Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Change Color Theme for i3 on Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 15

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of changing the color theme for i3 on Ubuntu 20.04. i3 is a tiling window manager, completely written from scratch, that is primarily targeted at developers and advanced users.

Quick Answer

To change the color theme for i3 on Ubuntu 20.04, you’ll need to modify the i3 config file located in ~/.config/i3/config or ~/.i3/config. Look for the section that defines the colors and replace the hex color codes with your desired colors. Restart i3 to apply the changes. However, changing the color theme for GTK and QT apps may require modifying their specific configuration or using a different desktop environment.

Understanding i3 Config Files

To begin with, it’s important to understand that the i3 configuration files are located in ~/.config/i3/config or ~/.i3/config. These files allow you to customize the look and feel of your i3 environment, including the color theme.

Changing i3 Colors

To change the colors of i3, you’ll need to modify the config file. Here’s how:

  1. Open the terminal and type the following command to open the config file:
nano ~/.config/i3/config

or

nano ~/.i3/config
  1. Once inside the config file, look for the section that defines the colors. It should look something like this:
# set normal status bar colors
set $bg-color #222222
set $text-color #888888
set $inactive-bg-color #333333
  1. You can change these hex color codes to any color you desire. For example, if you want to change the background color to blue, you can replace #222222 with #0000FF.
  2. After making your changes, save and close the file by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y to confirm the changes, and finally Enter to exit.
  3. To apply the changes, restart i3 by pressing Mod + Shift + R.

Changing GTK and QT Themes

For changing the color theme of GTK and QT apps, you’ll need to modify the specific app’s configuration or use a different desktop environment (DE) running with i3wm.

One option is to run LXDE with i3 as the window manager. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this in the ArchWiki article on using a different window manager with LXDE.

Alternatively, you can try editing the GTK theme directly to customize the colors. There is an Ask Ubuntu thread that provides guidance on tweaking and customizing GTK themes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, changing the color theme for i3 on Ubuntu 20.04 involves modifying the i3 config file for i3-specific colors and adjusting the GTK or QT theme for per-app theme changes. With a bit of patience and experimentation, you can customize your i3 environment to suit your personal preferences. Happy theming!

Where can I find the i3 configuration files?

The i3 configuration files can be found in either ~/.config/i3/config or ~/.i3/config.

How do I open the i3 config file?

You can open the i3 config file by running the command nano ~/.config/i3/config or nano ~/.i3/config in the terminal.

How do I change the colors in i3?

To change the colors in i3, you need to modify the color codes in the i3 config file. Look for the section that defines the colors and replace the hex color codes with your desired colors.

How do I save and close the i3 config file?

To save and close the i3 config file in the nano text editor, press Ctrl + X, then Y to confirm the changes, and finally Enter to exit.

How do I apply the color changes in i3?

To apply the color changes in i3, you need to restart i3 by pressing Mod + Shift + R.

Can I change the color theme for GTK and QT apps in i3?

Yes, you can change the color theme for GTK and QT apps in i3. You can modify the specific app’s configuration or use a different desktop environment (DE) running with i3wm.

How can I use LXDE with i3 as the window manager?

You can find detailed instructions on how to use LXDE with i3 as the window manager in the ArchWiki article on using a different window manager with LXDE.

Is it possible to customize GTK themes in i3?

Yes, it is possible to customize GTK themes in i3. You can refer to the Ask Ubuntu thread for guidance on tweaking and customizing GTK themes.

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