I would like to change the default theme in my XFce4 from Greybird to Daloa, but for several reasons I need to do it via remote SSH console (text, no GUI).

I have tested:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s Daloa

but I get this error message:

Fail when starting libxfconf: Unable to autolaunch a dbus-daemon without a $DISPLAY for X11.

I have tried:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s Daloa :0
sudo xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s Daloa :0

... with same results.

How could I change or configure to change on next user logon the theme from Greybird to Daloa in XFce4, assuming I have no DISPLAY active that could allow the execution of xfce... tools?


You can try to create a dbus session manually by issuing the command:

eval `dbus-launch --sh-syntax`

this will set the environment variable DBUS_SESSION_BUS_PID (as well as others). You should now be able to run the xfconf-query command.

After you are done, you can "logout" of this session with:


To change theme for your session, just edit the XFwm configuration file named xfwm4.xml and change Greybird with Daloa.
Using sed you could simply do:

sed -i 's/Greybird/Daloa/' ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfwm4.xml

This will be effective the next time you logon to GUI.

To change it for default new users starting GUI, the file is at /etc:

sed -i 's/Greybird/Daloa/' /etc/xdg/xdg-xubuntu/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfwm4.xml

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