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Old 03-09-2006, 02:41 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: USA
Distribution: SuSE 9
Posts: 49

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Unhappy what is gtk? and help required with adding icon themes for gnome in Debian (Sarge)

First of all about my system information, i am using Debian Sarge stable release and gnome as my main window system. Also, i must admin that i am very new to linux and adding themes/enhancements. Before posting here i tried to find some basic information/tutorial about installing or using the readymade available themes from various sites but i couldnt find anything exact that i was looking for.

Recently, I was came through a link for gnome themes(please let me know if there are any more such good sites for themes and stuff) and browsing for themes from and there i see that there are two main sections for windowing themes GTK 1.x and GTK 2.x. My first question is what is GTK and what is the difference between these two? Are they just two different version's of GTK and if yes then how do i find the version that i am using in my gnome?

Also, i recently downloaded this icon theme(Etiquette Icons) from:

I tried to install it from Gnome Main Menu:

Applications->Desktop Preferences->Theme
and then i tried installing from there two ways, first i went into Theme Details->Icons tab and then Install theme and then pointed to the downloaded file(19853-etiquette-icons.tar.bz2), but after i click Install i dont see the this new icon theme in the list. Since this doesnt worked i thought maybe this is the wrong location for installing theme so i went to the main Theme screen and from there i selected Install theme and then pointed to this same file but still no use and i dont see the icon theme in the list.

Later, i thought that maybe the problem might be with the theme itself so i tried download few other icon themes, but still none of them worked and so i think my installation procedure itself is wrong. So, can anyone please tell me how to install themes in gnome?

I am sorry if my question sounds stupid but i couldnt get any help from googling.

Thanks in advance.
Old 03-10-2006, 03:37 AM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: USA and Italy
Distribution: Debian testing/sid; OpenSuSE; Fedora; Mint
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Gtk is gimp tool kit. I do not subscribe to installing themes before the basics of linux are mastered. Then, if there is absolutely nothing better to do, add some themes. You might start with "man tar" to learn how to extract the .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 file so you can actually install themes from it. Installing themes is no substitute for productive work. Linux is like a graceful woman. Before she does anything for you, you have to know her secrets. Unlike a woman, linux has the "man" program. There is also "xman".
Old 03-10-2006, 01:34 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 241

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Installing themes is no substitute for productive work
... but it sure does provide a nice way to procrastinate.

Since you're using gnome, you can simply double-click the theme package file (the or tar.gz) and then look at the readme file. There are different installation methods for different themes, although it is usually as simple as you described-- pointing to the "tarball" (the tar.gz) file and Gnome will unpack and install the theme for you. Once the theme is installed however, you still will need to select it. Some themes however, will have you manually extract the files and copy them to the appropriate folder in your home directory.

Since the theme you're looking at is an "icon theme", you can't just select that "theme". You have to click "theme details" and the the "icons" tab. That particular theme only changes your icons. There are also "controls" themes which chance the controls and "window borders" which change the appearance of the window border and titlebar.

I typically download many themes and piece together a custom theme using the Gnome untility you described.

As for GTK+, it's the graphics library used by Gnome and many of it's applications. The version of GTK+ you *likely* have is 2.6.x or possibly 2.8.x. You should be downloading the 2.6 themes not the 1.2 themes (unless your distro is pretty old and/or hasn't been updated in some time). But sinse you're new to Linux, you've probably got a fresh installation.

- Micah
Old 03-10-2006, 03:48 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: USA
Distribution: SuSE 9
Posts: 49

Original Poster
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First of all thanks MicahCarrick for the helpful reply and AwesomeMachine I am already good with the basics and stuff on linux. I am sorry that my question was little confusing and i didn't mention about my knowledge in linux. I am very well aware with basics and can do all the extracting, user permissions and stuff. From my question i wanted to say that i am new to applying themes/enhancements to gnome windows system. I have now been using linux since few months and all this time i tried to learn and get acquainted with my debian system. And now i feel that with this knowledge i can start enhancing my gnome.

Anyways, regarding my problem.. I found the version of GTK on my system using the following method (i am not sure if there is any other method also):
#dpkg -l | grep gtk
libgtk2.0-comm 2.6.4-3.1      Common files for the GTK+ graphical user int
so with above output, I am sure now that my gnome system supports gtk2+ themes easily. Also, i tried applying some themes and i had no problems with that. I am facing problems with applying icon themes. I already extracted and tried to see if I could find any info from the README but to my surprise there was nothing useful at all that mentions anything about installing it. I tried in all ways; I tried from the GUI and even tried copying the extracted files to the theme folder under "~/.icons" but still no use. I even tried re-logging and checking but still I donít get the new icons and donít even see the name under the theme Icons list???

Anymore ideas???
Old 03-10-2006, 04:18 PM   #5
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 241

Rep: Reputation: 31
It worked for me. I'm using gtk 2.6 and Gnome 2.10 on Fedora. This is what I did after downloading the file:
  • gnome -> desktop -> preferences -> theme
  • Clicked "Install Theme" button
  • Browsed for the tarball and clicked install
  • Recieved and information dialog that read: "Icon Theme etiquette correctly installed. You can select it in the theme details." Clicked "Ok"
  • Clicked "Theme Details"
  • Selected "Icons" tab
  • Selected "Etiquett"
All my icons changed to the Etiquett icons.


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