When starting gparted, it crashes with the error:

Gtk-ERROR **: GTK+ 2.x symbols detected.
Using GTK+ 2.x and GTK+ 3 in the same process is not supported

I already opened LP bug #1094354 for this.

Searching the internet for this error, I see that almost every Linux distribution suffers from the same issue regarding this GTK+ 2.x/GTK+3 error for various other GTK-based programs too, e.g. gedit, gwibber, canberra-gtk, etc...

The GTK developers are claiming that it's not a GTK bug. Yet, no one on all the sites I've Googled has come up with an answer as to what this error message actually means.

What is going on in a program to cause this error? And what does this error mean in detail?

  • Can you reproduce this in a clean installation? I believe this is a result of earlier installations from source, now mixed up with Ubuntu packages updates on top of it in an odd way. – gertvdijk Dec 30 '12 at 16:58

It means that you are running an application which attempted to load the symbols from the GTK+ 2.x libraries, as well as the 3.x libraries. This is a problem, because there are several conflicting symbols in the libraries.

It is not a GTK+ bug, as GTK+ is doing the right thing by exiting early with a failure. If it didn't, you would most likely get very unpredictable behavior. In many cases, it is an issue with plug-ins, where the main app has been ported to GTK+ 3.x, but all the plug-ins haven't, and some people might still have older plug-ins installed, or similar.


I got the same error message. It turns out that for development I've set LD_PRELOAD to load some libraries (e,g: caffe libs), and those (with GTK+ apps) caused the error.

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