I'm not running xfce4 or gnome, so I can't use their respective settings manager.

Now I want to alter the GTK theme of all running apps, do you think that's possible? I think there's a signal or whatever can do that, but I couldn't find one.

Any ideas? It should works for both gtk2 and gtk3 apps.

  • 1
    You can't change theme for running application, you should restart it.
    – Eddy_Em
    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:44
  • @Eddy_Em hmm, but xfce4-settings-manager can do that, am I wrong?
    – daisy
    Mar 14, 2013 at 6:08
  • Can xfce4 be reloaded? If it does, maybe I'm wrong.
    – Eddy_Em
    Mar 14, 2013 at 6:09
  • In gtk2 there were some functions, capable of rereading .rc files with themes, but I don't know, how to invoke them: gtk.org/api/2.6/gtk/gtk-Resource-Files.html#gtk-rc-reparse-all. May 15, 2013 at 21:06
  • 1
    @Eddy_Em: Gtk themes can be changed on the fly.
    – Bobby
    Jun 15, 2013 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


You might try gtk-theme-switch2. It's a command-line utility that will apply whichever theme you tell it to; it also comes with a GUI if necessary:



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