Everyone once in a while when I do a system update, VirtualBox looses its GTK theme. I think it's when the kernel updates. I usually end up uninstalling and reinstalling the VirtualBox packages to fix it. Why does this happen, and is there a light weight fix?

VirtualBox screenshot w/o gtk theme

Edit: Adding a new screenshot showing other GTK apps.

enter image description here

  • Ok, so by "Theme" you dont mean the window's decorations (the title bar and its buttons), only the menu and status bar seem to be different. Thats good, means fix will be easier. I cant reproduce the problem, but i noticed that Virtualbox window respond to immediate changes to theme. So if you go to Control Panel > Appearance, and click on any other Theme, does it fix the VirtualBox window? – MestreLion Apr 8 '11 at 18:01

No idea why it happens (had the same issue crop up before) but a quick fix is to run qtconfig, under appearance tab there's 'select gui style' option - make sure it says GTK+. From top menu select File -> Save.

  • Had the same issue with VirtualBox 4.3.28 this also fixed it. Thanks. – Michal Przybylowicz Jun 4 '15 at 1:37
  • 2
    qtconfig no longer exist in Qt5 – Nicolas Sep 3 '16 at 20:19

What version of VirtualBox are u running? I use 3.2 OSE here, and never had any problemns with GTK theme (i use a customized one, so i would have noticed).

By the way... if youre using VirtualBox to host a Windows XP guest, why not installl the guest package? Its an ISO you can download and install inside the Windows XP guest. VirtualBox itself offers to install it for you. It would allow you to run MUCH better, have more features, including seamless mode. And in seamless the GTK theme would be irrelevant...


Thats weird. I use exatcly the same version and build as you (3.2.8_OSE r64453), and Im also running XP. I use a customized GTK Theme (from Linux Mint 10), and have updated kernel like 5 times in the last 6 months. Check:

enter image description here.

Question: does it only happen in VirtualBox? No other software/window ever loses theme? So when this happen, you actually Virtualbox with one theme and other windows with another theme, at the same time? Could you please provide another screenshot showing 2 windows (virtualbox and something else) displaying the diferent themes a the same time?

  • I do install the guest tools, but I don't use seemless mode. – Chase Seibert Apr 7 '11 at 17:32
  • Running version 3.2.8_OSE r64453 – Chase Seibert Apr 7 '11 at 17:33
  • Yes, only with VirtualBox. It worked for the last year, but then a system update (with kernel updates) broke it. Adding a screenshot to my post. – Chase Seibert Apr 8 '11 at 14:39

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