Qt4 applications use the gtk theme by default, but Qt5 applications need to be started using -style gtk, or they don't look like gtk applications.

Is there a way to make Qt5 applications use the gtk style by default? There is qtconfig-qt4 (and style is set to gtk), but no qtconfig-qt5 package.

I'm on Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” Cinnamon.


I found the solution after reading https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Uniform_Look_for_Qt_and_GTK_Applications:

Qt5 decides the style to use based on what desktop environment is used. If it doesn't recognize the desktop environment, it falls back to a generic style. To force a specific style, you can set the QT_STYLE_OVERRIDE environment variable. Specifically, set it to gtk if you want to use the gtk theme. Qt5 applications also support the -style flag, which you can use to launch a Qt5 application with a specific style.

So I added this line to my $HOME/.profile

  • 2
    I just updated the page. Install qt5ct. It can configure Qt5 application style across all desktop environments.
    – jadelord
    Feb 13 '17 at 14:48

I was struggling with getting Qt5 to use the native style on Linux Mint (18, Cinnamon) for a Qt5 installation I downloaded myself. What seems to work in the end is


I think this variable is set by cinnamon-session itself (grepping the binary returns a match) so there is no easy way to unset it.

  • Why would you post this incomplete answer when the chosen answer gives a full explanation of the situation? Aug 19 '16 at 20:30
  • Because I spent several hours trying to figure out how to get my Qt5 applications to use the native style on Linux Mint, and the given answer does not fix it for me. The answer I gave fixes it for me, and it might for others in the same situation. That's why I posted it.
    – Adversus
    Aug 20 '16 at 11:21
  • Thank you for your answer. I also am on Linux Mint, and experienced the same thing
    – Vince W.
    Dec 4 '16 at 21:31

Best thing you can do is not use a DE that makes use of it period. I prefer lighter DE like Openbox, LXDE, Mate, XFCE etc...

  • Cinnamon and Budgie are not so bad if your looking for bells and whistles.
  • GDM for Logins.
  • Anything except SystemD example Runit or OpenRC (much better options).
  • Don't use Ubuntu and don't use Arch they both teach bad disciplines. Learn a distro not so common or obvious. The land of Linux is free as is its use.

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