Dark Theme, Top Eclipse Luna Feature #5

Dark Theme, Top Eclipse Luna Feature #5

When Eclipse 3.0 shipped in 2004 it brought a new look to the workbench. Now, 10 years later, an entirely new Dark Theme is launching. Eclipse Luna will ship in less than a week and to help mark the occasion, I’m counting down the Top 10 Eclipse Luna features that I’m really excited about.

Number 5 on my list is the new Dark Theme. Developers are passionate about their tools, and many developers take great pride in customizing the look and feel of their development machines. With the dark theme, Eclipse now looks beautiful on development machines with other dark system settings enabled.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 4.11.36 PM

The theme extends to more than just the Widgets. Syntax highlighting has also been improved to take advantage of the new look.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 4.14.15 PMEclipse Luna is also shipping with a new set of platform icons which look much better on both light and dark themes.


And of course the theme is cross-platform, supporting Mac, Linux and Windows.


In addition to the dark theme, the Eclipse logo has also changed, bringing a new Splash Screen, Icon, About Dialog and an entirely new look to the Eclipse.org website. Congratulations to everyone involved in all these efforts. Change is never easy, especially when it involves the appearance of developer tools — it seems suddenly everyone has an opinion.


To use the dark theme, go to Preferences -> General -> Appearance and choose ‘Dark’. For more Eclipse Tips & Tricks, follow me on Twitter.

  • Houman
    Posted at 22:21, 2014-06-26

    Hi, How do you get that beautiful syntax highlight? I chose the Dark theme and its barely readable. Its black on black.


  • Stuart
    Posted at 19:11, 2014-07-03

    There are portions that aren’t dark like the top menu and headers in list table views which make this theme feel incomplete on Windows.

  • Nandy
    Posted at 05:48, 2014-07-04


    I am getting a white background editor when i choose the dark theme. How did you get the dark theme and syntax highlighting working.


  • Levan
    Posted at 23:26, 2014-07-06


    As Nandy already mentioned there is something wrong with the editor’s coloring when switching the theme to dark. There are already a couple of topics about this problem on Stack Overflow, like this one: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/24487682/eclipse-luna-dark-theme-code-editor-white

    Would be great if someone would help solving this issue, because, as I understand, it is supposed to work without additional downloads etc.

  • dan carter
    Posted at 23:28, 2014-07-08

    Hi Ian,

    What theme are you using for the editor window / highlighting? The Luna theme leaves that white by default.

  • dan carter
    Posted at 23:47, 2014-07-08

    Ok here’s what worked for me. (on java 8 JRE on WinXP)

    Preferences -> General -> Editors -> Text Editors: Background colour

    deselect ‘system default’ and choose pure black

    Now go to current line highlight and make it you favourite shade of grey. RGB 60/60/60 works for me.

  • Bruce
    Posted at 23:07, 2014-07-12

    bug filed

    There appears to no way to alter the background color on the osx build.

  • alex
    Posted at 11:00, 2014-08-10

    I’m sorry but the dark theme just doesn´t look right on windows. Unless the GUI libraries underpinning the whole thing were scrapped it probably never will. In fact the Classic theme is the least offensive choice IMO.

  • Eduardo Born
    Posted at 00:41, 2014-08-11

    I agree, at least in Windows 8 the dark theme is completely broken. Stackoverflow is already getting bombarded with people posting screenshots. I really hope it gets fixed in a SR, this could be such a great feature… I waited years for it, and when it came out it was a total let down.

  • Gustavo
    Posted at 18:50, 2014-08-27

    Hi. Eclipse Kepler have a ‘default theme’. It’s nice but i can’t found in Luna. Exists some way of add this theme to Luna.

  • Frits Jalvingh
    Posted at 17:48, 2014-09-06

    Yes, it’s really bad, on Linux too. And for me it’s no surprise: I already noticed lots of problems in the milestones and started to report bugs for them, but the guy responsible for it just closed them with the remark they “were not clear”. Apparently he had problems looking at screenshots 8-(
    The sad thing is that my favorite dark skin for Eclipse, called Dark Juno, does not work for Luna 8-( So I’m actually preferring Kepler for work, now…

  • Tristan
    Posted at 18:35, 2014-09-10

    Not sure when exactly i installed luna, sometime over the past few months, I use it for research. I’ve been using Luna on Mac OsX mavericks since the official release. After hearing about the dark theme I was intrigued and switched over.

    The background was in fact white but i keep my display dim anyway (don’t know why manufacturers think i wanna look into the sun everyday) anyway to solve that my professor gave me a color theme he wrote (it’s just a CSS file) and i imported via Preferences->General->Appearance->Color Theme which I like because the editor window is a pale brown. Some of the other themes available there might due the trick for you and are worth trying out.

    The reason I came here is that I find the highlighting of declarations (not occurrences) in the scroll bar to be a little too grey/black for my liking. It would be nice if the color theme options/selections were a little more obvious/intuitive.