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-7.6 systemd platform.

Package Information

GTK+ 3 Dependencies


at-spi2-atk-2.12.1, gdk-pixbuf-2.30.8, and Pango-1.36.7


Optional (Required if building GNOME)



Colord-1.2.3, Cups-1.7.5, DocBook-utils-0.6.14, GTK-Doc-1.20, JSON-GLib-1.0.2, and librest-0.7.92

User Notes:

Installation of GTK+ 3



GTK+ 3 will overwrite gtk-update-icon-cache from GTK+-2.24.24 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         \
            --enable-broadway-backend \
            --enable-wayland-backend  \
            --enable-x11-backend      &&

Some tests fail if /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/gschemas.compiled is not found. If you wish to run the test suite, create (or update) the file using the following command as the root user:

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

To test the results, issue make 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

--enable-broadway-backend: This switch enables the Broadway HTML5 GDK backend.

--enable-wayland-backend: This switch enables the Wayland GDK backend which is required for GNOME Wayland support. Remove it if you have not installed the recommended dependencies.

--enable-x11-backend: This switch enables the X11 GDK backend.

--enable-gtk-doc: Use this parameter if GTK-Doc is installed and you wish to rebuild and install the API documentation.

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-3.12.0 or an icon theme (such as gnome-icon-theme-3.12.0) 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-icon-theme-name = 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: broadwayd, gtk-launch, gtk-query-immodules-3.0, gtk-update-icon-cache, gtk3-demo, gtk3-demo-application, and gtk3-widget-factory
Installed Libraries:,, and, and several under /usr/lib/gtk-3.0/3.0.0/{immodules,printbackends}
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, /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/{gail-libgail-util3,gdk3,gtk3}, and /usr/share/themes/{Default,Emacs}/gtk-3.0

Short Descriptions


provides support for displaying GTK+ 3 applications in a web browser, using HTML5 and web sockets.


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 2014-08-24 04:28:07 -0700