Openbox window colors, dark theme Topic is solved

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby drooly » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:34 pm

the flaw might well be in the crux theme. it's really very old, and i doubt anybody changed it recently.
try a few different themes, i'm sure you can fix it.

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby skimmy » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:38 am

Installed LDXE on Manjaro/Arch. The dark themes there create a dark background for some windows but just like on Lubuntu with custom colors many windows are still light so presents an odd half dark, half light desktop environment.

The problem has nothing to do with Crux. Did you read my second post?

skimmy wrote:All the themes I select with Openbox Configuration Manager leave the background light; same as selecting a theme with LXAppearance - Window Border - Theme. The dark backgrounds in my attached screenshot were achieved with LXAppearace - Color - use customized color scheme; but this did not affect the shown windows that still have light backgrounds. I just unchecked that option and clicked apply to see if that was stopping the themes from setting the background but they are still light and all my customized colors were lost :( , luckily I wrote them down :)

All the theme previews I see on have a light background, just like every theme preview I see in Openbox Configuration Manager or Customize look and feel.

Turquoise Nights Ob from has a screenshot showing dark backgrounds but when I install it has no affect on any of my backgrounds and displays in theme preview like all the others with a light background.

BTW- fresh Lubuntu 17.04 install and updates; thanks for your time & help

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby Lieven » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:27 am

The real problem is, some applications don't seem to support dark application backgrounds.

At least the following programs do not:


The following programs do:


If a program doesn't support a dark application background, you may have an option to set a dark background from the program itself.
But that's not always the case, nor does it work as expected (the last part is true for libreoffice)

As of yet, I haven't found a theme that sets a dark application background. Turquoise Nights indeed doesn't set a dark application background.

So at the moment, I'm sorry, but I can't help you.

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby skimmy » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:02 pm

drooly wrote:
skimmy wrote:Quite simply, windows with dark backgrounds & light text

this is definitely possible.

In this world nothing can be said to be definite, except death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby drooly » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:39 am

^ that's just silly in this context.
"definitely possible" is definitely possible.

anyway, i can see your problem clearly now:

- crux is a gtk2 only theme! because i's that old.
- the "white" apps (obconf, synaptics) use gtk3, and fall back on the inbuilt adwaita theme.

use another theme (didn't i suggest that already earlier, possibly multiple times) - one that supports both gtk3 + gtk2.

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby skimmy » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:16 pm

Sorry for the levity, sometimes I have to laugh about computers or I'll cry

Turns out all I really needed was to add /usr/share/themes/Crux/gtk-3.0/gtk.css with:

@define-color bg_color #000;
@define-color fg_color #ddd;
@define-color base_color #222;
@define-color text_color #fff;

I had tried other themes with gtk3 like Lubuntu dark, sounds like it would have a dark backround, but it has light backgrounds. Downloaded Turquoise Nights but it only had openbox-3 dir. Since last post searched LXDE gtk3 theme & downloaded Mona, it provided dark bkg but didn't like the grey. Still like Crux for it's extreme gradient.

It took me a while to understand diff dirs for themes & icons, and diff dirs for Window Border (openbox-3), Icon, Curser, Widget (gtk-2.0 and/or gtk-3.0); and theme dirs can have one or all.

Synaptic Package Manager still light so only fixed 1 of 2 windows in my screenshot and dropdown menus for System Tray in panel and Firefox have light background and text (barely readable) so I'll have to get my hands even dirtier.

If only LXAppearance had saved custom colors to gtk-3.0/gtk.css never would have needed to get on here and would have been all GUId

Thanks for your time and help drooly, skimmy out

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby drooly » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:38 am

well done.
not what i would have done, but valid.
please mark your thread solved.

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme

Postby skimmy » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:55 pm

Still not solved.

I figured out the drop down menu problem by editing a few items in gtk-3.0/gtk.css but still getting white backgrounds on things like Manjaro Settings and Gedit header is light and unreadable.

I need terminal black background for an old all-in-one unit with a touchscreen overlay that makes anything but pure black appear to have lines through it (old slow PC is what led me to LXDE in the first place)

I could not find a ready made theme with pure black background so have been trying to edit the files myself but its not easy trying to figure out what all the css settings control and seems to be no standard.

When I get more hours to figure it out I will post what the solution turns out to be

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Re: Openbox window colors, dark theme  Topic is solved

Postby skimmy » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:09 pm

This is what I had to understand before I could get my desired black background
and white text; posted here to hopefully help any other newbies (and me when
my hd crashes and I have to reinstall OS & can't remember wow to setup)

Customizing LXDE is not as simple as selecting one theme. As simply as possible:

Make changes via Main menu, Preferences, Customize Look and Feel:

Widget tab selects a theme for colors and buttons inside windows

Color tab, customized colors only works on about 1/2 of apps (those using gtk2)
and colors are erased/deleted when Use box unchecked

Window Border tab selects a theme for window title bar colors and fonts
(Equates to Openbox Configuration Manager, Theme and Appearance tabs)

Font selection is not under Font tab but on bottom right of Widget tab

Font tab: enabled antialiasing, Hinting style = Slight, Sub-pixel geometry = RGB

Icons and Mouse Cursor themes are selected seperately under repective tabs


Watch out for apps that don't apply theme/custom changes until restarted,
even ones that seem to update immediately may only partially update

pcmanfm - change in text bkd applied to places and location bar but
not applied to file browse window bkd til restart

- icon on panel updates immediately on icon theme apply, but if
Lubuntu applied it shows Lubuntu dark icon until pcmanfm restarted
then its shows the actual Lubuntu icon, a strange brown blurry icon

Lubuntu 17.04 does not come with a dark theme

When downloading/installing a dark theme ensure that it's dir includes the
dirs gtk-2.0, gtk-3.X (X being 0, 2.0, etc.) or newer apps remain light,
and openbox-3 (or window title colors won't match gtk themes)

If you cannot find a theme with desired colors copy one (or pieces of different
ones) with desired icons/widgets into /usr/share/themes/NewTheme or
~/.themes/NewTheme and edit these files:


themes/themeName/gtk-2.0/gtkrc, edit gtk_color_scheme values

bg_color = Customize Look and Feel, customized color, Background Normal windows
base_color = Customize Look and Feel, customized color, Background Text windows


this file may include many other files which will have to also be edited

there are over 100 bg settings, to start find bg_color and selected_bg_color
and find/replace all with that color to new color

Browsers require extensions, chrome does not play well with dark backgrounds

There are still apps that have light backgrounds but I'm at wit's end

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