How to Darken the Background of Nemo

  6 years ago

It is highly desirable to change the lamentable blinding white background of Nemo to a gentle, soft black (#000000). Fortunately this change requires a mere ten minutes worth of time, if one knows how, and this tutorial shows how.

There is no GUI at this time to make the change. We must use the terminal and the text editor. If you feel comfortable doing so, then the following may be helpful. If not, then this trick may be reserved for a later time. is the forum thread one must read, and caribriz is the helpful and kind person that offered the key information, although others may prove helpful depending on the needs of the seeker.

The chosen theme does not matter. All that is needed is to follow caribriz's instructions regarding two edits that must be made to the source code of the chosen theme.

I record the relevant information here:


This will only change Nemo's window background color to black, and the text under the icons to white.
As far as I know, it doesn't change anything else in the theme.

This is specific to Linux Mint 17 (and 17.1/17.2/17.3) Cinnamon Nemo file manager -

It probably won't work for previous/future versions or LM Cinnamon or Nemo, as the theme and gtk version changes with newer releases.

Note that I am no expert - and it may not be exactly what you want.

Go to /usr/share/themes
Copy the original Mint-X folder (or if preferred eg. Mint-X-Aqua or other color)

Go to /home folder
Click View > Show Hidden Files (or just press Ctrl+H)
If .themes folder is not already there - create it - and note the dot in the name of the folder

Open .themes folder, paste in the copy of Mint-X folder
Rename Mint-X folder to eg. Mint-X-2

Open ~/.themes/Mint-X-2/gtk-3.0/apps
Open file cinnamon-applications.css

add these lines at top of Nemo section:

NemoWindow .view {
    background-color: #000000;
    color: #ffffff;

Save the file.

In Themes > Controls - choose Mint-X-2
(Note: If using LM17 Cinnamon base version (not 17.1, 17.2 or 17.3) - you go to Themes > Other settings > Controls).

Use the Themes utility in Cinnamon to change to your theme.

This should work for Nemo's [b]Icon View[/b] and [b]Compact View[/b], but there is still a problem with [b]List View[/b], so you need to do this extra step so List View also displays the same black background/white text:

Go to
Open file gtk-widgets.css
Find the Treeview section (near the bottom of the file) - at end of Treeview section, before Viewport section

"comment out" these lines - make it look like this - the text will turn blue in the file when you do this:

/*GtkTreeView row:nth-child(even),
GtkTreeView row:nth-child(odd) {
    background-color: @theme_base_color;

Save file


gloriousigor 6 years ago

To find a desired hex color, I recommend installing GTK2-based Gcolor from Software Manager. That wonderful and powerful utility can sample any color on the desktop, anywhere, and tell the hex code. (*The modern GTK3 utility that purports to do the same thing makes no sense to me.)

Gcolor is extremely useful for web dev too.

Hammer459 6 years ago

Note that you can set any combination of colours you want by specifying the corresponding hex code. There are lots of sites showing these codes i.e.
Good structure though