Whisker Menu Dark Theme

The Whisker Menu has become the default menu in Xubuntu 14.04. I really like the Whisker menu. The Whiskers menu is one of the first things I installed on a XFCE desktop and has been since I discovered it a couple of years ago. However, the default look of the menu is not that exciting. The default theme is a very light gray almost Windows 2000 like and this do not look good with my favorite GTK theme Numix Dark.

As of Xubuntu 14.04 the Numix theme is included in the default installation. However, I do not like the brown/orange selection color. Thankfully, Xubuntu includes a nifty little tool in the settings menu called “Theme Configuration”. I use this tool to change the selection color to a light gray that I think look good with the Numix theme.


To change the theme of Whisker menu we need to edit the ~/.gtkrc-2.0. If you want to change the selection color, it is important to do that first because the theme configuration tool resets the ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file.

Add the following code to ~/.gtkrc-2.0.



Save and restart or logout and the whisker menu should look like this.


If you want the Whisker menu to look different just play with the color values and logout and back in again to see the changes.

If you like the brown/orange selection color Numix uses you could change the value of ACTIVE and PRELIGHT.

Save, and restart or logout and the whisker menu should look like this.


This is how I make my Whisker menu look good with the Numix theme on XFCE.



  • Steve

    August 13, 2014 at 17:14

    I am running a fresh install of Manjaro 0.8.10 XFCE and would like to customize my whisker menu.
    I did not have the .gtkrc-2.0 file, so I created it. where exactly does it go? I am using the numix-frost theme and window border and wanted whisker to match.

    thanks for your guide.

    • Martin

      August 13, 2014 at 17:27

      As shown in the blog post the file path is ~/.gtkrc-2.0. The ~/ is equal to your home folder. Therefore, the .gtkrc-2.0 should be in your home folder. I have only testet this on a Debian based distro (SolydX and Xubuntu). Let me know how it turns out.

      • Steve

        August 14, 2014 at 02:36

        Thanks Martin, I had everything in the correct spot, but I didn’t have compositing turned on. When I did and changed the theme and back it switched the whisker menu! Great work

  • linuxkumpel

    October 24, 2014 at 16:40

    Martin, thanks for your work. Today I change in Linux Lite 2.0. Use MediterranianLight and Faenza. All it’s nice.

  • linuxkumpel

    October 27, 2014 at 21:12

    Change Whiskermenu in Manjaro with compiz. You need create file .gtkrc-2.0 and save in home. I think, this way go too,if not found file .gtkrc-2.0 in home.

    • martinronn

      June 30, 2015 at 12:41

      ~/ is the home directory. So if you are in the home folder already the file you need to create is “.gtkrc-2.0”.