'claws-mail' re-installed, now runs / changing claws-mail's (and other gtk applications') colors

Vlado Plaga rechner at vlado-do.de
Tue Aug 31 09:13:46 PDT 2010

Am Mon, 30 Aug 2010 17:20:48 -0600
schrieb dushanm at spinn.net:

> >>>> The default stark white background of the message  window
> >>>> is hard on my eyes (exacerbated by a cataract in one eye from an old
> >>>> injury).  

I have a lot of sympathy for people with such problems. My own eyes are
not the best, and I also don't like websites with huge areas of just
bright white.

> >>>> Nothing I found on the Internet has given me a clue about how to ad-
> >>>> just main-window colors, and so far nobody on the claws-mail forum  has
> >>>> offered an answer to my query.  

After some searching and trying around I found a solution. First I even
tried to install "clawsker" on MacOS (and failed), but the good news is:
clawsker only modifies text colors anyways. I tried that on my Ubuntu
laptop computer, while the iMac was running on Mac OS. In Ubuntu
installing clawsker is a snap, just an "aptitude install clawsker".
Modifying the Gnome desktop theme, which immediately affects claws-mail
as well, can also simply be done via the standard Gnome dialogs. There
are nice dialogs for changing to completely different themes, and for
just modifying individual colors. I could not figure out how to transfer
these settings to Mac OS, though. The only file that got modified
apparently was "~/.gconf/desktop/gnome/interface/%gconf.xml", but maybe
only the Gnome desktop environment reads that.

The working solution I found somehow, with the help of Rubénerd's
website[1], goes like this:

# wget
# tar xzf gtk2-engines-xfce_2.6.0.orig.tar.gz
gtk-xfce-engine-2.6.0/themes/dusk/gtk-2.0 # echo 'include
"gtk-xfce-engine-2.6.0/themes/dusk/gtk-2.0"' >> .gtkrc-2.0

(If you read this in claws-mail and your window is wide enough the
three long lines above should not be broken *g*)

If you execute these three commands in your home directory, an archive
with several gtk themes will be downloaded,
gtk-xfce-engine-2.6.0/themes/dusk/gtk-2.0 will be extracted, and this
file will be included from your .gtkrc-2.0 file (which will be created
by the "echo" command, if it did not exist yet.

The "dusk" theme we just extracted is really dark, and you'll have to
change some font colors for quoted text to brighter colors to keep it
readable, at least. This can be done from claws-mail. You can also
modify the theme's colors individually, of course, by editing the
gtk-2.0 file from the archive. Maybe then starting with a lighter
theme (e.g. "dawn" instead of "dusk") would be better. I did not find
out where the values are documented, but I found the variable for the
claws-mail message background by taking a screen-shot (CMD+Shift+3),
opening that in Gimp, and picking the relevant part's color ("121212"
in "dusk"). The variable is "base[NORMAL]".

I might stick to a dark theme for some time, now...

Good luck getting the colors you want!


[1] http://rubenerd.com/p3964/


       Vlado Plaga                        __o
    http://vlado-do.de                 _o/\<,_
    update: 2010-07-03                 (U)/ (u)

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