Xfce theming - a few suggestions

It is hard to see the separators of the workspace switcher with arc theme.


I created two new files on GitHub regarding download/install of Arc icons and theme (just basic instructions, must be integrated into Whonix build code):

And two pull requests in order to update these changes in etc/skel/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xsettings.xml and etc/skel/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfwm4.xml files:

Also, for some reason I don’t see the pulseaudio plugin in the panel by default (using latest, ist normal? (should be default as per latest commit: xfce-desktop-config-dist/xfce4-panel.xml at master · Kicksecure/xfce-desktop-config-dist · GitHub)


Is using files from outside of Debian somehow avoidable? Can we pretty please only use stuff which already comes from packages.debian.org?

(Background: security, difficulty to make this work in build scripts on all platforms in all network configurations, signature verification, licensing, theoretically potentially malicious icons specifically crafted only for Whonix, Whonix Default Application Policy )





Saw only one pull request with two commits but I guess that is ok.

Whonix points at whonix-xfce-desktop-config 2.0-1 which does not have that change yet.

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I understand the concern. Unfortunately, I haven’t found this icon theme in official Debian packages. Up to you to include it or not.

Correct, that’s what I meant :slight_smile:

All clear

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Can we use any other suitable icons / theme / whatsoever available form

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Here is the list of all “icon-theme” packages in Debian:
Personally, I don’t like most of them.
If I had to choose, I would just use the default gnome theme (already installed) or Adwaita. I just dislike the current default one - Gnome Brave - which looks childish to me.

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We still need to pick the best one from there.

What about Debian -- Details of package elementary-xfce-icon-theme in buster? elementary is a usability and beauty focused distribution. The package seems available Free and unencumbered with whatever (great not great - i never looked into it, just heard positive about it) do. So seems perfect fit.

Personnaly I prefer the stock Adwaita icons :slight_smile:

Tested. Actually does not look great with our dark XFCE theme.

Alright, therefore no more changes needed as far as I know.

A post was split to a new topic: Fork XFCE Theming of another Debian based Linux distribution

Thank you @Patrick et al. for implementing Arc theme and Adwaita icons into the latest Whonix 15 OVA. The Buster Adwaita stock icons are way better than Stretch (e.g. folder icon in Thunar), I’m so happy, and I now consider things fully fixed in this department!

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Something left to do here?

Suggestion: place the panel on top (ALL flavors)
Reasoning: at least with virt-manager, you usually don’t put the VMs in full-screen in order to easily switch between different VMs and/or Host programs.

With the current settings you end up with something like this:

i.e. you never see the panel (hidden below) and you have to enable full-screen again to do anything useful inside the VM.

With the panel placed on top, you can still access it and manage your opened applications in the VM without having the need to enable full-screen, while still keeping quick access to your Host applications:

Much more practical! Also looks better and more functional IMHO. Top panel is actually default behavior for many XFCE distros (debian with XFCE, Xubuntu…).

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Unless someone has an excellent argument against this…

Yes, please go for it.


Not sure whether this change will apply to all flavors? Is there only one panel xml file for all flavors or separate ones for each of them?

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Merged. :slight_smile:

In this very case for this very file it will apply to all flavors.

In another case for xfce4-desktop.xml it is specific for host / gateway / workstation.

If needed, more files can be added there.

(Yeah, implementation is a bit weird but XFCE is a bit limited on how this could be designed.)

Nothing left to do here?

desktop backgrounds broken in Whonix KVM:

Most likely a KVM specific bug.

desktop background files in the git repository:

These files will end up in user’s home folder at first boot:


File will be modified by Xfce.

Files in /etc/skel

Possible the following setting…

    <property name="screen0" type="empty">

Works in VirtualBox but not in KVM.

Testing modified files in /etc/skel is cumbersome. I wrote a script which is supposed to be run from a virtual console to simplify the steps:

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I saw some nice stuff in kali linux xfce, we might get some useful stuff from it:

  • kali icon for the main menu
  • windows are numbered with 1234
  • graphical CPU usage (xfce plugin)



  • colorful terminal
  • and it can show previous lines while/instantly you type the command (not the bash-completion)