The Albatross GTK+ theme

The Albatross GTK theme is designed upon the Alvaro theme, from James Schriver. Albatross is designed to be smooth: no rough borders, no contrasted edges, no violent contrasts, a soft blue colour.

Albatross is still under development, and bugs with specific applications should be reported. However, Albatross is meant to be fast, and thus the gtkrc will remain light, and free of any application-specific tweaks, for applications that don’t use GTK+ widgets properly or don’t theme their custom widgets in the most appropriate way. These tweaks may be available, in a commented form, to distributors, though.

We’re also looking for feedback on usability: are the texts readable, are the colour contrasts acceptable for you? Any comments are welcome on the overall aspect of the theme, too.

Screenshot reel

  • Albatross in Xubuntu Karmic

    Albatross in Xubuntu Karmic

  • The Exaile music player and Albatross

    The Exaile music player and Albatross

  • The Thunar file manager with Albatross (and nice wallpapers!)

    The Thunar file manager with Albatross (and nice wallpapers!)

  • Ristretto and Albatross, plus a preview of the Albatross xsplash theme

    Ristretto and Albatross, plus a preview of the Albatross xsplash theme

Albatross is also an Xfwm theme

Albatross currently uses a slightly modified version of Xfwm4.6′s default window decorations, made by Olivier Fourdan. Yet, we’re looking forward to having our own window decorations, eventhough they’re not designed yet. They’ll probably be smooth and round as the current Xfwm default, but we don’t know the final shapes and colours it’ll have.

The xpslash theme

Albatross’ xsplash theme has been made by Mads Rosendahl Hansen and Pasi Lallinaho. It’s using Xubuntu 9.10′s wallpaper, with a circle of sparkles in the middle of the screen.

Comments and pingbacks for Albatross

  • Albatross bug tracking « The Shimmer Project, January 27, 2010 15:03

    [...] has just pushed the theme on our Mercurial repository. You can find a link to it on Albatross’s project page. Once the Albatross logo is drawn, and once the Xscreensaver theme is pushed, we will be able to [...]

  • Albatross Released « The Shimmer Project, March 2, 2010 00:07

    [...] a quick note to say that Albatross has finally been released in a 1.0.0 version (downloads on the project page). We’ve been waiting for some feedback and for checking the theme’s compatibility with [...]

  • alez, August 17, 2011 14:50

    Hi, thank you for this great theme. I think there’s a problem with the weather plugin for the xfce4 panel, as it is barely readable. See this pic

  • Pasi Lallinaho, August 17, 2011 14:57

    Hey Alez,
    Picasa tells me I don’t have access or the photos do not exist. Maybe you want to double-check that.

    We are working on an update/facelift for Albatross right now, and I’ll make sure we’ll consider this too. It would be nice to fix it in the “original” Albatross too, though.

  • alez, August 18, 2011 10:54

    Thank you for the fast answer. I think i fixed it here:

    In any case, i also uploaded it here

  • Pasi Lallinaho, August 18, 2011 11:06

    Yes you are right, the contrast is a bit low. We’ll see how to fix that in the next release.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • alez, August 19, 2011 22:19

    Thank you for the quickness in your answers. Hope to see the new release soon! *not putting pressure* :)

  • tomm, September 5, 2011 00:17

    any chance of a gtk3 version?

  • Pasi Lallinaho, September 5, 2011 11:03

    Hey Tomm,
    a GTK3 version is not planned at least yet. It is very possible that in addition to Greybird, we’ll just port Bluebird and Albatross to GTK3 too.

    Thanks for your interest and keep checking the site for updates.

  • alex, September 30, 2011 10:36

    Thank u! this are the best themes if seen for xfce. I like Greybird it’s not hurting my eyes, Albatross is very good but the windows minimize maximize buttons reminds me of Windows perhaps including a modern style to choose between the two?

  • Pasi Lallinaho, October 3, 2011 11:00

    Hey Alex,
    thanks for the praise!

    We are in midst of a facelift for Albatross, and the window borders are going to be refreshed too. To what, I don’t know yet, but it will probably be something that reminds the old style, but is more modern too.

    Keep checking our site, or the Github branch to keep up-to-date.

  • Ambassador, October 13, 2011 22:03

    So the Shearwater theme is the latest Albatross theme? Is stable enough for regular use?

  • Pasi Lallinaho, October 14, 2011 09:18

    Hey Ambassador,
    Shearwater is just a very quick draft with some minor modifications after the initial style created. It’s in no way tested, though I don’t know if it can be said to be stable.

    Shearwater is also not the new version of Albatross we are working on. The new version will be released under the same name except if we end up changing so much of the theme that you can’t recognise it as Albatross anymore, which is definitely not the goal.

    We’ll post some news entries about our projects and other things as well (hopefully) soon. Keep checking our site to keep up-to-date.

Also see our other projects.


  • The Albatross theme is an Xfce theme originally designed for Xubuntu 9.10. It is the default theme in both Xubuntu 9.10 and 10.04. Albatross is getting the much anticipated facelift in 2011, 2012 or some year soon.


  • Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
    GNU General Public License 3

People in the project

  • Contact
    Pasi Lallinaho

    James Schriver, Steve Dodier, Pasi Lallinaho, Mads Rosendahl Hansen

Project links