Introduction to GTK+ 3

The GTK+ 3 package contains the libraries used for creating graphical user interfaces for applications.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.4 platform.

Package Information

GTK+ 3 Dependencies


at-spi2-atk-2.8.1, gdk-pixbuf-2.28.2, and Pango-1.34.1

Optional (Required if building GNOME)



Colord-1.0.3, Cups-1.6.3, DocBook-utils-0.6.14, GTK-Doc-1.19, libxkbcommon, and Wayland

User Notes:

Installation of GTK+ 3



GTK+ 3 will overwrite gtk-update-icon-cache from GTK+-2.24.20 if it is installed. There is nothing wrong about that assuming that both programs provide same functionality. If you wish to keep one from GTK+ 2 you can add --enable-gtk2-dependency to the configure command.

Install GTK+ 3 by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc &&

Three tests are known to fail. To test the results:

make -k check

Now, as the root user:

make install


If you installed the package on to your system using a “DESTDIR” method, an important file was not installed and must be copied and/or generated. Generate it using the following command as the root user:

gtk-query-immodules-3.0 --update-cache


If you installed the package to your system using a “DESTDIR” method, /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/gschemas.compiled was not updated/created. Create (or update) the file using the following command as the root user:

glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas

Command Explanations

--disable-packagekit: switch disables use of PackageKit which isn't needed for BLFS.

rm tests/a11y/pickers.ui: This prevents test being run as it is known to fail.

Configuring GTK+ 3

Config Files

~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini and /etc/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

Configuration Information

GTK+ 3 themes change the way a GTK+ 3 application looks. An icon theme can be used to change the icons that appear on the application's toolbar. If you have installed a GTK+ 3 theme (eg gnome-themes-standard-3.8.4 or an icon theme (such as gnome-icon-theme-3.8.3) you can set your prefences in ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini. Eg:

mkdir -p ~/.config/gtk-3.0 &&
cat > ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini << "EOF"
gtk-theme-name = Adwaita
gtk-fallback-icon-theme = gnome

There are many more themes available at and other places.

Once you've settled on themes you like, you can (as the root user) make them the default system wide:

cat > /etc/gtk-3.0/settings.ini << "EOF"
gtk-theme-name = Clearwaita
gtk-fallback-icon-theme = elementary


Installed Programs: gtk-launch, gtk-query-immodules-3.0, gtk-update-icon-cache, gtk3-demo, gtk3-demo-application, and gtk3-widget-factory
Installed Libraries:,, and
Installed Directories: /etc/gtk-3.0, /usr/include/gail-3.0, /usr/include/gtk-3.0, /usr/lib/gtk-3.0, /usr/share/gtk-3.0, and /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/{gail-libgail-util3,gdk3,gtk3}

Short Descriptions


launches an application using the given name. The name should match application desktop file name, as residing in /usr/share/application, with or without the '.desktop' suffix.


collects information about loadable input method modules for GTK+ 3 and writes it to the default cache file location, or to standard output.


is an icon theme caching utility that creates mmap()able cache files for icon themes.


is a simple program that demonstrates some of the things that can be done with GTK+ 3


is a simple GTK+ 3 application.


is a program to view GTK+ 3 themes and widgets.

contains functions that implements the accessibility interfaces defined by the GNOME Accessibility Toolkit.

contains functions that act as a wrapper around the low-level drawing and windowing functions provided by the underlying graphics system.

contains functions that provide an API to implement graphical user interfaces.

Last updated on 2013-09-01 18:27:34 -0700