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#1 2022-07-31 02:25:27

FaulkNet
Member
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 12

Broken default Xfce4 theme and missing Applications menu icons

Greetings all,

It's been a long time since I've done a forum post so please bear with me:

Against my better judgement I decided to build the alacarte-xfce package from the AUR to hide a couple of Whisker Menu entries. I know, editing the menu with a GUI is not the greatest idea. Anyway, I was met with a dialog asking for root credentials, and after several attempts failing to authenticate I gave up and moved on to menulibre.

Unfortunately, I noticed that a number of icons in my Applications menu were displaying as missing, as shown here:

https://imgur.com/XhHF9Qs.png

I wasn't sure this was a direct result of what I had done, so I took a cue from another post and installed xfce-theme-manager and a couple of theme packages to test the waters. Sure enough, the icons display fine when using papirus-icon-theme. However, now that I had the theme manager open I noticed some other strange behaviors that I've been unable to explain:

As you can see in this next screenshot, what I assume to be the default Xfce adwaita-icon-theme displays as (null):

https://imgur.com/JAtLvLo.png

To further complicate matters, whenever I select a different desktop theme under the Themes tab, the system changes the icon theme back to the broken default Adwaita icons, and my Applications menu winds up looking like the first screenshot again until I go back and re-select Papirus.

I've run across several threads while googling where people describe similar issues but I still haven't been able to find a clear explanation or a solution to this problem. I've been trying to understand how theme packages work so I can infer what the problem might be, and I've tried using

# gtk-update-icon-cache /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/

followed by restarting the panel, but no joy.

I've even tried purging the package using

# pacman -Rddns adwaita-icon-theme && pacman -S adwaita-icon-theme gtk3 xfce4-settings

to get around the fact that the Adwaita theme (as well as gnome-themes-extra) are so ingrained in the DE, but to no avail.

In one post I heard someone suggest a permissions issue, which seemed to make sense here; it's possible Alacarte may have been trying to access a config file that ended up being owned by root following the authentication failure. However, I'm still learning my way around all the configs and I wouldn't know what to chown.

My knowledge of theming is limited, so I'm afraid I'm running out of bright (or not-so-bright) ideas about how to approach this. Any help would be appreciated. I love Arch and I'm here to learn—I hate it when I know something is broken and I just can't seem to figure out what the problem is. hmm

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by FaulkNet (2022-07-31 02:59:32)

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#2 2022-07-31 03:28:54

toz
Member
Registered: 2011-10-28
Posts: 473

Re: Broken default Xfce4 theme and missing Applications menu icons

See: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=276017. There is a script there that you can use to manually pull and create the Adwaita 41 icon set, or there is now also an adwaita-icon-theme-41 package in the AUR.

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#3 2022-08-01 02:38:07

FaulkNet
Member
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 12

Re: Broken default Xfce4 theme and missing Applications menu icons

Thanks for the link, I hadn't found that particular thread yet. To be sure, however, I had come across a similar thread in the XFCE forum describing the same menu icon problem I'm seeing and one of their admins had posted that same shell script:

https://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=15735

I considered using the script but honestly I'm not sure what I think about that approach. It's really just mixing the old icons together with the new, and if the GTK folks eventually decide to update the package I'm not sure what long term effects this will have on pacman upgrades.

With regard to the AUR package, I'm not so much concerned with having the old Adwaita icons available as I am with understanding to what extent things are actually broken. Following the suggestions in that thread I tried downgrading the main package to the 41.0-1 version using

# downgrade adwaita-icon-theme

and the old icons did appear in the menu once again. This implies that the behavior I'm seeing is at least in part due to the icons no longer being included in the package.

Having said that, this is what is frustrating me: As far as I can see, I've been using the 42 version of the Adwaita theme with a full set of icons right up until something happened that caused them to finally go missing. On top of that, this behavior with the broken icon set showing up with a name of "(null)" and the system reverting to it whenever I switch themes is concerning. So my question is, what exactly happened? Is my Adwaita theme broken or is everyone seeing this?

P.S. Adwaita does not show up as a full theme in the Themes tab of xfce-theme-manager, which makes resetting XFCE back to the default theme with window decorations and everything a very manual process; unlike other themes I have to pick the components individually. Is this the normal SOP or is it just me?

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#4 2022-08-01 12:47:16

toz
Member
Registered: 2011-10-28
Posts: 473

Re: Broken default Xfce4 theme and missing Applications menu icons

FaulkNet wrote:

P.S. Adwaita does not show up as a full theme in the Themes tab of xfce-theme-manager, which makes resetting XFCE back to the default theme with window decorations and everything a very manual process; unlike other themes I have to pick the components individually. Is this the normal SOP or is it just me?

Yes, this is normal. There will be some changes in the upcoming 4.18 release that will expedite this, but you can put the following commands in a "reset" type script to expedite a reset of the settings to defaults:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s ""
xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/IconThemeName -s "Adwaita"
xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/theme -s "Default"

Note: there is a difference between upstream defaults and Arch defaults (see: https://github.com/archlinux/svntogit-p … -xml.patch). Upstream has empty strings for both ThemeName (defaulting to built-in Adwaita) and IconThemeName (defaulting to Adwaita?). The Arch packages defaults them both directly to "Adwaita" but also installs the gnome-themes-extra package that includes the Adwaita theme as an option in the Appearance tab.

Last edited by toz (2022-08-01 13:03:47)

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#5 2022-08-03 04:29:52

FaulkNet
Member
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 12

Re: Broken default Xfce4 theme and missing Applications menu icons

Thank you toz, that was very informative.

I've only glossed over the xfconf-query utility up to this point—For anyone reading this, I recommend checking out the Configuration section of the ArchWiki on XFCE (https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/xfce#Configuration) and following the references to the xconf documentation. This has given me new food for thought.

I'm surprised that the integration of Adwaita has gotten so messy between the DE and the GTK library, but it makes me feel better to hear that the default theme is relatively more piecemeal than those brought in from elsewhere.

Incidentally, thank you for clarifying the difference between the upstream defaults and the Arch ones. That's a helpful distinction. On a side note, I've recently been freshening up my github due to the amount of time I've been spending perusing package descriptions and it hadn't even occurred to me that I can follow Arch as an organization on the site. Cool beans. smile

I'll admit I'm still a little confused but I'm starting to think that's partly a function of the Adwaita integration. Thank you for broadening my understanding.

Last edited by FaulkNet (2022-08-04 02:57:13)

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