I use a machine with Xubuntu and I installed i3 on it. When I log in in i3 and open thunar the icons are missing. I read that I have to set the icon set in xfce4-settings-manager > Appearance. The icon set is elementary Xfce darker. When I log in in Xfce it works. Why can't this icon set be loaded in i3?

1 Answer 1


Well, since xfce isn't being used the settings manager isn't either. To set an icon theme or gtk-2 theme create the following file in your /home/user: .gtkrc-2.0 . In it set the icon theme with the following line: gtk-icon-theme-name = "elementary-xfce-darker". a gkt-2 theme would be set in the same file with gtk-theme-name = "theme-name". The theme names need to be identical to the names in /usr/share/icons or /usr/share/themes. Using gtk-icon-theme-name = "elementary Xfce darker" would not work.

  • Great explanation with solution. Can this settings cause problems when I go back to xfce? The file .gtkrc-2.0 already existed and contained only include .gtkrc-xfce. I appended your settings. Mar 16, 2019 at 23:50
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    I think it could, but I'm not sure. This was tested on Xubuntu-18.04. In my version there was no .gtk-2.0 file made before I made it, so there was no include .gtkrc-xfce in .gtkrc-2.0. Neither is there a file .gtkrc-xfce on the system I tested with. As long as you don't change icon or theme settings when you are logged into xfce there should be no problem. If you were to encounter a problem, commenting out the added lines in .gtkrc-2.0 and logging back in should remedy the problem. (put a # before gtk-icon-theme-name = "iconthemename" or other line and leave the include line). Kind regards
    – jeroen
    Mar 17, 2019 at 17:03

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