Wiki Table of Contents

Art procedures

On this page:

This page collects the various procedures required or convenient when creating a new release.


Use these guides to get the color depth right for GRUB and Live bootloader. The GRUB screen guide is old but the part about color depth is still relevant. Also see


  • We don’t package the backgrounds, only put them in a folder, compress and send them. The license text can be written later.

GRUB screen

  • The GRUB background was 800×450 and is a .png file in /usr/local/share/backgrounds/. We use a 32bit color depth which Gimp isn’t capable of. See the guide how to get around this
  • The Live bootloader must have 3 different sizes:
    • 640×480 called back640.jpg
    • 800×600 called back800.jpg
    • 1024×768 called back1024.jpg
  • Also for those the guide must be used to transfer the color depth from an earlier background to the new one.
  • NOTE: make sure the GRUB background is dark enough to permit easy reading of the text.

Login screen

The background for the login is called login.jpg

LightDK GTK+ Greeter settings

  • move location of login box
  • change items on top bar

Theming of the login box requires changing the code. For MX-16, that code is here: /usr/themes/MediterraneanDarkest_MX-16/gtk-3.0/gtk-widgets.css. The relevant changes for the current box are these:

1)inserted after line 79:

#content_frame {
    background-color: transparent;
    background-image: none;

2) deleted stanza right after that:

* {
    /* inherit the color from parent by default */
    color: inherit;
    background-color: @theme_bg_color;

3) change line 785 to

border-style: transparent;

To see the result of changes to the login box, background, top bar, etc.

  1. install xserver-xephyr
  2. run the command lightdm –test-mode –debug



Lorem ipsum


Size 1920×1200

To add the MX logo to an image for use as a wallpaper:

  1. Open the wallpaper in Gimp
  2. Open the full screen logo file with “Open as layer”
  3. Move the logo into position by hovering your mouse over it, left click and drag the logo to your desired position
  4. Merge the logo layer down using the Image menu “Merge layer down”
  5. Save your work


  • icon sets can be found online on various customisation sites, downloadable in zip file or other compressed file archive formats. For copyright reasons, please ensure that the terms of use/licence terms do not clash with MX Linux’s open source nature. The more common licences are GPL (General Public Licence) and certain versions of Creative Commons Licences (those with attribution terms are fine but not those prohibiting modification of the work or restricting usage to purely non-commercial use). The terms of the Licence are often included as a text file within the archive file.
  • the archive can be extracted to either $HOME/.icons or /usr/share/icons (open Root Thunar and copy over the extracted files). However, for the purposes of testing an icon theme, it would be preferable to copy the extracted files to the latter so that the icons will work with all users and for graphical applications that open only in root, ie Synaptic, Gparted, Root Thunar.
  • Icons in the $HOME/.icons folder will only be usable by the user who extracted them there and even then, root applications opened by this user will not display any icons from this theme at all.
  • for icon themes that may not be very complete, it is possible to make it fall back onto another more complete icon theme for missing icons. Amend the file “index.theme” in the main folder of the icon theme with a text editor. For the line starting “Inherits=”, add the name of the fallback icon theme. The name used should be identical to the main folder name for the fallback theme, instead of the fallback theme’s “official” name as listed in its own index.theme file. The fallback theme name should be the first name on the “Inherits=” line and not the last one, if you wish it to have priority as a fallback theme.
  • So for MX Linux, you might wish to have Faenza-Cupertino or Papirus GTK/Papirus Dark GTK as the fallback theme for whichever other theme you wish to use, since both are installed as default in MX16. Faenza-Cupertino is the only default theme in MX15 (pre-migration).


Editing XFCE window borders requires editing .xpm image files–text files which describe an image as a form of ASCII art. But altering the code in .xpm text files does not always allow the programmer to visualize the desired graphical result (e.g., a thicker window border that is easier to grab with a mouse) and usually requires substantial trial-and-error. As an example, the following ASCII art would spell “HI”:

x x x
xxx x
x x x

Using Greybird as an example, the .xpm files are stored here: /usr/share/themes/Greybird/xfwm4/ and can be edited with any text editor like geany or nano, et al. Window borders are described via multiple files, each designating a portion of the border…

  • bottom-active.xpm (bottom border for active windows)
  • bottom-inactive.xpm (bottom border for inactive windows)
  • bottom-left-active.xpm (bottom left corner border for active windows)
  • bottom-left-inactive.xpm (bottom left corner border for inactive windows)

…and use corresponding descriptions for: left side, right side, top, top left (corner), top right (corner), and so on.

To get a sense of what each border image looks like, thumbnails can be viewed in Thunar (they can be difficult to see since borders are usually very close to the shade of a window’s background), or they can be more easily viewed by opening an .xpm file in GIMP and then zooming in to 400%. 

Overall, be prepared to experiment before making permanent changes. Hints:

  • Viewing borders in magnified mode can be accomplished by using the Ctrl+Mouse-Scroll-Wheel keyboard shortcut. 
  • After editing you can trigger a refresh with: xfwm4 –replace

Note: Please read the article on xpm files under Links carefully to get a handle on editing the files and understanding the resulting graphics.


Lorem ipsum

Whisker menu

To change theming:

  • Developer’s blog posts, see Xfce Wiki entry


v. 20170506

Leave a Comment

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!