Comment 30 for bug 24280

I think the updated description to this bug confuses the issue. The problem is *not* that users can only install themes locally, the problem is that when a user installed theme is used the administration applications fall back to the default GTK theme (because they cannot find the user installed theme, obviously).

This is a problem because:

1- Un-themed GTK is unattractive to all but the most eclectic tastes.
2- It is not the expected behavior to people who don't understand how themes work.

Admittedly, this problem can be avoided. After all, if you can run administrator apps then you probably have the permission necessary to install themes globally. However, doing so requires knowledge in areas where knowledge shouldn't really be required (you shouldn't have to understand how GTK and GNOME work to use a system for Postfix, LDAP and Apache administration without undue confusion).

In my mind the easiest solution is to tell GTK to use the Human theme as a fallback if the requested user theme cannot be found. At least that way, the user will see a familiar theme in front of them.

I don't think allowing root applications to scan user directories for themes is a wise idea and I suspect the patch would never make it past the relevant maintainers.