Make Sublime Text use the dark GTK+ theme variant

This Sublime Text 2/3 plugin sets the dark theme variant for Sublime's windows on GTK+ 3-based systems that support it, such as recent GNOME distributions.

The result is a much more beautiful Sublime when using dark UI themes because the distracting contrast between title bar and chrome is eliminated. The window border also becomes dark, making the window blend into the desktop better.

Before (Sublime Text 3 on Fedora 20)





Through Package Control (recommended)

  1. Run "Package Control: Install Package" from the Sublime Text Command Palette (Shift+Ctrl+P)
  2. In the list, select "GTKDarkThemeVariantSetter" and press Return


  1. cd into your Sublime Text packages directory (e.g. .config/sublime-text-2/Packages)
  2. Run git clone

How it works

Sublime Text (like most other extensible applications) does not provide hooks into its low-level windowing logic. This plugin demonstrates a technique that nevertheless allows for fine-grained control over windows, provided that standard Linux and X.Org tools are present on the system:

  1. Find the application's process ID by name with pidof [NAME]
  2. Find all top-level windows (and their IDs) with xprop -root _NET_CLIENT_LIST
  3. For each window ID thus found, get the associated process ID with xprop -id [ID] _NET_WM_PID
  4. If the process ID thus obtained matches the application's process ID, set the dark theme variant for the window with xprop -id [ID] -f _GTK_THEME_VARIANT 8u -set _GTK_THEME_VARIANT dark (some background on this very poorly documented property can be found here and here)

Cover image: Luc Viatour (Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA)