GTK configuration for non-gnome desktop user

March 17th, 2007 mysurface Posted in fluxbox, gtk-theme-switch, Misc, X11 | Hits: 73368 | 10 Comments »

There are a lots of people install and use other windows manager on top of gnome, instead of using metacity by default. Windows manager such as beryl, fluxbox, fvwm etc allows gtk applications to run on top of them with full capabilities. You can also run gtk applications under KDE where by default all KDE native apps are build using QT.

Let the case of fluxbox user, in order to allow the gtk apps appear with themes, icons settings, the convenient way is to run a gnome settings daemon.


After that, you can switch the theme by gnome-theme-manager, or something light gtk-theme-switch or gtk-chtheme.

But, what if I don’t have gnome-settings-daemon? Or I just don’t want to load it up because it is heavy?
You can still uses the gtk-theme-switch for switching the theme for most of the windows manager (Fluxbox 1.0rc2 works for sure.) But, it is missing something… The theme switcher is just for you to switch the themes, but it doesn’t take care of the icons theme and also the size of the icons on toolbar, menu etc.

Recently I find out a way to make an overlay settings on all gtk 2.0 apps without needed to run gnome-settings-daemon. When you uses the theme switch or something else to switch the gtk theme, it will generate a configuration file under your home directory, ~/.gtkrc-2.0.


include "/home/mysurface/.themes/Murrina-Olive/gtk-2.0/gtkrc"

include "/home/mysurface/.gtkrc-2.0.mine"


.gtkrc-2.0 is auto generated by the theme switch, so don’t write anything on this file although it works. Your addition settings will be disappear when you switch your theme again. Look at the second include, the file .gtkrc-2.0.mine is actually not exist. So create it and write your additional settings in it.

What are those additional settings?


gtk-toolbar-style = GTK_TOOLBAR_ICONS

I want my icon theme set, I want my icon appear small. Most of the people stop at setting gtk-icon-sizes, where I find it not enough for me, the icon appear on toolbar is larger compare to when I run gnome-settings-daemon. gtk-toolbar-style is the one I am searching for, I am satisfied now.

You can do more tweaking, check out this, share us some examples, if you find any interesting stuff which is not covers in this post.

[tags]windows manager, small icon, small toolbar icon, gtk themes, gtk 2.0[/tags]

10 Responses to “GTK configuration for non-gnome desktop user”

  1. Thanks. Very helpful.

    Bizarrely, while experimenting (because of the lack of end-user documentation on this stuff) to reduce the size of a tray icon, gtk-large-toolbar didn’t work but “gtk-dnd=48,48″ did, reducing the tray icon from 32×32 to 22×22.

    That solution doesn’t make sense. The 48,48 is an icon size and dnd denotes drag-and-drop! I had already spent too long on this so have not yet tried changing the 48,48.

    This on ubuntu 8.04.1 with default gtk packages, Nautilus and transmission 1.40b1 tray icon.



  2. Hi

    Thanks for your tuto.

    I added in gtkrc-2.0.mine:

    gtk-can-change-accels=1 # to change shortcuts in menu
    gtk-menu-bar-popup-delay=0 # let’s make
    gtk-menu-popdown-delay=0 # the menus
    gtk-menu-popup-delay=0 # speedier!!! No more sluggish!


  3. This is all good but what’s with gtk fonts?

    They look ungly like hell.

  4. Got my icons in menus back !!!!

    # cat ~/.gtkrc-2.0.mine
    gtk-menu-images = 1

  5. [...] I got my Info from [...]

  6. Thanks, that was helpful!

  7. [...] referencia a gtk-menu-images la encontré aquí. A continuación muestro un par de imágenes de Nautilus con valores 0 y 1 para esta directiva. [...]

  8. What a plseaure to find someone who thinks through the issues

  9. This post is worth everyone’s attention. Where can I find out more?

    webpage; Katrin,

  10. For the record, I would not say that I am a Gnome fan. I will say that I have tried puinttg KDE, Gnome, xfce, and even icewm on normal people’s desks, and there is no question that modern Gnome desktops are the least confusing to people. As an added bonus I turn off the virtual desktops and remove the pager as I have yet to find someone that does not find virtual desktops confusing.I love virtual desktops, and I used to spend time trying to teach people how to use them. I would talk about use cases, and keyboard short cuts, and then I would get calls saying that, all of my programs have disappeared again. Invariably it would turn out that they had accidentally clicked on the pager and were in a different virtual desktop.As an avid Emacs user I *barely* use Gnome at all. On my netbook I don’t even use virtual desktops, and I never use Nautilus. My workflow is so keyboard centric that I was nearly happy enough with ratpoison. So please don’t take my defense of Gnome as some sort of preference. If it weren’t for the licensing issues KDE would have completely dominated the Linux desktop. Despite the fact that I don’t like C++ and I really think that Gnome’s end-user focus is far more sane, I really wish that would have happened. However, Trolltech’s licensing scheme was unsupportable, and licenses do matter. Especially in the license-aware Linux community.GNOME forces its opinion on you. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem.Actually I would go farther and say that if you don’t like Gnome’s opinion then chances are good that you aren’t in Gnome’s target market. The Konqueror/Dolphin example actually shows what I mean precisely. Only a hard-core Linux nerd would recommend using two separate applications for different file managing tasks. And I promise that I mean that in the very best of ways.Most people don’t even have any idea where they save their files. Trying to teach them to use two different file managers, depending on what they are doing, is simply madness. It’s a very optimistic sort of madness, but it is still completely bonkers. After all, I’d like to think that most people could get to that point if they just expended a bit of effort. However, most people simply aren’t interested. Who can blame them? Not everyone wants to tinker with computers for a living.In short, I think that it is to Gnome’s credit that you don’t like it (and that I don’t like it either).I always pictured you as an Enlightenment kind of guy I am not much of an eye candy guy. Not too terribly long ago I actually used my computer from the Linux console for most of a month. If there was a text-based browser that did javascript, I might still be using my computer that way.Some day, when I write my novel, I will probably do that again. It is hard to get distracted on the modern equivalent of the VT220 (I still have one of those hooked up to my desktop at home, just in case).

Leave a Reply