My current setup is a laptop with an NVIDIA Optimus graphics card running Ubuntu 14.10 with Cinnamon as my desktop environment.

I usually use the Intel card because of the reason I'm asking this question, but I'd like to be able to use the NVIDIA card more since it's necessary to use the HDMI port.

My problem is that, when I switch to the NVIDIA card and relog, a lot of things change with my (GTK?) theme. For example, my selection color changes from Orange to Black, my desktop icon text changes color, the theme (usually noticed in Nemo) changes, fonts seem different, etc. You can see this in these screenshots:

Using the Intel card: Intel

Using the NVIDIA card: NVIDIA

Also, if I'm remembering right (I'll switch back to the Intel card and edit) when launching something like Nemo from the terminal, I get errors about no fallback CSS file, which don't appear when using the NVIDIA card. EDIT: Just checked, when launching Nemo with the Intel card, I get the following:

** (nemo:27857): WARNING **: Couldn't connect to accessibility bus: Failed to connect to socket /tmp/dbus-yGAxfyzEca: Connection refused

** (nemo:27857): WARNING **: Can't load fallback CSS resource: Failed to import: The resource at '/org/gnome/adwaita/gtk-fallback.css' does not exist

** (nemo:27857): WARNING **: Can't load fallback CSS resource: Failed to import: The resource at '/org/gnome/adwaita/gtk-fallback.css' does not exist

My best guess is that the GTK theme is getting changed somehow when switching cards, but I'm not sure why that's happening or how to prevent it.

Anyone have any ideas why the theme is changing, or how to figure this out?

EDIT: Yesterday it randomly used the same theme when I switched, and I have no idea why. But switching back to the Intel card and then switching to the NVIDIA card today this issue is still occurring.

1 Answer 1


I experienced similar behavior with Linux Mint 17.1. Icons were changed when I switched to NVIDIA card. I've found a solution here: Icons, controls themes don't work after clean install The solution is to remove


file. I assume, that the problem is connected with using an external monitor. Not sure if this workaround work with Ubuntu, but worth trying, I think.

  • It worked for me! After installing CUDA in my linux mint 17.1 my desktop changed similarly as the OP. Also I could not use hotkeys nor change the background. After removing the monitors.xml file, everything returned to normality!
    – aleixrocks
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 22:22

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