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After going from release to release of Fedora for a couple years, I noticed a problem recently on my laptop. When I switch to "Adwaita-Dark" in the "Appearance" menu in Xfce, things change to dark mode, but things like the decorator and the panel stay light:

Adwaita-Dark in Xfce

I was upgrading from release to release of fedora for many years on my desktop PC and there the problem doesn't exist, so I assume it's not a bug per-se, rather it is some stuck or weird configuration issue, but I can't figure out where to look.

~/.config/xfce4-session/ is empty.

As you can see in the picture, the Window Manager theme is set to "Default", which is the only one I use.

Something is keeping the decorators and parts of other applications from perhaps detecting the theme change. The decorators and things like the Whisker Menu and the panel in general, is seemingly "stuck" at Adwaita. If I switch to any other theme, only the inside of windows are changing. The decorators, the panel, and some other applications don't change.

Is there any way to (gracefully) reset this? Is there perhaps some message passing issue?


Perhaps some pointers where the settings are saved to, so I can see whether this is a permissions issue?


Some additional things I've tried:

I've deleted ~/.config/dconf/user, this made the panel honor theme settings again, so I guess it's a partial success.

I've also deleted ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/*.xml, this reset most of my settings, but it didn't change the behavior of the decorations back to normal. The decorations are still stuck at Adwaita.

  • I agree. There must be a weird cache or setting stuck somewhere especially if the default window manager cooperated elsewhere. You could switch to a dark theme for your Window Manager such as Numix. The panel has its own configuration to make it dark. You might prefer Arc dark theme instead. You can use certain GTK 2 themes for the Window Manager such as Default-4.8 and change the window decorations backgrounds. See my answer here: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/433350/… Good luck with it! – jbrock Sep 12 '19 at 15:01
  • Did you try removing your home directory cache, rm -rf ~/.cache? Also, I wonder if the same problem persists if you create another user on the system. – jbrock Sep 14 '19 at 18:03
  • @jbrock not the entire ~/.cache directory, but I did delete ~/.cache/xfce4, but the problem still persists. I kinda don't want to delete the entire cache directory, that'll be kinda cumbersome with all sorts of other software I use. – polemon Sep 16 '19 at 9:49
  • The problem magically resolved itself for now, after I upgraded to Fedora 31. However this problem has been haunting me for many years now, and it's only a matter of time (and updated) when it will come back. – polemon Nov 11 '19 at 2:14

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