Scrollbar uses button background colour. Can the user override this (by editing a config file by hand)?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Tue Nov 2 23:19:47 GMT 2010

Dotan Cohen posted on Tue, 02 Nov 2010 12:26:18 +0200 as excerpted:

> Duncan, thank you! I have no doubt that you shall fell 19 Sardukar before
> your time is up!


> Although the Oxygen style does let one configure the scrollbar to have a
> hover effect, the rest of the theme (particularly the tabs) is too
> stressful for me to discern. However, the fact that this is possible
> highlights the fact that the theme can control the scrollbar
> independently of the button colour. I have grepped "oxygen" and
> "plastique" (my preferred theme) to find the file(s) responsible, but I
> have not found them. I will continue my search and post back if I find
> the file(s) that oxygen and plastique use to set the appearance of the
> scrollbars.
> Thanks. A solution seems closer yet!

FWIW, there's a tabs tab for oxygen as well.  It has a single option, for 
inactive tabs, "Single" or "Plain".  "Single" makes every tab stand out 
individually, but it becomes very difficult to distinguish between the 
active tab and all the others (the only difference being the line between 
the tab and the body, it's missing for the active tab).  Plain makes it 
far easier to see which tab is active, since it's the only one with lines 
around it that look like a tab, but conversely, all the inactive tabs 
dissolve into an indistinct line, no marking between (inactive) tabs.  I 
prefer "plain" because I can at least tell the active tab easier that way, 
but it'd be nice if the outline color for inactive tabs could be either 
configured independently of the outline color for the active tab (instead 
of them all being the same with "single" and inactives disappearing as 
tabs entirely with "plain", or if the system automatically chose a color 
between that of the active tab outline and the background, possibly with a 
slider to control which one it tilted toward.

But far be it from me to decree that you have to use Oxygen!  That's what 
there's style options for!  FWIW, altho I use Oxygen (widget) styles, I 
prefer KDE2 for window decorations (I like the way the blended titlebars 
work), and the professional desktop/plasma theme (off of kdelook, oxygen 
is too dark and not transparent enough), so I don't feel the need to stick 
with Oxygen where it doesn't fit my preferences, either.

Meanwhile, a hint for you.  What Oxygen style controls for scrollbars is a 
blend, so you're unlikely to see a specific color set anywhere.  The 
approach I'd take to sleuthing out what it's doing and where it's set is 
to use

strace -eopen kcmshell4 style |& grep WR | grep <$KDEHOME>

(in a konsole, naturally, |& is a bash pipe redirect that redirects STDERR 
into the pipe also, <$KDEHOME> is substituted as appropriate, the WR grep 
is for open for writing (not just reading), you likely won't get any 
output until you close the module after changing something, and kcmshell4 
--list gives you the list of possible kcontrol modules to open -- here 
they've actually KEPT the more accurate kcontrol reference =:^).

You can then temporarily set the style to oxygen and try tweaking things, 
to see what files are actually opened for writing... and take it from 

FWIW, it appears for Oxygen it's using $KDEHOME/share/config/oxygenrc, so 
I guess you don't have to do the above strace, but that's how I figured 
out it was oxygenrc.  I'll let you look inside the file and figure out the 
config from there, but as I said, it appears to be a blending, and as the 
setting is a toggle, I'm not sure you'll find a direct answer, unless you 
"use the source, luke", which is kinda difficult if like me you don't make 
any claims to knowing C++.

Meanwhile, what I ended up doing here is choosing a button color that was 
different enough from the scrollbar background, to be distinctive, with or 
without the colorful scrollbars option.  In this case, since I generally 
prefer dark backgrounds, most of my window backgrounds, etc, are dark blue 
(the original color scheme is dark blue deb(ian), off of kdelook, but I've 
modified it some as kde has matured and my understanding of the nuances 
has matured as well), but buttons (background) are dark brown/red.  The 
actual chosen color for them is VERY dark, almost black, but the blending 
effects lighten it somewhat, with the result ending up a definite brown 
(that color would fit in well with the original brown ubuntu themes, but 
the rest of the theme tends blue, so not so much overall).  I had to work 
at getting the chosen color dark enough, as I said, almost black, but 
still with the right reddish-brown tint, so that with blending/shading it 
came out the desired brown.  The result is that it's dark enough that the 
yellow button text color I use stands out well, plus dark enough that it 
doesn't glare at me (I said I prefer dark backgrounds), but brown/red 
enough that it still stands out well against the dark blue of the window 
and scrollbar backgrounds.

I suppose I could post screenshots and the exported color theme somewhere, 
if you're interested, tho as I said it's designed to work best with 
oxygen, and is definitely a darker and more colorful theme than the light 
grays that seem the most popular, for some odd reason -- they just make me 
sick! <shrug> (Yes, I really do feel a bit nausious trying to use the 
common light grayish color schemes.  It's certainly not something I want 
to be staring at for hours a day!)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:
More info:

More information about the kde mailing list