Archive for January 28th, 2015

Wider Borders in XFCE / Xubuntu

A longstanding Xubuntu / XFCE UI problem has been single-pixel window borders that make click-and-drag resizing essentially impossible. The reason it’s a longstanding problem has been the developers’ unflinching response to any and all issues raised on the bug tracker:

That discussion may be illuminating.

I had never looked for the XFCE theme-building documentation (and, thus, never found any), because building a whole new theme would be a lot of work just to resize the damn borders. It should be feasible to tweak only the borders of an existing theme, but … I stalled.

Repeatedly. On every single version of Xubuntu that’s come along.

Fortunately, someone recently did the legwork and summarized the method, which I slightly adapted:

cd /usr/share/themes/
sudo cp -a Greybird-compact/ Greybird-wide
cd Greybird-wide/xfwm4
for f in bottom left right ; do sudo cp ../../Daloa/xfwm4/${f}* . ; done
sudo sed -i -e 's/C0C0C0/CECECE/' *xpm
sudo sed -i -e 's/A0A0FF/7C7C7C/' *xpm
sudo sed -i -e 's/E0E0FF/E0E0E0/' *xpm

The exact color mapping depends on which two themes you’re using. You can also specify GTK element colors, which seems like a better way to do it. Maybe next time.

Apparently, the corresponding PNG files contain transparency information for the XPM files, but I haven’t bothered to investigate how that works or what might happen if I tweaked them.

Then you select the new Graybird-wide theme and It Just Works.

Sheesh & similar remarks…