Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Where are Apache log files on my server – Apache log file locations on Debian / Ubuntu / CentOS / Fedora and FreeBSD ?

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017


Where are Apache log files on my server?

1. Finding Linux / FreeBSD operating system distribtion and version

Before finding location of Apache log files it is useful to check what is the remote / local Linux operating system version, hence

First thing to do when you login to your remote Linux server is to check what kind of GNU / Linux you're dealing with:

cat /etc/issue
cat /etc/

In most GNU / Linux distributions should give you enough information about the exact Linux distribution and version remote server is running.

You will get outputs like

# cat /etc/issue
SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 10.2 Kernel \r (\m), \l


# cat /etc/issue
Debian GNU/Linux 8 \n \l

If remote Linux is Fedora look for fedora-release file:

cat /etc/fedora-release Fedora release 7 (Moonshine)

The proposed standard with the introduction of systemd across all Linux distributions is



# cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION="8 (jessie)"

Once we know what kind of Linux distribution we're dealing with, we can proceed with looking up for standard location of Apache config:

2. Apache config file location for Fedora / CentOS / RHEL and other RPM based distributions

RHEL / Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora Linux Apache access file location


3. Apache config file location for Debian / Ubuntu and other deb based Linux distributions

Debian / Ubuntu Linux Apache access log file location


4. Apache config file location for FreeBSD

FreeBSD Apache access log file location –


5. Finding custom Apache access log locations

If for some reason the system administrator on the remote server changed default path for each of distributions, you can find custom configured log files through:

a) On Debian / Ubuntu / deb distros:

debian:~# grep CustomLog /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

b) On CentOS / RHEL / Fedora Linux RPM based ones:

[root@centos:  ~]# grep CustomLog /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

c) On FreeBSD OS


freebsd# grep CustomLog /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
 # a CustomLog directive (see below).
    #CustomLog "/var/log/httpd-access.log" common
    CustomLog "/var/log/httpd-access.log" combined

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How to use zip command to archive directory and files in GNU / Linux

Monday, November 6th, 2017


How to zip directory or files with ZIP command in LInux or any other Unix like OS?

Why would you want to ZIP files in Linux if you have already gzip and bzip archive algorithms? Well for historical reasons .ZIP is much supported across virtually all major operating systems like Unix, Linux, VMS, MSDOS, OS/2, Windows NT, Minix, Atari and Macintosh, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Amiga and Acorn RISC and many other operating systems.

Assuming that zip command line tool is available across most GNU / Linux and WinZIP is available across almost all Windowses, the reason you might need to create .zip archive might be to just transfer the files from your Linux / FreeBSD desktop system or a friend with M$ Windows.

So below is how to archive recursively files inside a directory using zip command:

 $ zip -r /home/your-directory/your-files-pictures-text/


or you can write it shorter with omitting .zip as by default zip command would create .zip files


$ zip -r whatever-zip-file-name /home/your-directory/your-files-pictures-text/


The -r tells zip to recurse into directories (e.g. archive all files and directories inside your-files-pictures-text/)

If you need to archive just a files recursively with a file extension such as .txt inside current directory


$ zip -R '*.txt'

Above command would archive any .txt found inside your current directory if the zip command is for example issued from /home/hipo all found files such as /home/hipo/directory1, /home/hipo/directory2, /home/hipo/directory2/directory3/directory4 and all the contained subdirs that contain any .txt extension files will be added to the archive.

For the Linux desktop users that are lazy and want to zip files without much typing take a look at PeaZip for Linux 7Z / ZIP GUI interface tool


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How to enable Gravis UltraSound in DOSBox for enhanced music experience in DOS programs and Games

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017


Gravis UltraSound Classic


Gravis UltraSound

Gravis UltraSound or GUS is a sound card for the IBM PC compatible systems.
It was lunched in 1992 and is notable for it's ability to use real-world sound recordings (wavetable) of a musical instruments rather than artificial computer-generated waveforms.
As one of my friends used to say back then: "it sounds like a CD".

To enable GUS in DOSBox all you need to do is:

1. Download the archive with the GUS files from Extract the archive (there is already a directory in it so you don't have to create one) preferably where you keep your DOSBox stuff (like Games).

2. Find your DOSBox config file. Depending on the version or host OS, the dosbox conf file is located either inside the user profile folder or inside the same folder as dosbox.exe. In Windows 7 the config file is located at

"C:\Users\Fred\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\dosbox.conf"

where "Fred" is your username.

In GNU/Linux it's in "/home/Fred/.dosbox/dosbox.conf" where "Fred" is your username.

The name of the conf file may also have dosbox version (for example –


Open it with a text editor like notepad (Windows) or equvalent for GNU/Linux (vi, Kate, gedit…). Locate "[gus]" section (without the quotes) and edit it so it looks like this:

#      gus: Enable the Gravis Ultrasound emulation.
#  gusrate: Sample rate of Ultrasound emulation.
#           Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
#  gusbase: The IO base address of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 240, 220, 260, 280, 2a0, 2c0, 2e0, 300.
#   gusirq: The IRQ number of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 5, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12.
#   gusdma: The DMA channel of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 3, 0, 1, 5, 6, 7.
# ultradir: Path to Ultrasound directory. In this directory
#           there should be a MIDI directory that contains
#           the patch files for GUS playback. Patch sets used
#           with Timidity should work fine.


Then save the dosbox conf file.

3. Start DOSBox and mount "ULTRASND" directory to "C:".

You can do that with

mount c (directory to ULTRASND)

For example if you have extracted the archive in "C:\Games" it has created "C:\Games\ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c c:\Games

(example: if your game is in "C:\Games\Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "C:\Games\ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive "C:\Games\") then you "mount c c:\Games" and you are set)

or for GNU/Linux if you have extracted the archive in "/home/Fred/Games" it has created "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c /home/Fred/Games (where "Fred" is your user name).

(example: if your game is in "/home/Fred/Games/Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive" /home/Fred/Games/") in  then you "mount c /home/Fred/Games" and you are set)

You can make this automatic so you don't have to write it everytime by adding this command in the end (bottom) part of your dosbox conf file and save it.

You're practicly ready. All you need to do now is set Gravis UltraSound in your game or application setup (for example with the file "setup.exe") with IO: 240, IRQ 5 and DMA 3. If you prefer you previous sound card you can do that by selecting it again from the setup without disabling GUS from the dosbox conf file.

Happy listening!

Gravis Ultrasound


Article written by Alex

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Install TeamViewer on latest Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS Linux quick how to

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017


If you're a sysadmin who uses GNU / Linux as a Desktop as me you will certainly need to have TeamViewer installed and ready for use on your Linux desktop.

Even though TeamViewer is a proprietary application and I prefer not to use it I'm forced to have it installed because of every now and then a friend or customer would require you to login remotely to his Windows server and clean up the system either from spyware or viruses or just deploy some new software.

Nowdays most of people are running 64 bit ( amd64 ) built operating system and the problem with TeamViewer on Linux 64bit is that it doesn't have an actual full featured 64 port of the application but only have a 32 bits install, besides that big part of components of TeamViewer are running using wine windows emulation and hencing making it work on Linux is sometimes not so trivial as we might have desired.

Because TeamViewer is a 32 bit application, it has a number of dependency libraries that are 32 bit in Linux that's the so called (i386) built libraries (packages).

Hence to make TeamViewer work on modern GNU / Linux operating systems such as Debian / Ubuntu / Mint Linux / Fedora / CentOS etc. it is necessery to have some i386 libraries and other 32 bit things pre-installed and only then you can have a working copy of teamviewer on your Linux.

1. Installing i386 applications required for TeamViewer operation

– On Debian / Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Xubuntu Linux run below commands:

First we need to add the i386 architecture to be supported by Linux


dpkg –add-architecture i386
apt update


Then on Debian and other deb based Linux we need to install following libraries

# apt install libjpeg62-turbo:i386 wget gdebi-core


2. Download latest teamviewer version from TeamViewer website

– On Debian, Ubuntu and other deb based Linux distros.

Download latest teamviewer version and install it:


# wget




On CentOS, Fedora, OpenSuSE other RPM based distros:

Download the Teamviewer package and package signature using wget


# wget
# wget



3. Insteall teamviewer with gdebi (Simple Tool to install deb files)


# gdebi teamviewer_i386.deb

Remote control and meeting solution.
 TeamViewer provides easy, fast and secure remote access and meeting solutions
 to Linux, Windows PCs, Apple PCs and various other platforms,
 including Android and iPhone.
 TeamViewer is free for personal use.
 You can use TeamViewer completely free of charge to access your private
 computers or to help your friends with their computer problems.
 To buy a license for commercial use, please visit
 This package contains Free Software components.
 For details, see /opt/teamviewer/doc/license_foss.txt
Do you want to install the software package? [y/N]:y


On Fedora, CentOS, SuSE RPM based ones:


# rpm –import TeamViewer_Linux_PubKey.asc



# rpm -i teamviewer_12.0.xxxxx.i686.rpm


or if you face some failed dependencies you better use zypper that will download any missing teamviewer dependencies.


# zypper install teamviewer_12.0.xxxxx.i686.rpm




4. Start Teamviewer





linux:~$ teamviewer
CheckCPU: SSE2 support: yes
XRandRWait: No value set. Using default.
XRandRWait: Started by user.
Checking setup…
wine: configuration in '/home/hipo/.local/share/teamviewer12' has been updated.
Launching TeamViewer …
Launching TeamViewer GUI …


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What is this directory /run/user/1000 on Debian and Fedora GNU / Linux?

Monday, October 23rd, 2017


So what are these /run/user/1000, /run/user/0, /run/user109, /run/user/1000 showing in my df -h I'm I hacked or what?

root@noah:~# df -h|grep -i tmpfs
tmpfs 201M 22M 179M 11% /run
tmpfs 1001M 0 1001M 0% /dev/shm
tmpfs 5,0M 4,0K 5,0M 1% /run/lock
tmpfs 1001M 0 1001M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs 201M 0 201M 0% /run/user/0
tmpfs 201M 36K 201M 1% /run/user/1000
tmpfs 201M 16K 201M 1% /run/user/109


/run/user/$uid is created by pam_systemd and used for storing files used by running processes for that
user. These might be things such as your keyring daemon, pulseaudio, etc.

Prior to systemd, these applications typically stored their files in /tmp. They couldn't use a location in
/home/$user as home directories are often mounted over network filesystems, and these files should not be
shared among hosts. /tmp was the only location specified by the FHS which is local, and writable by all

However storing all these files in /tmp is problematic as /tmp is writable by everyone, and while you can
change the ownership & mode on the files being created, it's more difficult to work with.

However storing all these files in /tmp is problematic as /tmp is writable by everyone, and while you can
change the ownership & mode on the files being created, it's more difficult to work with.

So systemd came along and created /run/user/$uid.
This directory is local to the system and only
accessible by the target user. So applications looking to store their files locally no longer have to
worry about access control.

It also keeps things nice and organized. When a user logs out, and no active sessions remain, pam_systemd will wipe the /run/user/$uid directory out. With various files scattered around /tmp, you couldn't dothis.

Should mention that it is called $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR, documented at 8‌​tml.

What if: I have started a "background" computation process with nohup, and it saves its intermediate results/data in a temp file. Can I count on it not being wiped while the process is running, or it will be wiped, and the process started with nohup will loose its data? 

It's unlikely to be wiped, but /run/user is a tmpfs filesystem in debian, ubuntu and fedora, so it'll be limited.

What if the pidfile is a service running under root.
Should it's PID go under /var/run or /var/run/user/0 ?

If since there is no active sessions will it be removed? 

This directory contains system information data describing the system since it was booted.
Files under this directory must be cleared (removed or truncated as appropriate) at the beginning of the boot process.

The purposes of this directory were once served by /var/run. In general, programs may continue to use /var/run to fulfill the requirements set out for /run for the purposes of backwards

Programs which have migrated to use /run should cease their usage of /var/runexcept as noted in the section on /var/run.

Programs may have a subdirectory of /run; this is encouraged for programs that use more than one run-time file.

Users may also have a subdirectory of /run, although care must be taken to appropriately limit access rights to prevent unauthorized use of /run itself and other subdirectories.

In the case of the /run/user directory, is used by the different user services, like dconf, pulse,systemd, etc. that needs a place for their lock files and sockets. There are as many directories as
different users UID's are logged in the system.

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How to check Linux OS install date / How long ago was Linux installed

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

If you're sysadmin who inherited a few hundreds of Linux machines from a previous admin and you're in process of investigating how things were configured by the previous administrator one of the crucial things to find out might be

How Long ago was Linux installed?

Here is how to check the Linux OS install date.

The universal way nomatter the Linux distribution is to use fullowing command:


root@pcfreak:~# tune2fs -l /dev/sda1 | grep 'Filesystem created:'
Filesystem created:       Thu Sep  6 21:44:22 2012



Above command assumes the Linux's root partition / is installed on /dev/sda1 however if your case is different, e.g. the primary root partition is installed on /dev/sda2 or /dev/sdb1 / dev/sdb2 etc. just place the right first partition into the command.

If primary install root partition is /dev/sdb1 for example:

root@pcfreak:~# tune2fs -l /dev/sdb1 | grep 'Filesystem created:'


To find out what is the root partition of the Linux server installed use fdisk command:




root@pcfreak:~# fdisk -l


Disk /dev/sda: 465,8 GiB, 500107862016 bytes, 976773168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00051eda

Device     Boot     Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sda1  *         2048 965193727 965191680 460,2G 83 Linux
/dev/sda2       965195774 976771071  11575298   5,5G  5 Extended
/dev/sda5       965195776 976771071  11575296   5,5G 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 111,8 GiB, 120034123776 bytes, 234441648 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00000000


Other ways to check the Linux OS install date on Debian / Ubuntu / Mint etc. deb. based GNU / Linux


Deban based Linux distributions do create an initial /var/log/installer directory containing various install information such as hardware-summary, partition, initial installed deb packages, exact version of Linux distribution, and the way it was installed either it was installed from an ISO image, or it was network install etc.


root@pcfreak:~# ls -al /var/log/installer/
total 1228
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root   4096 sep  6  2012 ./
drwxr-xr-x 72 root root  12288 окт 22 06:26 ../
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root   4096 sep  6  2012 cdebconf/
-rw-r–r–  1 root root  17691 sep  6  2012 hardware-summary
-rw-r–r–  1 root root    163 sep  6  2012 lsb-release
-rw——-  1 root root 779983 sep  6  2012 partman
-rw-r–r–  1 root root  51640 sep  6  2012 status
-rw——-  1 root root 363674 sep  6  2012 syslog


If those directory is missing was wiped out by the previous administrator, to clear up traces of his previous work before he left job another possible way to find out exact install date is to check timestamp of /lost+found directory;

root@pcfreak:~# ls -ld /lost+found/
drwx—— 2 root root 16384 sep  6  2012 /lost+found//


Check OS Linux install date on (Fedora, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Oracle and other Redhat RPM based Distros)


[root@centos: ~]# rpm -qi basesystem
Name        : basesystem
Version     : 10.0
Release     : 7.el7
Architecture: noarch
Install Date: Mon 02 May 2016 19:20:58 BST
Group       : System Environment/Base
Size        : 0
License     : Public Domain
Signature   : RSA/SHA256, Tue 01 Apr 2014 14:23:16 BST, Key ID     199e2f91fd431d51
Source RPM  : basesystem-10.0-7.el7.src.rpm
Build Date  : Fri 27 Dec 2013 17:22:15 GMT
Build Host  :
Relocations : (not relocatable)
Packager    : Red Hat, Inc. <>
Vendor      : Red Hat, Inc.
Summary     : The skeleton package which defines a simple Red Hat Enterprise Linux system
Description :
Basesystem defines the components of a basic Red Hat Enterprise Linux
system (for example, the package installation order to use during
bootstrapping). Basesystem should be in every installation of a system,
and it should never be removed.


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Check TOP Memory and CPU use with ps command on Linux

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017


There are plenty of software to check the GNU / Linux Server Load bottlenecks such as top / tload / slabtop / htop but for shell scripting purposes or perl  / python / ruby automation Dev Ops scripts and various Web and Middleware Tasks it is always better to know how to print list the TOP Memory and CPU consumption processes on Linux.

Below are two easy commands you can use to check out, which process is the most memory hungry and which running daemon (MySQL / PostgreSQL / Apache whatever) is the overloading your *nix server CPU.

TOP Memory use sorted by process memory max consumption


ps aux  | awk '{print $6/1024 " MBtt" $11}'  | sort -n


TOP CPU use sorted y running daemon

ps -eo pcpu,pid,user,args | sort -k 1 -r | head -10

Enjoy 🙂

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How to install / add new root certificates on Debian, Ubuntu, Mint Linux

Saturday, October 21st, 2017


How to add / Installing a root/CA Certificate on Debian, Ubuntu, Mint Linux


 Because of various auditing failures and other security issues, the CAcert root certificate set is slowly disappearing from the Ubuntu and Debian ‘ca-certificates’ package.

That's really tricky because if you're a system administrator or have a bunch of programmers whose needs is to install a new set of root certificates for their freshly develped Application or you have to make a corporate certificates added to debian rootca, then the good news is it is quite easy to install new certificates to deb based distributions.


Given a CA certificate file foo.crt, follow these steps to install it on Debian / Ubuntu:

    Create a directory for extra CA certificates in /usr/share/ca-certificates:


    debian:~# mkdir /usr/share/ca-certificates/extra-certificates


    Copy the CA .crt file to this directory:


    debian:~# cp foo.crt /usr/share/ca-certificates/extra-certificates/foo.crt


    Let Debian / Ubuntu add the .crt file's path relative to /usr/share/ca-certificates to /etc/ca-certificates.conf (the file lists certificates that you wish to use or to ignore to be installed in /etc/ssl/certs)


    debian:~# dpkg-reconfigure ca-certificates


In case you want to include a .pem file to the list of trustable certificates on Debian / Ubuntu, it must first be converted to a .crt file first, you can do that with:


    debian:~# openssl x509 -in foo.pem -inform PEM -out foo.crt


Lets say you want to add some custom Root certificate for exapmle




   debian:~# mkdir /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/
   debian:~# cd /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/
   debian:~# mkdir /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/
   debian:~# wget -P /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/




Then once again update the ca certificates bundle

   debian:~# update-ca-certificates


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How to turn keyboard backlight on GNU / Linux, keyboard no backlight solution

Friday, October 20th, 2017


If you're a GNU / Linux user and you happen to buy a backlighted keyboard, some nice new laptop whose keyboard supports the more and more modern keyboard growing or if you happen to install a GNU / Linux for a Gamer friend no matter the Linux distribution, you might encounter sometimes  problem even in major Linux distributions Debian / Ubuntu / Mint / Fedora with keyboard backlight not working.

Lets say you buy a Devastator II backlighted keyboard or any other modern keyboard you plug it into the Linux machine and there is no nice blinking light coming out of the keyboard, all the joy is gone yes I know. The free software coolness would have been even more grandiose if your keyboard was shiny and glowing in color / colors 🙂

But wait, there is hope for your joy to be made complete.

To make the keyboard backlight switch on Just issue commands:


xmodmap -e 'add mod3 = Screen_Lock'


# Turn on the keyboard bright lamps
xset led on

# Turns off the keyboard bright lamps
xset led off

If you want to make the keyboard backlight be enabled permanent the easiest solution is to

– add the 3 command lines to /etc/rc.local

E.g. to do so open /etc/rc.local and before exit 0 command just add the lines:


vim /etc/rc.local


xmodmap -e 'add mod3 = Screen_Lock'

# Turn on the keyboard bright lamps
xset led on

# Turns off the keyboard bright lamps
xset led off

If you prefer to have the keyboard colorful backlight enable and disabled from X environment on lets say GNOME , here is how to make yourself an icon that enabled and disables the colors.

That's handy because at day time it is a kind of meaningless for the keyboard to glow.

Here is the shell script:

sleep 1
xset led 3
xmodmap -e 'add mod3 = Scroll_Lock'

I saved it as /home/hipo/scripts/

(don't forget to make it executable!, to do so run):


chmod +x /home/hipo/scripts/

Then create  the .desktop file at /etc/xdg/autostart/backlight.desktop so that it runs the new shell script, like so:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Devastator Backlight

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Gnome Appearance modify command in Linux / How to change theme using command line in GNOME

Friday, October 13th, 2017



1. Gnome Appearance modify command  in Linux instead – Intro

It is always handy to do stuff in console and as a GNU / Linux long time GNOME user I found it interesting to share here some nice tips on how Theme could be changed using command line.

Why would you ever want to change themes through console / Terminal? Well lets say you have to administrate remotely a bunch of GNU / Linux Desktop machines and you have to change themes simultaneously on a multiple hosts, changing theme using the command line then comes really handy.

Besides that in GNOME 3.X.X branch with Unity (yackes) if you have chosen to use GNOME (Flashback /Fallback) or Mate you might find it difficult to change some specifics of the default theme, that is especially true for GNOME (flashback) Fallback like me.

If you heard GNOME Flashback but you never used i and wonder what it is I think it is worthy to say few words about it:

GNOME Flashback is a session for GNOME 3 which was initially called "GNOME Fallback", and shipped as a stand-alone session in Debian and Ubuntu. It provides a similar user experience to the GNOME 2.x series sessions. The differences to the MATE project is that GNOME Flashback uses GTK+ 3 and tries to follow the current GNOME development by integrating recent changes of the GNOME libraries. The development currently lags behind a little but a lot of progress has been made in bug fixing lately. So in short GNOME Fallback is for anyone who wants to stick to GNOME 2.X interface but doesn't want to stick to Mate and wants still to use some more graphical goodies that comes with GNOME 3.

In MATE nowadays there is possibility to relatively Easy add / change appearance and add new themes, there is also the graphical tool called Appearance accessible via mate-control-center command or menus. Using Appearance you can modify themes and Window Decorations, however there is much more that can be done or tuned missing in the MATE GUI using a couple of GNOME desktop environment native commands.


2. List All Installed GNOME themes on Debian / Ubuntu Linux



$ ls -1 /usr/share/themes/|sed -e 's#/##g'


The All system installed theme location directory /usr/share/themes for RPM Linux-es Fedoras / CentOS etc. are identication



3. Change GTK Theme

Below commands are for GNOME 3 based desktop environments this includes also any other GNOME based Graphical Environments or components of GNOME 3 such as (Ubuntu Unity, GNOME 3 Shell/Classic, Cinnamon), and even the old GNOME 2 desktop.

In GNOME 2 it was possible to set various variables directly from gconf-editor including GTK Themes but in GNOME 3 somehow this is no more … so to do we need to use some cryptic commands or use gnome-tweak-tool or MyUnity (Ubuntu Linux users with Unity) but configuration that can be made with them is unfortunately partial so in any case knowing below commands is a necessity to be able to tune up nicely your Linux Gnome Desktop.

And yes it is crazy why on Earth gnome developers scaped out the configuration from gconf-editor and left us with this user unfriendly method. Could it be that someone (Like the big corporations) has the interest to ruin Free Software?? What do you think…

Unity, GNOME 3 Shell/Classic, Cinnamon

In Unity GNOME 3 Shell / Classic and Cinnamon (the default Debian graphical env).

Before we start I recommend you check out what is the current installed and enabled theme, you might want decide to keep it after checking the number of themes available. To check your current installed GNOME theme run:


gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme

You see I have 'Adwaita' theme as a default.
Next lets change the gnome GTK theme interface.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme "Menta"


MATE (In Linux Mate the current fork of GNOME 2 for hardcore GNOME 2 users)


mateconftool-2 –type=string –set /desktop/mate/interface/gtk_theme "Menta"


GNOME 2 (In native GNOME 2 if you still own some old machines with old Debian / Ubuntu / Fedoras etc.



gconftool-2 –type=string –set /desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_theme "Menta"


4. Change WINDOW THEME (Metacity)

Unity, GNOME 3 Classic (Metacity), GNOME 3 Shell (Metacity > Mutter)


gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme "Menta"

Cinnamon (Metacity -> Muffin)


gconftool –type=string –set /desktop/cinnamon/windows/theme "Menta"


Note: Cinnamon must be restarted for the change to take effect.

GNOME 2 (In Gnome 2 with Metacity)


gconftool-2 –type=string –set /apps/metacity/general/theme "Menta"


MATE (Metacity)


mateconftool-2 –type=string –set /apps/marco/general/theme "Menta"


Change SHELL THEME (In Gnome Shell and Cinnamon)

GNOME Shell (user-theme extension must be enabled)

gsettings set name "Menta"



gsettings set org.cinnamon.theme name "Menta"



Unity, GNOME 3 Shell/Classic, Cinnamon (Change GNOME3 Color scheme)



gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-color-scheme "bg_color:#e9efe9;fg_color:#444444;base_color:#ffffff;text_color:#333333;selected_bg_color:#6666cc;selected_fg_color:#eeeeee;tooltip_bg_color:#222222;tooltip_fg_color:#dfcfcf;link_color:#cc0099;"

Reset color (if you don't like it):

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-color-scheme ""


MATE (Mate set color scheme)



mateconftool-2 –type=string –set /desktop/mate/interface/gtk_color_scheme "bg_color:#e9efe9;fg_color:#444444;base_color:#ffffff;text_color:#333333;selected_bg_color:#6666cc;selected_fg_color:#eeeeee;tooltip_bg_color:#222222;tooltip_fg_color:#dfcfcf;link_color:#cc0099;"



Reset color :


mateconftool-2 –type=string –set /desktop/mate/interface/gtk_color_scheme ""


6. GNOME 2 (Again for the old GNome 2 machines to change the GTK Color scheme)


gconftool-2 –type=string –set /desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_color_scheme "bg_color:#e9efe9;fg_color:#444444;base_color:#ffffff;text_color:#333333;selected_bg_color:#6666cc;selected_fg_color:#eeeeee;tooltip_bg_color:#222222;tooltip_fg_color:#dfcfcf;link_color:#cc0099;"


Reset color:


gconftool-2 –type=string –set /desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_color_scheme ""


What about colors, well the #444444 and #22222 and #eeeeee, #333333 seen as color codes in above examples can easily decrypted if you don't know them using a tiny tool called gcolor2
The tool is installable on most Linux distributions with a simple apt-get install gcolor2 or yum install gcolor the tool is convenient and a must have for anyone using Linux for basic design or graphic operations with some program as GIMP / Krita / Inkscape / Vectr / Karbon etc.

All gcolor2 does is to make easy for you to get HTML color codes and convert existing ones into colors for you, here is shot:



While talking about setting color another interesting Graphical tool related to article, that gives you abilities to change colors in GNOME is gnome-color-choose, the tool is really awesome and allows you to do many of the color tunings shown in above examples

# apt-get install –yes gnome-color-chooser

And finally for the gnome theme hungry people, here is a great bonus. If you need a ton of shiny new themes as possibility to set up on your GNOME download and install The Ultimate Edition Themes deb (Debian / Ubuntu Mint) etc. collection (mirrored):

Debian and other deb based distro users can easily download and install with:

linux:~# dpkg -i ultimate-edition-themes-.0.0.7_all.deb


Other Linux users such as Fedora ones and Slackware users (if anyone on Slack uses Gnome since KDE is default by default there), use alien tool to install it or directly open the file with Midnight Commander (mc) and copy the files to the /usr/share/themes dir.


This article is possible thanks to Change Theme Using Command Line in GNOME (Linux) command line examples are taken from there.

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