Very often, when I open an app through the terminal, the GTK inspector also gets opened for that app. Firefox doesn't seem to and VS Code usually closes it on its own. But otherwise, running ~$ vlc or ~$ qdirstat and the like opens the inspector. Is there any way to turn this off?

When Googling around, I seem to only be able to find methods of opening the inspector, which is the opposite of what I want.

  • How do you open the app(s)? What command? Mar 4 at 20:48
  • I, for example, open VSCode with the command code. Mar 4 at 20:57
  • Is there a GTK_DEBUG environment variable in your terminal session (check with printenv | grep GTK_ for example)? if so, what is its value? Mar 4 at 21:41
  • Ah! GTK_DEBUG is set to interactive. I'm not sure how I missed it when I was searching around, it's listed pretty clearly under docs.gtk.org/gtk4/running.html#gtk_debug. I'm a bit embarrassed it was that easy, but hindsight is 20/20 and all. Thanks so much @steeldriver. Would you like to write an answer so I can mark yours as accepted? Or I can do it myself if you'd like, not sure how etiquette works around here.
    – Wade Cheng
    Mar 5 at 1:07
  • @WadeCheng why don't you do it yourself, since you have all the info at your fingertips. FWIW I'm guessing your firefox is unaffected because it is contained within a snap. Mar 5 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


(Thanks to @steeldriver)

The GTK_DEBUG environment variable in my terminal session was set to interactive. Putting unset GTK_DEBUG at the bottom of my ~/.bashrc fixed it.

One may check via echo $GTK_DEBUG or printenv | grep GTK_ to list any variable starting with GTK_.

  • Instead of unsetting it, I'd recommend figuring out why it is set in the first place. That is not the default. It probably is set in your bashrc or some file sourced from it.
    – marcelm
    Mar 5 at 21:07

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