Are you bored with the default brown, orange, and purple of Ubuntu?  Here’s how you can give your Ubuntu desktop a quick refresh with a new Bisigi theme.

Windows 7 includes the popular new themes feature that lets users quickly download and change themes, including desktop wallpaper, window border color, icons, sounds, and more.   Ubuntu and all Linux distros are known for being more tweakable than other operating systems, but often it can be difficult and confusing for new users to get a new look and feel setup.  With a couple terminal commands, however, you can add the new Bisigi themes to your Ubuntu desktop.  These themes are nicely designed, and customize your theme, icons, background and more.  Let’s look at how you can customize your Ubuntu with these themes.

Add Bisigi to Ubuntu Software Center

You can download individual Bisigi Themes as a archive files and install them manually, but it’s much easier to install them if you first add Bisigi to Ubuntu’s software repository.  Open Terminal, and then enter the following to do this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bisigi && sudo aptitude update

Enter your password when prompted, and Ubuntu will then add the themes to your Software Center.

Once this is finished, you can open the Software Center to download the new themes.

Select the PPA for Bisigi link on the left, then choose the theme you wish to install and select Install.

Install Themes Directly From the Bisigi Website

The Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t show you previews of the themes, so you may prefer to install them directly from the website.  Once you’ve added Bisigi to Ubuntu as above, simply browse the theme gallery on their site (link below).  When you find a theme you like, click the 1 click install button.

Click Ok at the prompt to open the link with apturl.

Now click Install to confirm you want to install this theme.

Your theme will now download and install, and you’ll be prompted with the setup is finished.

Activate a Bisigi Theme

Once you’ve installed the themes you want, it’s time to try them out on your desktop.  Right-click on your background, and select Change Desktop Background to open the Appearance Preferences dialog.

Select the Theme tab, and then click the theme you installed.  Ubuntu will immediately switch to the new look, and will prompt you that this theme includes a default background.  Click Apply Background to use the theme’s default background.

Now close the dialog to get a look at your new theme.  Notice that the icons, window border, and more have been updated to the new style.

The Balanzan theme from Bisigi gives you an updated version of the classic Ubuntu brown theme.

The AirLines theme even gives you wallpapers that shift based on the time of the day, and is a unique take on the popular globe timezone wallpapers.

Revert to the Standard Ubuntu Style

If you decide you’d rather go back to your standard Ubuntu style, you can switch back in just a click.  Open the Appearance Preferences window as above, select the Theme tab, and then select Ambiance.  This will immediately switch your theme and icons back to their standard Ubuntu style.  You can switch your background back to your previous selection from the Background tab as well.


Whether or not you love the standard Ubuntu theme, sometimes it’s nice to change things around and get a different look.  With the Bisigi Themes, it’s quick and easy to get a stylish new look for Ubuntu.  You can always revert back to your previous style in only a click, so feel free to try several out and see if there’s one you like.  We appreciated the unique but yet stylish themes that give Ubuntu a distinctive look, so let us know which theme is your favorite in the comments!


Preview and download the Bisigi Themes online

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
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