Guide on changing X11 GUI colors?

I typically start out my installs by installing the minimal version of the Manjaro i3 edition.

One thing I’ve never managed to change is the colors of GUI elements (other than those which can set themselves like browsers) in X11 and I don’t understand why. I’ve tried so hard to find a description of what I need to change on Arch wiki but somehow I don’t seem to be able to find the right thing. I typically create the following .Xresources in $HOME

! Dracula Xresources palette
*.foreground: #F8F8F2
*.background: #282A36
*.color0:     #000000
*.color8:     #4D4D4D
*.color1:     #FF5555
*.color9:     #FF6E67
*.color2:     #50FA7B
*.color10:    #5AF78E
*.color3:     #F1FA8C
*.color11:    #F4F99D
*.color4:     #BD93F9
*.color12:    #CAA9FA
*.color5:     #FF79C6
*.color13:    #FF92D0
*.color6:     #8BE9FD
*.color14:    #9AEDFE
*.color7:     #BFBFBF
*.color15:    #E6E6E6

but this doesn’t seem to do anything at all.

The weirdest part of this is that I can’t even find how the manjaro GUI color scheme is getting loaded. /etc/X11/xinit/.Xresources doesn’t even exist.

Does anyone know of any guides or examples that show me how to change these colors? While we’re at it, where is manjaro even getting the color scheme from?


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You also need to run:

xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources

This appears to be run by .xinitrc. Even trying running it explicitly does not seem to do anything, and yes I have tried restarting X11.

This is because this is usually set in the user’s home and loaded on login/startx

cat ~/.Xresources

Yeah, but I replaced ~/.Xresources and I still see all the original manjaro colors…

When you specificallly mention .Xresources and then GUI elements - you are barking up the wrong tree.

.Xresources is virtual terminal colors but depending on the terminal app used it can override the settings in .Xresources

The GUI elements is governed by the theme selected.

I don’t know if there is installed an app for adjusting the theming of GUI apps. The settings is found in different files depending on the toolkit and the version of the toolkit.

Oh… yes, it would make total sense if I’m just looking at the complete wrong thing.

Do you have any idea where I can find the GUI settings?

I was just checking the iso-profile for i3 to see which apps are installed to change theming and I found lxappearance, qt5ct and kvantum.

I also found that a package named maia-consoleis installed and it could be the package sets the color schema for terminal/console.

Some files controlling theme is the gtk2 rc file in $HOME and in ~/.config you willl find a folder with gtk3 settings - also a qt5ct folder and a Kvantum folder.

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Ah, yes! Thanks! Ok, so how does this all work? Is lxappearance only for things that use GTK and qt5ct only for things that use Qt?

Also, do you know where lxappearance is keeping its configuration? I can’t seem to find it and it sort of hints that it’s not setting the colors if I’m not using lxsession (which I’m not). If that’s the case I sitll don’t know what’s setting the colors.

Aha! Finally figured it out. I’m using dracula gtk as a template. Then, you can set it via lxappearance and kvantum. Qt5 will then get its stile from kvantum.

Yay, finally! I’ll need to automate and write all this down so I don’t have to get lost on this again…

For anyone else trying to figure this out, most of this stuff ultimately seems to be set by GTK. The relevant config you are looking for is in /etc/share/themes/, like I said, you can use the dracula repo (which is very comprehensive) as a template for what to put in there.



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