Making GTK3 apps try to look more native in XFCE on Debian

XFCE is a GTK2 environment, however a lot can be done to improve GTK3 apps on XFCE.

I prefer to use Clearlooks as my GTK2 theme and use the GNOME icon set. On Debian, apt-get install gnome-icon-theme gnome-icon-theme-extras gnome-icon-theme-symbolic clearlooks-phenix-theme and use the XFCE Appearances to change your theme to Clearlooks-Phenix and your icons to GNOME.

If you’re using an XFCE GTK engine theme instead, install gtk3-engines-xfce instead of clearlooks-phenix-theme, and there also is a gtk3-engines-oxygen which provides a native look-alike of KDE4’s Oxygen theme.

You probably should restart your X session after fiddling around with this to fix apps that don’t change themes at runtime properly.

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Published September 18th, 2012


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Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

To install Xfce on debian 7 wheezy
# apt-get install xorg xfce4 xfce4-goodies thunar-archive-plugin synaptic gdebi wicd

To install extra XFCE packages
# apt-get install xdg-utils xfce4-power-manager xfce4-goodies htop bzip2 zip unzip unrar-free

There are more gui to choose from

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