Change colour scheme/theme on Librem 5?

In PureOS 9 Amber, I was able to install gnome-tweaks on my Librem 5, which enabled me to change the colour scheme to a dark one, as is my preference.

When I tried the same under PureOS 10 Byzantium, installing gnome-tweaks resulted in the installation of gdm, which made the phone unusable without a mouse and keyboard. Today I decided to have another go at this and I realised that gdm was only being installed due to a “recommends” relationship from gnome-shell, so I was able to install gnome-tweaks without gdm. But gnome-tweaks doesn’t seem to contain an option to change the theme any more, so that was a fat lot of good.

A post by uzanto clued me in to gsettings:

It turns out that if you want the Adwaita-dark theme, then you can just do
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme "Adwaita-dark"

It would be nice if there was a GUI way to do this, but since I tend to set the theme once and then forget it, this is no big deal for me. (Assuming there are no compatibility issues with the theme, that is.)

To change it back, it’s
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme "Adwaita"

Presumably I could install other themes and enable them this way, but Adwaita-dark works for me. I seem to remember there being some settings for contrast and other such details, but I haven’t investigated those as the defaults are working for me.

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There is one that is used by postmarketos and manjaro on the PinePhone PRo

But I just use dconf-editor that is a graphical way to use gsettings

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Thank you – dconf-editor is pure gold!

Do you know if there are any problems with Tweaks or Goodies before I install them on my Librem5?
I wanted to find out before installing it and ending up with a bug. Anyway, I don’t see Tweaks in PureOS Store so I’ll have to install it with the Terminal.

At least that will warn you about the additional packages that will get installed.

It seems as if installing tweaks is a bad idea - either because it will break your system or because it won’t solve the problem that you are trying to solve. Right?

Just to report my experience, Tweaks didn’t cause any problems for me, although it doesn’t adapt without an adjustment such as can be done using the new Mobile Settings, which makes the display tiny, and it does have an “Appearance”/“Themes” category which offers dark and high contrast themes. You have to turn the screen to landscape view to see it.

I checked my package list, and I do have gdm3 installed.

I’m showing GNOME Tweaks in the Software store, but I don’t remember if I installed it that way or from the terminal.

You could make your own app for setting a theme:

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In my original post, the command
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme "Adwaita-dark"
was sufficient to apply a dark colour scheme to pretty much everything.

But since then, certain apps, including Calls, Chatty and Contacts, have been updated and the gtk-theme setting alone no longer darkens them.

It is necessary to also indicate a dark colour scheme preference:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface color-scheme "prefer-dark"

Then everything is dark again.

I haven’t tried installing Gnome Tweaks again. When I mark it for installation in aptitude, the relationship to gnome-shell is no longer merely “recommends” and it now insists on pulling in gnome-shell and gdm3. Makes sense, I suppose; it is Gnome Tweaks, after all.

Based on @amarok’s experience, I’d guess that, if I proceed with the installation, it won’t set gdm3 as the default display manager and turn my phone into a desktop. But it just seems messy to me when I can run a couple of gsettings commands instead.

My intended meaning was something like “I anticipate that some people might be disappointed that there isn’t a convenient GUI way to do this, and I suppose they might have a point, but personally I’m contented with this method. (Sorry folks.)”


Yes! Outstanding!

Now… if only we could get the Purism forums to go dark.


There’s an option somewhere, mine is dark.

This is from android:

Tap the little icon in the top right that has your letter in a circle (mine is G in an orangeish circle), then tap your user name at the top of the menu that appears. Tap “Preferences”. You will see two drop downs near the top, tap the one on the right and select “Interface” and then choose the dark theme.


Ah, there it is! The forum header is hard to read, but the rest is beautiful. Thank you!