Make KDE apps look native in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (GNOME)

In this article I explain how to make KDE applications look almost native on the GNOME desktop. All you need to do is install an application and change some settings, a 5 minutes task. If you want to get started right away, go directly to “Getting started”.


I am a big fan of the GNOME desktop for the simple and efficient application design. However sometimes I miss important functionalities that I can find in well-respected and feature-rich KDE applications. It is widley known, that apart from the large amount of kdelibs that you will need to run a KDE application on GNOME there is no reason not to do so. For me however, being a little picky with the looks of my desktop I don’t like the KDE applications appearance on my GNOME desktop. Via askubuntu I found a good howto helping me with the problem, unfortunately this was written for Maverick. With a slightly changed Ambiance theme this still did look alien on Natty. Here I provide the necessary colorscheme and howto for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

Getting started

You need two things for this tutorial, a package found in the Ubuntu Software Center and an archive containing a colorscheme file.


Install the package systemsettings from the Ubuntu Software Center or via

sudo apt-get install systemsettings

To start the application later type systemsettings in Unitys dash (Super/Windows button).

Second download this archive and extract it, you will need it later.

Changing the settings 

Start the KDE systemsettings and apply the following changes:

  • Style > Applications > Widget style > choose “GTK+”
    • Style > Applications > Fine tuning > uncheck “Show icons in menues”
  • Colors > Scheme > Import Scheme… > choose “Natty_Ambiance” (the file you downloaded and extracted before)
  • Icons > Theme > choose “Ubuntu-Mono-Dark”
  • Fonts > Adjust all Fonts … > “Ubuntu 11”
    • Fonts > Fixed width > “Monospace 10”
    • Fonts > Window Title > “Ubuntu Bold 11

Now your KDE applications should look like this:

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