Netbeans dark look and feel on ubuntu

IntelliJ provides the dracula look and feel out of the box. The colors and contrast are excellent when it comes to writing code. Unfortunately, the JEE part is only in the paid version. I’ve been trying to get netbeans as close as possible in terms of look and feel to a dark high contrast look and feel.By first googling the issue I found a theme called NimROD, and by trying it I was happy for a while until I started to discover bugs. For example, the find and replace bar in Netbeans will not behave correctly. Every time I click find next it will shrink in size until it becomes 1 pixel height. I also tried other skinnable look and feels, and none worked right.

The best solution I found is to run netbeans using the GTK look and feel using the –laf option. Inside the <netbeanshome>/etc/netbeans.conf, change the options to:

netbeans_default_options="-J-Xss2m -J-Xms100m -J-Xmx768m -J-XX:PermSize=32m -J-Dnetbeans.logger.console=true -J-ea -J-Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true -J-Dsun.awt.disableMixing=true -J-Dnetbeans.extbrowser.manual_chrome_plugin_install=yes -J-Xverify:none
-J-XX:+UseParallelGC -J-XX:NewSize=32M --laf"

Those options include some memory and garbage collection optimizations as well.

Your next step is selecting the appearance, and select gnome (I use mate) theme that you like, select customize and select DarkLooks for colors. It works great without any problems.

The last step is selecting a reasonable highlighting profile. CityLights seem to be very reasonable, however, I tried to customize a highlighting color profile I found online called Twilight, and here’s a link to my final settings.

Happy coding….


  1. Venkat Akkineni says:

    Hey Ibrahim

    I know this post is from 2012, but Netbeans has dark LAF. ez-on-da-ice has been around since December 2011. I know it wasn’t a great looking one initially but has improved quite significantly over the years. Also of Netbeans 7.3 Netbeans ships with a Dark Look and Feel out of the box.

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