions below that corresponds with the configuration you prefer.

Single-user

Installing the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme in single-user mode, start using the mkdir command to create a new “.themes” directory. This new folder will be created in your home directory and handle the theme files for your user.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

After creating the new folder, run the command below to install the theme in single-user mode.

mv ~/Downloads/Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ ~/.themes/

Or, if you downloaded the PurpIE theme via GitHub, run:

mv ~/Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ ~/.themes/

System-wide

To install the PurpIE Gnome Shell theme in system-wide mode, start by accessing the “Downloads” directory where the theme files are.

cd ~/Downloads

After moving into the “Downloads” directory, you can start installing the theme files using the commands below.

sudo -s

mv Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ /usr/share/themes/

Or, if you’ve downloaded the files from GitHub, do the following.

cd ~/

sudo -s

mv Rounded-Rectangle-Purple/ /usr/share/themes/

Enabling PurpIE

The PurpIE theme needs to be set as the default Gnome Shell theme before you can use it. Here’s how to do it. First, install the Gnome Tweaks application with the commands below. 

Ubuntu

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Debian

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweaks

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S gnome-tweaks

Fedora

sudo dnf install gnome-tweaks

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install gnome-tweaks

Launch the Gnome Tweaks app on your computer by searching for “Tweaks” in the Gnome app menu. Then, follow this guide to get Gnome extensions working on your system (if you don’t have this set up already).

Once Gnome Extensions are set up, install this Gnome extension that allows for custom shell themes. Then, in Tweaks, select “Appearance,” followed by “Shell,” and change it from the default to “Rounded-Rectangle-Purple” to activate PurpIE. 

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How to install the Fluent GTK theme on Linux

The Fluent GTK theme aims to bring the Windows design style to Linux. It comes in two themes: dark and light, and honestly does an excellent job of giving Linux users a “Windows-like experience.” Here’s how to set it up on your system.

Downloading Fluent GTK theme

The Fluent GTK theme is available for download on Gnome-look.org, a popular theme website that many Linux users use. To download Fluent to your Linux PC, do the following.

First, head over to the Fluent Gnome-look.org page. Once on the page, find the “Files” tab, and select it with the mouse.

Inside of the “Files” tab, you will see two versions of Fluent available for download. Select the button in the “DL” column next to the theme you wish to download to start the downloading process. 

When the download process is complete, open up a terminal window and move on to the next section of the guide.

Extracting Fluent GTK theme

To extract the Fluent GTK theme, first, move into the “Downloads” directory using the CD command. The “Downloads” directory is where the Fluent GTK theme was downloaded earlier.

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside of the “Downloads” directory, follow the instructions down below to install the Unzip program onto your computer. The Unzip utility must work with the ZIP archive that the Fluent GTK theme is packed into.

Ubuntu

To get the Unzip application set up in Ubuntu, run the Apt command below in a terminal.

sudo apt install unzip

Debian

If you are using Debian Linux, you can get the latest release of Unzip on your computer by making use of the Apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install unzip

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, users can get the latest release of Unzip working with the following Pacman command. 

sudo pacman -S unzip

Fedora

Those using Fedora Linux have the ability to install the Unzip utility on their computers by making use of the Dnf command.

sudo dnf install unzip

OpenSUSE

If you’re using OpenSUSE Linux, you’ll be able to get Unzip up and running using the Zypper command.

sudo zypper install unzip

After installing the Unzip utility on your computer, you’ll be able to extract the Fluent GTK theme files in the ZIP archive downloaded earlier. Using the unzip command to decompress the Fluent GTK ZIP theme. 

unzip  Windows-10-Acrylic-5.1.zip

Or, if you’ve downloaded the dark variant of the Fluent GTK theme, execute the following unzip command. 

unzip Windows-10-Acrylic-Dark-5.1-dark

When the Unzip utility finishes extracting the Fluent GTK theme files, move on to the next section of the guide.

Installing Fluent GTK theme 

There are two ways to get the Fluent GTK theme working on Linux. The first way of installation is known as “single-user,” which only allows the user that installed the theme access to it. The second method of installation is known as “system-wide,” which gives every user access to the theme regardless of if it was installed by them.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to install the Fluent GTK theme in both ways. To start the installation process, open up a terminal window and follow along below.

Single-user

To start installing the Fluent GTK theme on Linux, make use of the CD command and move the terminal session into the “Downloads” directory where the theme files currently reside.

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside the “Downloads” directory, make use of the mkdir command and create the “.themes” directory. This folder will house the Fluent GTK theme files in your home directory.

mkdir -p ~/.themes

After creating the new folder, run the mv command below to install the Fluent GTK theme files onto your computer in single-user mode.

mv Windows-10*/ ~/.themes

You can confirm if the installation was successful by running the following ls command.

ls ~/.themes | grep Acrylic

System-wide

To install the Fluent GTK theme in system-wide mode, start by making use of the CD command to move into the “Downloads” directory where the theme files currently reside on your PC.

cd ~/Downloads

Once inside the “Downloads” directory, use the sudo -s command to elevate the terminal account without leaving the “Downloads” directory. 

sudo -s

Finally, install the Fluent GTK theme to your Linux PC in system-wide mode using the mv command.

mv Windows-10*/ /usr/share/themes/

To verify that the installation was successful, execute the following ls command.

ls /usr/share/themes/ | grep Acrylic

Activating Fluent GTK theme

Fluent is now installed on your Linux PC, but you cannot use it until it is set as the default GTK theme on the desktop. To change the default theme on the Linux desktop to Fluent, do the following. 

First, open up the “System Settings” area. Once inside of “System Settings,” look around for the “Appearance” or “Themes” area, and change the default theme that the desktop is using to “Fluent” to use the Fluent GTK theme.

Are you having trouble figuring out how to change the default GTK theme on your Linux PC? Take a look at the list of links below for guidance on how to customize your desktop environment.

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