Gnome 40 gnome-shell Theme Issue

Greetings lovely EndeavourOS community,

This is my first post, and full disclosure I’m currently on PopOS 20.04, but if you’ll bare with me I have been considering EndeavourOS for the past couple of weeks (seems like the best Arch based distro to try!) which I have been running the latest EndeavourOS in Boxes under the Gnome DE. I still have a bit to learn, but I’m enjoying it very much so far! I haven’t installed EndeavourOS natively yet as I’m familiarizing and learning about pacman and Arch before I fully dive right in, so I do hope that it’s okay that I am able to post questions/concerns here, if not please do let me know, thank you.

Now enough waffling, but I am curious if anyone else has issues with themes specifically with the Gnome 40 DE. I know generally each new major Gnome update does cause themes to break, but it’s usually patched/fixed in a few days/weeks. Now I don’t mean the GTK themes (aka how applications look), those generally look and function just fine currently under Gnome 40. I’m only specifically referring to the gnome-shell themes (aka when you click Activities and go into the Overview). For a lot of the themes that I have tested i.e., Yaru, Yaru-Colors, pop-gtk-theme (with pop-gnome-shell-theme too), and a few others, the dock in Overview and the background in Overview aren’t lined up properly and generally looks like the theme isn’t synced up properly. I am aware that themes like Yaru and Pop are based on distros that aren’t even currently on Gnome 40, so perhaps that’s why they look broken, but I wasn’t sure if it’s just because I’m using it in Boxes that makes it look off because I know virtual environments aren’t the ideal setting.

I have a quick screenshot below to show what I am referring to. The background in Overview doesn’t line up with the dock and the app indicators look a bit off as well like they should be in part of the Dock, not under it. I don’t know if there’s a type of fix for this? Or if simply waiting for the Yaru or Pop devs to fix the theme? Or if perhaps installing the theme natively vs in Boxes would make things different or not? I know Ubuntu/Pop will get Gnome 40 later this year, but not until October (<gasps!> go far away I know!). Having a broken theme until then is not quite ideal, and I’m not a huge fan of Adwaita which is the only theme I tested that works just fine. I would prefer to use Yaru or Pop theme (they are my favorites!), than use a different theme as a workaround. But I am reaching out in the hopes that perhaps there is an answer out there somewhere. I’ve search these forums before posting so I do hope it’s not a duplicate post and I’ve searched over on Reddit as well, but haven’t quite found the answers that helped make sense to me.

Does anyone have a Yaru theme or Yaru variant or Pop theme working fine in Gnome 40 or is it broken for everyone I wonder?

If anyone does have a Gnome 40 gnome-shell theme (ideally Yaru/Pop) working in the Overview, please feel free to share a quick screenshot so I may see how it is supposed to look, I’m always curious what others are using.

My apologizes if I rambled on a bit too much, but I do thank you for taking the time to read my post and I appreciate any answers and discussions into this matter and hope to have many more to come in this lovely community!

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Welcome to the forum! :smile:

The latest versions of Gnome seem to be a bit unstable at times. I’m not using Gnome, so you’ll have to relay on others to help with Gnome. Fortunately we have lots of Gnome users here.

Looks like you want to use Gnome. As there are other DEs available, I’d recommend to give Xfce a try too. The offline install version of our Xfce is nicely themed. The online Xfce is vanilla Xfce, and may not be for people who are looking for nice theming.

Xfce is known to be very stable for long times, and even the new Xfce releases have been fairly bug free. But note that history does not guarantee flawless experience with new releases… :wink:



I run a fairly plain Gnome DE. Here is a screenshot of the activities overview for my setup (with all extensions turned off). I am not sure I am seeing the difference between this and your screenshot? I read your description a few times, and I am honestly not sure that I see anything I would think is off about your screenshot?

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Thank you for the warm welcome, I’m glad to become a part of the forums here and the lovely EndeavourOS community.

I have used Xfce in the past, but ever since Fedora 20 Heisenbug I’ve been using Gnome as my preferred DE, but I do appreciate your suggestion, I know Xfce is indeed a great lightweight DE. I actually used to use it as well back in my Manjaro days many years ago. But being with Gnome for years now, I know after a new release there’ll always be a few hiccups along the way, usually none of them are ever deal breakers though thankfully.

I am simply curious how it’s working out for others, and it appears for some there are some growing pains for themes needing updates for Gnome 40 and that’s to be expected. I think I was just hoping that fixes were already out, but alas every theme is different so it’ll take some time. Looks like I’ll have to be more patient for a while!

Quick side note btw, but if I didn’t use Gnome, then I would opt for Budgie or KDE Plasma. Though with the 5.22 update out now, KDE does look like another stellar release worth considering. The only slight drawback is going from some GTK apps to Qt apps, but I just may test that in Boxes as well to see how it’s coming along this weekend. It’ll give me something to do, heh heh!

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Thank you for your reply and for posting a screenshot. I’ll try to do my best to point out and explain the differences between our two screenshots. Firstly, my icons in the dock are not centered horizontally within the dock like yours are. My icons are a few pixels lower. This is an issue that then causes the running app indictor, that little dot below your open Firefox, to appear lower and outside of my dock area, however your running app indicator dot is within the dock as it should be for continuity.

Another difference is the background of the overview. This one is a bit tough to explain, but essentially a portion behind the dock in my screenshot almost has a dock behind the dock, but stretched out all the way horizontally. You’ll notice this as my background in the Overview (not my wallpaper but the grey color behind it), has two different grey colors, just look to the left and right side of my dock and compare it to yours and you’ll see that my Overview background is almost like two toned, which is not how it is supposed to be.

These might appear subtle, but they are nonetheless breakages in the theme. Also our differences are I’m running Yaru GTK theme and Yaru gnome-shell theme, while you are running the Arc GTK theme and the default Adwaita gnome-shell theme, so by using Adwaita, you won’t see any theme issues in your Overview area.

I recently read that the Yaru-Colors dev is unable to update their theme to support Gnome 40 until Ubuntu’s own Yaru theme gains Gnome 40 support since it’s based off the former. I know Ubuntu Yaru is working on it and porting stuff to GTK4 as well, but since the next Ubuntu release isn’t until October, a fix might not happen for a while now sadly.

It looks more than likely I’ll have to shop around for a theme that includes Gnome 40 support for GTK apps and gnome-shell. Not ideal, of course, but it’s a compromise I can accept. I’ll just have to wait patiently for a few months till the themes are updated and until then find a theme that works now, since I’m not really a fan of Adwaita.

Hopefully I was able to clear some of that up for you to make more sense. If not feel free to let me know, I’m on mobile now but I can post another screenshot highlighting the issues I was pointing out since that would make it far easier to see I’m sure.

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It looks like it’s lined up properly on your screenshot

As far as the little dots indicating running apps, I just tried a few different shells and the placement changes with each. Mine were below the dock too, then when I switched to the arc dark shell they were inside the dock. Another shell made them into lines instead. It looks like it’s based on the code from each shell and not Gnome or distro specific

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Scotty_Trees - I can see the differences you have pointed out. I did some searching on 'buntu forums and came across this article: How To Install Gnome 40 On Ubuntu 21.04

I skipped to the part with instructions on how to pull Yaru from git and build it locally. (One note, the article talks about switching to a gnome-shell-40 branch, but it looks like that branch has already been merged to master). I followed these steps from the article:

git clone
cd yaru
meson build
sudo ninja -C build install

then rebooted and selected the Yaru session. I had to go to Tweaks to select the individual Yaru theme components, but came up with the following which looks very Ubuntu-ish/Yaru-ish … I’ll leave my desktop this way for a few days to see if any issues arise …

you can see details of neofetch better here …


All of these Gnome 40 posts is making me want to give it a shot lol. :thinking: :grin:


Ah nice glad you were able to see the differences that I pointed out. It was a bit hard to explain them for sure, but I appreciate you taking the time to look at it for me on your own install. I checked out the link you posted that installs the Yaru Session and I was able to install it successfully no problem, rebooted, selected Yaru Session and used Gnome-Tweaks to change the theme to the default Yaru, since it still had my previous theme the yaru-purple-dark theme, but once I changed that it look exactly like your screenshot. But more importantly with your post the GTK theme AND the gnome-shell theme all work and look as they should in Gnome 40 which is great. That article you posted came out just a few days ago too, so it’s a good thing you were able to find that.

I installed a few small random programs to test the theme and so far Yaru theme works just fine. Like I mentioned I am running this in Boxes at the moment, I did experience one crash/freeze where I was in the Activities overview and it just froze and after maybe 5-10 seconds, it just kicked me back to the login screen where I had to sign in again and logged into a fresh desktop. Not sure if that’s because of Yaru or because of Boxes. But if you do come across and freezes or crashing (particularly in the Activities/Overview are), please do let me know, otherwise I’ll just assume its only an issue in Boxes for now.

I am curious about one final thing, but before I forget I just want to say thank you very much for taking the time to help me out with this, it is greatly appreciated. Having a theme that looks and works well just makes everything feel that much better! But I am curious, if I installed EndeavourOS on my laptop and added the Yaru session by cloning the git, at some point in the future Ubuntu is gonna have a Yaru theme that officially supports Gnome 40, so I don’t know if I’d need this indefinitely, but it’s for sure invaluable for right now in the meantime. So if I wanted to remove it, would you be able to tell me the commands I’d need to know to remove (or purge?) the yaru git clone, the meson build packages, and if I need to uninstall anything ninja build related? Would appreciate that also so I could know just in case.

I’m gonna also use the Yaru Session for a while and see how it acts and feels, hopefully it isn’t too buggy and if things work out all right, I’ll have no other reason to hold me back from installing EndeavourOS onto my laptop hehe. Let’s hope this works out good for us in testing this out! Appreciate any future feedback into the matter.

Also, below is a few quick screenshots just to show that thanks to your help I was able to get it looking perfectly, thanks again!


To remove your yaru-git shell, first go to Tweaks and select whatever shell and themes you will be switching to as your alternative, then run the last command from the install but choosing uninstall instead of install … like this

sudo ninja -C build uninstall

logout, and log back in selecting the default shell you were previously using (for me it’s just the default Gnome). You should be back to the ‘normal’ world.

BTW - Shameless sefl-promotion … check out the Espresso extension :slight_smile:

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Thanks very much, that’s definitely good to know! I do have another question actually though. After building the yaru-git-theme/shell, does it get automatically updated in any kind of way? Or do I need to check their github from time to time and then re-download and re-build the packages like before? Not quite sure how it all works in comparison to the standard arch repos (ie community, extras, etc.).

And I’ll definitely give you extension a go! A use about a good solid ten extensions or so to make Gnome work/look how I prefer, I do try to not go overboard, but some things like middle click to mute, just perfection, GSConnect, Scrovol, and a few others are just too good not to have!

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You are correct that building Yaru from the git repository is a somewhat static solution. If you wanted to remain current with the latest Yaru you’d have to pull the latest from github and re-build like before. You might want to use this approach to hold you over until Ubuntu gets to a Gnome 40 variant. At that point, I would suspect the assorted yaru-based themes on GnomeLook to be updated by their maintainers and you could choose to switch to one of those shell/theme combos if you wanted.

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Yeah I think that’ll more or less be the plan moving forward. I’ll use this Yaru git Session (so far still no bug breaking issues to report which is great), and I’ll periodically check for updates (prob once a week). Now I assume it may be a while, I’m thinking a few months from now or perhaps even as long as till Ubuntu 21.10 gets released before a new official Yaru Gnome 40 theme is out in the wild. But for now I think this will more than get the job done perfectly for the time being. I know the dev that does Yaru-Colors has mention they won’t be able to update their theme until Ubuntu Yaru finally releases their update, so it may take a while. But this Yaru git Session is the next best thing so honestly I can’t complain! Thanks again for all your help and answers, I have appreciated it very much! EndeavourOS definitely has a great community.

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