User avatar
Milliways
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:18 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:23 am

I updated an older SD Card (from April) to latest, and as it used to this clobbered all my desktop customisations.

I used to routinely put these back (particularly put the Open/Minimise/Close buttons back on the left).

I always had to hunt through the menu to find where these were hidden, but I was sure in was in Theme & Appearance Settings

I tried this and nothing happens. I tried the same in a fresh Raspbian install (2018-11-13) which is fully updated and Theme & Appearance Settings seems to hang there as well.

How can I configure the Open/Minimise/Close buttons and/or get Theme & Appearance Settings to work?

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:58 am

By "Theme & Appearance Settings", do you mean our "Appearance Settings" app, which makes no mention of theme in its title, or some other application? I suspect you are referring to the obconf application, which we hide by default because we don't expect people to use it, and having multiple appearance settings apps was pretty much the first thing I got rid of in the desktop... I've just checked obconf, and you are right that it seems to segfault on launch now - something in the new theming changes seems to upset it; I'll try to find out what that is and push a fix.

To manually set the window bar buttons, you need to modify the openbox configuration file - look in /home/pi/.config/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml and find the relevant section. The local copy of this file is removed by default in the current version, so you may need to copy /etc/xdg/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml to /home/pi/.config/openbox/ first and then edit the local copy. Or just copy your original version back from /home/pi/oldconfig/.config/openbox/

User avatar
Milliways
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:18 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:05 am

spl23 wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:58 am
By "Theme & Appearance Settings", do you mean our "Appearance Settings" app
No I mean the Theme & Appearance Settings Menu item (which apparently is not displayed by default in new installations) which has a Window Border/Title Bar tab.

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:25 am

Yup, that's obconf. I'll see if I can see what's wrong with it.

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:51 am

OK, I can see the problem which is causing the crash in obconf, and that particular issue is trivial to fix, but the bigger issue is that obconf is a completely independent package from openbox itself, and hasn't been kept up to date with any of the changes in openbox; the current release of obconf is over three years old, and it's a miracle it has worked for so long! Even with the crash fixed, using it to make any changes breaks all the new theme configuration for the Pi desktop.

I don't want to encourage the use of obconf for this reason. If you want to change the default window button layout, I recommend that you change the openbox config file with a text editor - it's easy enough to do, and now shouldn't be changed in future by any config changes we make to the system. At some point in future I may look at a complete update of obconf to work with the latest openbox, but it really won't be a priority - there's a reason we hide it...

To change the window buttons, find the <theme> section in the config file, specifically the <titleLayout> section inside the <theme> section. There is a string of text characters in there like LIMC - this is the button layout, and there is some helpful text immediately below it which explains what it means. To put the buttons on the left of the title, just move the L (which is "label" - the window title) to the end of the string - so change it to IMCL. "I" is the minimise button; "M" is the maximise button; "C" is the close button - reorder them as you want. Once you've changed the file, reboot to make the settings take effect.

User avatar
Milliways
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:18 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:23 am

I fixed it by copying .config/openbox/ from another installation.

If it doesn't work it should be removed from the menu, although there should be a graphical configuration option.

There are other items e.g. Display Settings which seem to have no function in Raspbian.

spl23
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:43 am

Milliways wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:23 am
If it doesn't work it should be removed from the menu, although there should be a graphical configuration option.
It *is* removed from the menu by default - you must have put it back!
Milliways wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:23 am
There are other items e.g. Display Settings which seem to have no function in Raspbian.
Ditto - all of these are removed from the menu by default - you seem to have re-enabled a bunch of them, possibly by deleting the desktop override files in /usr/share/raspi-ui-overrides/applications?

We don't recommend the use of anything other than our Appearance Settings application, which is why for several years now it has been the only display configuration application which is in the menu on a clean image.

Undergoose
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:42 pm

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:58 pm

After a fresh install of latest Raspbian-Stretch, I also had this same issue of the title bars becoming unusable, but got there a different way.

I used the 'Desktop Pager Settings' app by right-clicking on my desktop pager panel widget and selecting from the menu.

After making some changes to appearance and behavior in the openbox config gui, the /home/[user]/.config/openbox/lxde-rc.xml file got clobbered.

I don't see any apps or options in the new desktop menu that addresses the ability to make changes to the desktop pager aside from the one that I've always used. I rely pretty heavily on multiple desktops, so this is a sizeable fail point for me.

After recovering my local rc.xml by replacing with a copy of the original, everything is working again, aside from losing all of my desktop pager settings.

I think I'll go through and copy the desktop pager rc.xml settings from the broken file into the new default one, that should at least allow me to keep the settings until this this obconf bug can be sorted out properly.

Thanks for all of the info, though. I was going a little bit mental trying to figure out what was wrong with my mouse...until I read this thread and tried logging in as another user. :P

User avatar
Milliways
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:18 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Theme & Appearance Settings broken

Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:16 am

Undergoose wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:58 pm
I think I'll go through and copy the desktop pager rc.xml settings from the broken file into the new default one, that should at least allow me to keep the settings until this this obconf bug can be sorted out properly.
I was initially inclined to respond to the disappointing answer to my original question, but decided it was futile as the tool that configures the options I want no longer works, and there seems to be no intention to fix it.

Despite the assumptions in the answer, all my changes were made through the Menu (although the necessary tools did not appear by default) without any modifications to files.

I still think Raspbian is the most suitable OS for the Pi, but the GUI is a series of kludges which only support the (Windows oriented?) options the developer uses. (To be fair some, such as the inability to change resolution are a limitation of the Pi hardware.)

If I made more extensive use of the GUI I would be inclined to install a standard Linux Desktop.

Return to “Raspberry Pi OS”