I'd like to change the text color(under icons) on my desktop. I already tried editing the .gtkrc-2.0 file but it doesn't seem like there's one.

  • I use version 4.10 – nifker Oct 2 '15 at 14:44

As Xfce 4.10, the .gtkrc-2.0 file still has some influence over the text color for desktop icons.

How to configure

Open .gtkrc-2.0 file in your text editor of choice. Or, if the file does not exist, create an empty file named .gtkrc-2.0 in your Home directory. Then, add the following code to the file:

style "xfdesktop-icon-view" {
XfdesktopIconView::label-alpha = 0
fg[NORMAL] = "#ffffff"
fg[SELECTED] = "#ffffff"
fg[ACTIVE] = "#ffffff"
widget_class "*XfdesktopIconView*" style "xfdesktop-icon-view"

As noted from this article on blog, you will have to change the hexadecimal codes by replacing the #ffffff instances. I'd suggest you to use a color scheme application such as agave to find the hexadecimal codes for the color you want.

Xfce version compatibility

As Xfce 4.10, the line containing fg[ACTIVE] seems no longer valid and brings no effect to any visible changes (at least on my side). It used to work on previous Xfce 4.8.

Tested working on Xubuntu 14.04 (Xfce 4.10).


Xfce uses a file called themerc in which you can specify a whole list of settings, including the font color you are asking about. If no color is defined in the themerc, it falls through and will look for a color in the gtkrc or gtk.css instead. So you just need to add a line specifying the font color in the themerc, and likely also change the background color and inactive color. On Mint 19, this is located in /usr/share/themes/theme name/themerc . A complete list of the settings you can put into the themerc file is found at: https://wiki.xfce.org/howto/xfwm4_theme in the section GTK color pickup.

To change the background color of the title bar is not as obvious: You need to change the color in the .xpm files in the theme directory. There are 120 or so files to change, so it would be laborious to do manually, so I suggest using the command line to change them all at once.: Use the find command to find all *.xpm files with the -exec option and the command you use on each file is sed -i (for changing a file in place) and then the color to change (with the octothorpe, which only occurs in color definitions in an .xpm, such as #4b4b4b) and the new color (with the octothorpe, example: #24248f) To find the 6 digit hexedecimal number of a color you can use one of the color picker programs that comes with linux, such as pick, Gpick, or Color Picker. I use Color Picker from the Mint repository.

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