[xmonad] gnome theming is destroying my life

Michael Norrish michael.norrish at nicta.com.au
Thu Sep 13 02:18:30 CEST 2012

I probably updated my Ubuntu 12.04 install too enthusiastically, and suddenly I 
have a lot of horrible theming.  In particular, menu bars are now a horrible 
grey colour, and my hand cursor is black with a white outline.  Thunderbird has 
been particularly badly affected: there the menu bar has a dark grey background 
and black for the text colour.

My gnome-relevant set up is


            [Desktop Entry]
            Comment=Lightweight tiling window manager
            Exec=gnome-session --session=xmonad


            [GNOME Session]
            Name=Xmonad session

Until a few days ago, this was giving me a very pleasant xmonad experience with 
a little gnome seasoning.

But, it also seems as if I can't adjust my gnome settings.

There's an Applications / System Tools / System Settings menu entry that hangs 
off the gnome-panel, and this allows the selection of themes from the Display 
option, but this doesn't seem to have any effect on what I see.

I realise that this is more a Gnome question than an xmonad one, but my 
situation is more likely to be one that xmonad users understand and/or have 
encountered.   I'd like to keep the gnome "seasoning" around if possible, but 
the way it looks at the moment is sooo ugly.

Any advice gratefully received,

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