Omega 3.x Subtheming

mourkousis's picture

I am quite new to drupal and definitely new to omega. I use for developing a Windows Server 2003 and I have been unable to make drush work (something wrong with rsync) and I switched to manual subtheme creation.
From what I read in omega 3.x the base theme is called alpha and the omega theme is using the alpha theme. The problem is I can't follow the instructions in because file template.php in starterkits do not have actual php code and file theme-settings.php is not present. The specific files are in the directory of the alpha theme.
Has anyone any idea on how to manually create an omega 3.x subtheme?
Thank you in advance.


jpw1116's picture
  1. Copy the /omega-html5 starterkit folder from the default Omega theme directory (/public_html/dev/sites/all/themes/omega/starterkits) and eventually place it in your /dev/sites/all/themes directory.

  2. Rename the directory to the theme name of your choice (my_omega_subtheme).

  3. Rename to and modify default information in the .info file as needed (name & description) to "My Omega subtheme" and "HTML5 subtheme for Omega."

Note: Apparently no longer needed in Omega 3.x, despite the lingering instructions:

Open template.php and search and replace omega_starterkit_theme with "my_omega_subtheme_theme" or the appropriate name of the theme you are creating.

Open theme-settings.php and search and replace omega_starterkit with "my_omega_subtheme" or the appropriate name of the theme you are creating.

ALSO, you may not have "dev" within your path in step 1 but I do!

I have followed your

Steven_NC's picture

I have followed your instructions, but the sub-theme's starterkit-omega-html5-alpha-default-narrow, -normal, -wide, etc.css are not found by the theme. It seems to pull everything from the base Omega theme. Any tips?

I used the steps

Steven_NC's picture

I used the steps here:

I renamed the css files. I also adjusted some zone settings and changed them back. Not sure which actually worked, but the sub-theme is now finding the files correctly.

Try the updated

bhosmer's picture

Try the updated Documentation

You should not rename the other css files. Instead create your own per the guide.

You need to have the omega base theme within your themes directory, then create a new custom theme.

Create an additional style sheet to override the sections that you want to override.

thank you!

mourkousis's picture

new subtheme ready! thanks!

We are always happy to see

fubhy's picture

We are always happy to see screenshots / links! :)

Do you mean . . .

jpw1116's picture

screenshots/links of our subtheming successes?

Mine are still a work in progress, but eventually, yes indeed.

Meantime, a real wishlist item might be an update on Omega's compliance with standards and accessibility. I'm no expert but seem to remember other themes mentioning that as a feature. If you're already onboard and I missed it, that's entirely possible.

Thanks for the great work so far; I'm planning to be with Omega for the long haul.


jglazer75's picture

Don't forget to comment out or delete the following at lines 10 and 11 in the .info file:

hidden = TRUE
starterkit = TRUE

You're right! . . .

jpw1116's picture

That's new, and luckily very easy to take care of--and another reason I am a fan of Omega's design elegance.

My one annoyance issue continues to be that my subthemes do NOT work following a base theme update. This runs counter to what I remember hearing in on of the YouTube videos of the NH g.d.o meetings--namely, the point of a subtheme being that it inherits changes from the base theme without us intervening (or recreating the subtheme). Instead, I always get the WSOD and need to recreate the subtheme from scratch. Even worse, on a multisite, you want to make sure and remember to be logged in to all of the sites (don't ask me how I know!). Otherwise, you'll be digging into phpMyAdmin to reset the default theme and regain access. Best practices say you should also have switched to a generic theme before updating anyway. At least, that's been my experience. I just wish it was "pushbutton easy" for non-Drush, Admin Menu users to update theme versions assuredly. I hope that is part of the game once the RC1 version rolls out.

This happened to me when I

ebeyrent's picture

This happened to me when I upgraded to Beta. My subtheme completely broke, and I still haven't managed to get the thing working.

Actually now that we are in

fubhy's picture

Actually now that we are in Beta you can safely update the Omega core folders without having to worry about breaking your subthemes anymore. The code is pretty much stable now and will only be exposed to minor tweaking and bug fixes but those wont break your subthemes. If (and that is... IF!) we need to change something that would require you to update your subthemes that would be mentioned in the CHANGELOG.txt (which is in the root omega folder...)... Always take a look at that file when upgrading to newer versions to be sure there are not NOTICES: ... ! that you need to pay attention to.

jpw1116's picture

You were right: apparently the subtheme(s) I have set as default do work now, with no WSOD this time. Note, it was a treat to be able to use the Module > Update function within the D7 Admin menu, instead of a manual copy & paste update like all the prior ones.

There are two concerns:

  1. Even after updating my two-site multisite's Omega subthemes (and running database updates / cache flushing), I still get a prompt under Module > Update . . . as though I never did the update: "Omega - Responsive HTML5 Base Theme (Theme)" + "Download these updates."

  2. The label on the subtheme still references the beta1 version, even after updating to beta2. This may be hardcoded somehow . . . but would be nice to see handled dynamically. In other words, under Appearance > List >Enabled themes, the subtheme name would reflect the updated base theme's version.

These are both minor but could be confusing to some users.

Omega update pain (redux). . . .

jpw1116's picture

This time I wasn't so lucky with my Omega base theme update from beta3-->rc3: my subtheme broke and produced the white screen of death again.

After forcing a manual cache flush via ./admin_menu/flush-cache?destination=node, the page did load . . . but was missing certain elements--major ones--like the site name from the Branding region, and throwing pink warning messages galore.

Even more of a concern: I was unable to access Appearance > Settings > (subtheme) -- instead, I got this recursive heap of a path:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function alpha_get_theme() in /home/.../public_html/dev/sites/all/themes/omega/omega/omega/omega/omega/omega/omega/omega/omega/theme-settings.php on line 7

This has happened before. Of course, both my Alpha and Omega base themes still are not enabled.

Somehow, invoking Module > Update > Omega - Responsive HTML5 Base Theme (Theme) causes this looped nesting of Omega directories under ./sites/all

I am not looking forward to recreating my multisite's Omega subthemes from scratch again.

Are there any glaring signs of my doing something wrong while invoking the theme update from the Admin menu?

ALL RIGHT--I just saw this myself:

Keep the good news rolling in. . . .

jpw1116's picture

It's only getting better and better.

Update: I'm looking at the CHANGELOG.txt that now appears in (I guess it was missing from the beta1 release.)

Again, two minor issues:

  1. It says "Current Release: 7.x-3.0-beta1"

  2. All of the dates seem off by a year? E.g., 6/09/12, 6/12/12. . . .


Umh... Okay :P I think I did

fubhy's picture

Umh... Okay :P

I think I did that with the dates intentionally to exaggerate that we are one year ahead in time :P


frozt's picture

Hi i try to modified this but i can't someone can help me ? i want to do change background and other thinks but i don't know where someone can put or send me a email

Updating Custom Omega Subtheme

karolus's picture

I have successfully launched a site using Omega, and a custom subtheme...

One minor issue I have been having lately, though--
The site will automatically send me e-mail update notifications telling me I have updates-for Omega. The base theme is easily updated, but what do I do about the subtheme (that is what is being flagged). What do I need to do to update this?


If you've updated Omega, your

bhosmer's picture

If you've updated Omega, your sub-theme should update as well, since it is based on Omega.

Unless of course it is a contributed subtheme that the maintainer is updating.


karolus's picture

Everything about my installation is pretty much stock, so I had figured as much. For some reason, though, this doesn't seem to be the case.

Just to be sure, I flushed the site cache, but the issue remains...

How have you named your subtheme?

drew reece's picture

Is the subtheme named the same as any other theme on D.O.?
Is there any version info within the the subtheme' file? Is it inheriting from Omega or Alpha (or both)?
Are there duplicate base theme's listed in the .info?
Are there duplicate copied of Omega in your install?

If it can't be resolved post an issue in the issue queue (or chech the IRC info on Omega's project page), you'll get support there :)

Edit: Meant to be a reply!

bhosmer's picture

Edit: Meant to be a reply!