Beautify Fedora 36 and GNOME 42

I might flesh this out for a full article at some point, but for now, I thought I’d share a few slight changes I have made to make GNOME 42 a little more integrated and a little prettier:

Better Font Rendering

See more here.

On 1080p or less displays, the GTK4 font rendering can look poor. This can be simply fixed by editing ~/.config/gtk-4.0/settings.ini and adding:

[Settings]
gtk-hint-font-metrics=1

Better Theming

Currently, the theming between GTK3 and GTK4 apps can look a little odd. This probably doesn’t bother most people, but if you are like me, this most likely bothers you immensely.

Luckily, there is a pretty decent fix for that. adw-gtk3 aims to create a more consistent experience between libadwaita/GTK4 apps and GTK3 apps, and it does a pretty good job!

You can either install from source, or I have created a COPR repo for ease of use. You can mnually switch the theme with gnome-tweaks, but I find it works best with the extension Night Theme Switcher. Just set the adw-gtk3 themes as your legacy GTK themes and it works great!



GTK3 and 4 apps looking better together.


Spooky dark LibreOffice

What customizations have you made with your GNOME 42 desktop?

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Great post! I’ve never been a fan of Adwaita (I’ve always used a theme, the last few years I’ve used Arc), but the gtk4/libadwaita stuff finally looks pretty good, so I decided to go vanilla now. It’s frustrating that there’s a discrepancy between gtk3 and 4 look and feel, but this is a nice workaround.

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An aside, for those curious:

There are great reasons for the inconsistencies between GTK3 and GTK4 + libadwaita outlined at this thread on Twitter:

The gist of the thread, in two selected tweets:

I hope people can see why this is not good enough to be shipped by default. Again, it’s fine for a custom theme and arguably some of these things are fairly small issues, but the expectations for custom themes are completely different than for a part of the platform.

We could update the colors, for example, but the larger changes require careful consideration. We can’t break existing apps and we can’t ask them to make changes. We also can’t have app-specific overrides.

There are many examples, with screenshots, in the thread where adw-gtk3 had some issues. Please read it to understand why.

I do see Alexander’s points and agree.

That said, I have also been using the things suggested on the original post (adw-gtk3 theme and Night Theme Switcher) for a few weeks and I agree with the thread starter, @nickavem: The theme is great.

Of course some things don’t render ideally in some apps (and adw-gtk3 has some custom workarounds to “fix” issues in some apps), but they’re corner cases — and in general, the theme backport is pretty fantastic, at least from an end-user point of view from someone who specifically opts into using the theme.


Additionally, the adw-gtk3 theme (both dark and light) are available in Flathub for flatpak apps too.

They’re org.gtk.Gtk3theme.adw-gtk3 and org.gtk.Gtk3theme.adw-gtk3-dark. If you type flatpak update, it should install the theme you currently have selected (but if you’re using the light one, it won’t grab the dark and vice versa).

You can install both with:

flatpak install org.gtk.Gtk3theme.adw-gtk3 org.gtk.Gtk3theme.adw-gtk3-dark
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Thank you for making this post. The desktop looks a lot better with a consistent theme.
I also went ahead and themed Firefox with “Firefox GNOME theme”. This addition should round it off pretty well.

Does anyone know if I can go the other way around with the theme? I hate the new theme so much, while the old was perfect.