Trouble Installing Latest versions of the One Dark UI and Syntax Themes (0.9.0, 0.7.0)



So no matter what I’ve tried, I can’t seem to install the latest versions of the One Dark themes.

At work today I noticed that there were new versions of the One Dark UI and Syntax packages when I was prompted to install the new versions (0.9.0 and 0.7.0 respectively). I updated, and everything worked as expected

Later when I got home and opened up my personal computer, I was never prompted to update to the newest versions (I’m currently on UI 0.8.2 and syntax 0.5.0). I forced a “check for updates” and yet still none were found. I double-checked the Git repos to verify that the new versions had not been pulled, but they were still live! I tried restarting Atom and my computer and yet still no luck.

Troubled, I tried forcibly installing them via apm install, and this was successful in installing the new versions next to the old versions (which I know I shouldn’t do!). After a reload the newer versions did not take effect. Next I tried installing the old versions, and then checking for an update. This worked and I was given the option to update, however once updating, like before, the new versions were not being shown. It was still defaulting to the outdated packages

At this point I completely cleaned out the entire Atom app and any other scattered app files via AppCleaner and did a fresh install of Atom. Turns out the Atom version on the home page does not yet have the latest One Dark packages bundled by default. So, again I checked for updates… nothing.

What’s going on? Why can’t I update to the latest One Dark packages? :frowning:

Running Atom 0.204.0


The One Dark/Light themes come bundled with Atom. That is, they aren’t meant to be installed manually, and they will be updated when you update Atom. You should delete them from your ~/.atom/packages folder.

It might me a good idea to mention this somewhere, for example on the pages of the core packages.


While they aren’t meant to be installed manually, you can force an install of an updated version by installing them manually via apm (apm install one-dark-ui one-dark-syntax).

This’ll cause two copies to appear in your themes list; one in “Community Themes”, one in “Core Themes”. The manually installed theme should override the built-in theme.


Thanks for the replies! But as stated in my original post, I know that they are automatically bundled with Atom and installing them manually is not a good idea. Now, when I did this, they did not overwrite the default themes. I’m baffled as to why, but they didn’t (I restarted Atom just to make sure). After I was done experimenting manually installing the themes, I wiped them (and all of my other packages) as well and completely reinstalled Atom and still couldn’t update. Sorry if that wasn’t clear!


You never say what operating system you are using or how you originally installed Atom.



Ah I see, I’m sorry I missed that! I was just 5 minutes awake when I read this, so there’s an excuse :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, when you actually have them installed to ~/.atom/packages, the themes should override the bundled ones, and they should be updated to the newest version available on… At least that’s what it does on my machine, so I think it’s weird that it doesn’t work for you, and I don’t know what could cause this.

So I tried this, but when I used the updated themes, half of my screen was just white. Completely unusable. So I guess you really don’t want to update the themes separate from Atom. Or did you have anything specific in mind?


@BobCochran Hi Bob, I’m using Mac OSX 10.10. Sorry I forgot to mention that!

Also, I think I’ve figured out the problem!

So I installed Atom on my work computer almost a year ago, well before the One Dark themes were bundled by default. When One Dark was released, I installed them manually, and then later they were bundled by default. But, since I installed them before they were bundled, they exist alongside the bundled versions, and update separately, which is why I was given the prompt to update.

However on my personal computer, my installation of Atom is much, much newer (especially if you consider the fact that I reinstalled it entirely last night). This means that the One Dark themes are bundled by default on my personal computer. Now as I understand it, bundled packages won’t update on their own—Atom needs to push a core update to upgrade any bundled packages, which includes the One Dark themes.

This explains why I wasn’t getting the prompt to update on my personal computer, but did on my work computer. Although I’m not sure why installing the latest versions manually on my personal computer didn’t override the default packages. Either way, I just have to wait for Atom to send out a new release (probably 0.205.0) with the updated One Dark versions. Checking their Git repo, they’re definitely going to be in the new release


@nathan, that is interesting. You are on 10.10.3? Are you using a Retina Mac? I guess when 0.205.0 is released that will solve your issue. I was just wondering if OS X itself is causing a problem with your Atom updates. I also wonder if having a Retina display influences this. I’m no authority, just a bystander throwing ideas in the field. Pardon me for confusing things, if I have.



I’m on 10.10.3, not retina. Early 2012 13" MacBook Air


Let’s see …

  1. As you know, you shouldn’t be manually installing default-installed packages (on a released version of Atom – see below)
  2. Default-installed packages that are manually installed will override the default-installed version if you install them when all instances of Atom are closed. The behavior of installing a default-installed package manually from inside the Settings View is undefined.
  3. Installing default-installed packages manually is risky because they may depend on unreleased features or changes in behavior. Once again, their behavior in this situation is undefined.
  4. Installing default-installed packages manually also makes it really hard for people to help you because if they ask you what version of Atom you’re running and you reply “v0.X.0”, that’s not entirely true and it will make diagnosis of any issue potentially much harder or impossible.

If you want to run the absolute latest code available (themes or otherwise), then the correct solution is to build Atom from source. This will ensure that all of the various pieces of Atom match each other while still allowing you to use the latest features … at the cost of potentially running into more bugs. (Though the Atom team does try to test things thoroughly on branches before releasing new changes to master.)


Hey @leedohm, thanks for the insight! In case you missed it, I think I found out why I wasn’t able to update these themes from within Atom: I need to wait for the next Atom build which includes the updated themes.


Yes, definitely. But for anyone else stumbling over this topic, I wanted to make sure they had all the information :grinning:


@nathan, I build Atom from source. Every few days I build again and install again. Since I’m a software developer myself (on Tier 1 mainframes), I understand the risks of this, but still like building from source, largely because it gives me experience in a new software development area.

Also remember that a verion 0.205 is still a pretty early version. It is not 1.0 yet. So, it is good to expect that some things just don’t work.