How do I change gtk theme to the system default?

well the title says it all :slight_smile:
is there a way to force ardour to use the default system gtk theme?

if no how do I change the font size? thanks very much

menu->window->preferences->misc. tab->font scaling


you almost certainly do not want the system default theme. ardour relies on the use of color to indicate various states (rec-enable, solo, mute etc) that become VERY much less obvious with the system theme(s). if you would prefer a lighter theme, go to Windows -> Theme Manager and switch it there.

if you do want the system default theme, you will need to set the environment variable ARDOUR2_UI_RC to /dev/null.

Where exactly do you change this variable? I want to give it a try and see what it looks like. If I like it, then I’ll start using it from the start to get used to the colors and if doesn’t work out, I can always switch to the default.

I’m as well interested in this. Where are you supposed to set this variable?

Hello there,
as Porl42 wrote in a post as far back as 2007, there is a tricky way to do this:

copy the gtk specification file in /usr/share/themes//gtk-2.0/
(it might be called gtkrc, main.rc or something, just check that it defines styles and everything like a theme specification file)
paste it in /etc/ardour5/
rename it clearlooks.rc (overwriting the default, and possibly making a copy of it first)

And it’s done!
My configuration looks quite nice with Materia Dark Theme, and some small aesthetical tweaks!

  1. Can you post a screenshot of that?
  2. Please don’t ask us about any issues when you do that. Our own clearlooks. rc is carefully assembled and designed. You also lose all access to Ardour’s own color themes doing that.

For sure, and im not going to complain either because, as you can see from the screenshot (in my particular case) the theming is beautifully applied and the functionality is kept intact

1 Like

Wow! That does look nice!

Is that with Ardour 5 or 6? Any hidden “gotchas” you’ve discovered?

It’s Ardour 5.

Looks like there is an inconsistency with font-scaling and Ardour’s UI scaling though.

It does look very nice. I think the fonts for meter, tempo, range lanes might be too big though.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.