Apr 142009


Some time ago, I blogged on missing, or broken icons in Gnome’s Evolution, when used in the KDE desktop environment, running on a Gentoo box.  Since then, I have migrated to KDE 4.2, and I have once again experienced the same problem.  I tried using each of the icon themes installed on my system, but none of the themes were complete.  Each one was missing icons – some more, others less.  Incidentally, the new “oxygen” theme seemed the most complete.

I submitted a bug report to Gentoo’s bug tracking site and received the following answer.


Here’s the workaround provided by Timo Gurr:

$ rm ~/.gtkrc-2.0
# emerge gtk-engines
# cp /usr/share/themes/Clearlooks/gtk-2.0/gtkrc /etc/gtk-2.0/gtkrc
# DIY:
     Edit /etc/gtk-2.0/gtkrc
     Add: 'gtk-fallback-icon-theme = "gnome"' as the first line.

Then restart Evolution.

This worked great for me! Hopefully, Gentoo will update portage include this procedure for the evolution, gtk, or gtk-engines packages in the future.

Feb 122009


Recently, I switched to using Gnome’s Evolution for my email and calendar groupware client on my Gentoo Linux workstation.  I encountered multiple problems that had to be worked.  One of the more noticeable and annoying problems was the messed up icons.  All of the button icons were pictures of blank paper with a red X in the middle, similar to a “file not found” icon.

Gnome Evolution with broken icons.

Apparently, this is a fairly common problem on new installs where people primarily use KDE and not Gnome.  Here is a collection of solutions that may help.


Do you have any gnome icons installed?  Make sure you have at least gnome-icon-theme and hicolor-icon-theme installed.  For Gentoo, this is performed, like so:

# emerge gnome-icon-theme hicolor-icon-theme

Do you have read access to the installed icons?  For whatever reason, the installed icons occasionally lose their read permission.  As root, or using sudo, you need to ensure the appropriate permissions, like so:

# chmod -Rf a+rX /usr/share/icons

Have you configured all your Gnome-based tools, including Evolution, to use an installed icon theme?  As your standard, desktop user (not root), check for the existence of this file:

$ cat ~/.gtkrc-2.0

If it does not exist, or if it does not specify an icon theme, you need to add one, like so:

$ echo gtk-icon-theme-name=\"gnome\" >> ~/.gtkrc-2.0

Restart your Evolution email client and enjoy your pretty icons!  Red X’s be gone!!!  🙂


Gnome Evolution with proper icons