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GTK themes

All the ROX applications use GTK. Everything inside the window frame of a GTK application is drawn by GTK, while the frame itself (the titlebar and resize frame) is drawn by the window manager.

The basic goal of the theme system is to keep programmers away from graphic design. The programmer says to GTK "display a button". The theme designer says to GTK "draw buttons like this". For more information, see The GTK+ Theme Architecture.

Downloading themes

ROX uses GTK 2, so make sure you get a GTK2 theme if you want to change the style of the menus and other user interface widgets. To install a GTK theme:

  1. Place your downloaded theme into the hidden directory ~/.themes/
  2. Run the LookAndFeel configuration applet and choose the theme from the menu there (this only works if you're using ROX-Session; other session managers will provide their own ways to set the theme).

You can find lots of themes at

Manual customization

On startup, GTK reads the file ~/.gtkrc-2.0. You can edit this file to customize the appearance of your programs. See the following pages for some examples.

Themes only seem to change the widget colours, not images

Make sure you have the appropriate theme engine installed (eg gtk2-engines-pixbuf).

Clarity and Themes

A number of issues I posted this here because it is the clearest example, yet at every stage of installing or updating ROX I have a similar experience.

- Firstly I fully admit to not being versed in tech-speak or programming languages. Yes I have sinned. Yes I would love to be a programming genius, but not everyone is.

ROX seems intended for people like me, allegedly easy instalations, drag and drop and a window manager that does what you smegging tell it.

So why do I need to learn a new language if I want to change the background of a window?

I fully approve of encouraging users to understand and engage with how the system works, but "Stick this in ~/.gtkrc-2.0." is no explanation.

Do not assume people know what GTK is. And no there is no adiquite explanation on this page. There is what I would call an offhand comment.

I have a window theme I like - will putting the text from "theming toolbar icons" mess it up. What exactly will that text do? Should I just stick executable code in without any knowledge of what it will do?

Where do I get .gtkrc-2.0 from? I'm running a full ROX instalation using ROX session and OroboROX yet there is no such file in my home directory, what should I expect to be in there?

Yes I may sound like a moron... but I'm a user not a programmer - I'm the kind of guy linux users keep moaning never use thier products - well I'm trying but it's not being made easy.

I would appreciate assistance in this area.

GTK themes

I've added a bit of extra text.

However, don't assume we (the programmers) know any more about it than you do! The theme system is all about separating programming from appearance: we say "GTK, draw a button". What the button looks like is up to the theme, which is created by an artist.

The hints here are what we've found out. If you find out more, please add comments!

(also please add comments to anything else you find confusing, or we can't do anything about it ;-)

Clarity and Themes

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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