How to Create Custom Color Theme

You can create your own custom themes by overriding existing ones.

You can only change colors in themes. Changing element sizes won’t be possible due to quirky GTK+ API.


  1. Take a look at how built-in themes are written
  2. Create a new theme dir in ~/.config/ulauncher/user-themes/<your_theme_name>
  3. Copy files from existing theme in there
  4. Change name and display_name in manifest.json
  5. Open Ulauncher Preferences and select your theme
  6. Edit colors in CSS files
  7. Tell Ulauncher to re-read theme files by running kill -HUP <PID>
  8. Press Ctrl+Space (or your hotkey) to check the result
  9. Repeat 6 - 8 until you get a desired result

You might find these two wiki entries on GTK+ CSS useful:


Use the following template:

  "manifest_version": "1",
  "name": "adwaita",
  "display_name": "Adwaita",
  "extend_theme": "light",
  "css_file": "theme.css",
  "css_file_gtk_3.20+": "theme-gtk-3.20.css",
  "matched_text_hl_colors": {
    "when_selected": "#99ccff",
    "when_not_selected": "#99ccff"
  • manifest_version - version of manifest.json file. Current version is “1”
  • name - used to uniquely identify theme
  • display_name - is displayed in a list of theme options in preferences
  • extend_theme - can be null or a name of an existing theme you’d like to extend
  • css_file - name of your css file
  • css_file_gtk_3.20+ - name css file for GTK+ v3.20 or higher
  • matched_text_hl_colors - Colors of characters in name or description of an item that match with your query. Must contain when_selected and when_not_selected colors.


All fields except extend_theme are required and cannot be empty.