The stdout of Tm_T

…and I'm still not slow

Darker KDE for us who don’t like to stare too much white

Published on 2011.12.29

This time I’m going to do a simple share of my settings to keep them floating online for my own use and for anyone who’s interested to try them. Or in the other words, just keeping some record. Most likely this post will be updated over time.

I have used dark desktop themes for years, as I have found it more pleasant for my eyes. As it is with pretty much everything, I don’t stay with what is already provided by default, and ended up making the colour schemes of my own. I chose dark grey as the base colour, having bright grey for text and yellow/orange for highlight. Indeed, you might notice roughly similar colouring used on this site of mine. (:

Transition from KDE 3 to 4 made me to recreate the colour scheme, as the schemes from 3.x were incompatible with 4.x.

So, small tweaking back and forth over time had led me to have the following Dark Orange KDE colour scheme being in use as it is for a year or longer now. I’ve been using QtCurve widget style with these QtCurve widget style presets to go with DarkOrange colour scheme. Window decoration is another story.

And how do they look in action? Here’s few screenshots. (:

Konqueror on dark-orange colour scheme

Konqueror on dark-orange colour scheme

Qt demos on dark orange

Qt demos on dark orange

QtCurve settings dialog

QtCurve settings dialog

I would gladly hear any improvement suggestions and other comments. (:

Filed under: FLOSS, KDE


  1. Pawlo says:

    This looks simply wonderful. :) I’ll have to try this.

  2. Darkstar says:

    I also dislike too bright desktops and this scheme looks really nice.

    However, I can’t seem to read the title bars in your scheme. Is there a trick to it?


  3. Gunni says:

    I see one bad thing till now:
    If a file is marked in dolphin its dark text on dark background. Hardly readable depending on monitor.

  4. Marc Deop says:

    I love dark themes but… how on earth do you deal with webpages that set the background to white and the text to black!?!?

    Whenever my eyes get from the pleasant dark scheme to the white one… they hurt, they hurt a lot.



  5. Gunni says:

    Marc Deop:
    Maybe its possible to overwrite with usercontent.css userstyle or something similar?

  6. Phobeus says:

    Very nice color schemata. I also noticed, that the existing schematas are most of the time very bright. However, with the existing dark colours the look and feel is often quite poor. So far, I appreciate your work so far. Maybe replacing the white of the text to a slight light gray. However, I go for it for a while to check out, if it is really still usable after some time.

  7. Arno says:

    Same problem as Marc: I really like dark color schemes and have used one for about a year. The only problems I have with them are websites. Most of them are bright, so the contrast between the browser window (and rest of the desktop) and the website is quite extreme. It always makes my eyes hurt.
    Overwriting CSS properties doesn’t really cut it and dark pages in bright surroundings isn’t as bad, so I always keep coming back to bright colorschemes.

  8. alex says:

    Very intersting combination.
    I have a question: on the third screenshot (QtCurve settings dialog) you can see the “edtable combobox” that is missing on my kde 4.7.3. Is a special feature of QtCurve or is related to your newer kde release?
    Thanks :-)

  9. Urmet says:

    Well, the worst webpages are not the ones with white background and black text but the ones that just set the text color to something almost-black. Then it’s almost impossible to get any meaningful information out of the page.

  10. Robert says:

    Great color scheme. It looks well on my laptop and desktop. Thank you!

  11. Yuriy says:

    What about Kate and Kompare? They have a bunch of different font colors with their own color schemes, and last time I tried to set up a dark color scheme for the system it left some text unreadable in these programs.

    There is also the problem of websites that set their text color to something dark but don’t set the background color so they are unreadable.

    • Tm_T says:

      Hi, I’ve been using Kate successfully for years, it’s quite possible that I have modified the colourschemes to more suitable though. Indeed some websites do have here and there only text or background colour defined with an assumption that everyone has black text on white background. There’s no ultimate solution for that, unfortunately, except to teach the people in responsible of CSS to do things right. (:

  12. Thomas M says:

    Just thought I’d leave this here after coming back to give a dark colourscheme another try.
    Problem always was that websites look bad with a dark colorscheme, however with this little cmd app to toggle colors I’ll give it another go:

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