Majority of apps build with GTK?

mireiner

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Hi there,

I'm new to Linux and was trying different distros and desktop enviroments the last months. What I find confusing is the fact that the same application can look different in another enviroment. For example GParted looks fine under Gnome desktop but poor under KDE Plasma.
So I wonder if the Linux GUI world is somewhat splittet into two or more visually uncompatible systems. Is the KDE / QT world more like a seperated niche and not well integrated into the Linux GUI eco system and the majority of GUI applications are based on Gnome / GTK? Is that true?

What is generally easier to achieve? Making Qt apps look native under Gnome shell or GTK apps under KDE Plasma?
 
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Tolkem

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Hi there,

I'm new to Linux and was trying different distros and desktop enviroments the last months. What I find confusing is the fact that the same application can look different in another enviroment. For example GParted looks fine under Gnome desktop but poor under KDE Plasma.
Under Plasma you can make GTK apps look fine in System Settings > Application Style > Configure GNOME/GTK Application Style Read here for more info https://userbase.kde.org/System_Settings/GNOME_Application_Style_(GTK)

So I wonder if the Linux GUI world is somewhat splittet into two or more visually uncompatible systems. Is the KDE / QT world more like a seperated niche and not well integrated into the Linux GUI eco system and the majority of GUI applications are based on Gnome / GTK? Is that true?
They're not uncompatible. You can use most QT apps on gnome or xfce as well GTK apps on KDE and they'll look fine. You might have to tweak them a bit to meet your personal taste/need though, but so far I've been able to achieve that without much effort on every DE I've tried with the apps I use, and I've tried quite a few, most of them actually. That been said, there surely are apps which might be more difficult to tweak than others.

What is generally easier to achieve? Making Qt apps look native under Gnome shell or GTK apps under KDE Plasma?
It's easy to achieve in both, however, plasma does offer an easier way to do that OOTB while in gnome or xfce you'd have to install qt5ct https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php?title=Set_all_Qt_app's_to_use_GTK+_font_&_theme_settings and play with it until you get the desired results, although it's not that difficult either.

This a nice reading which explains the differences between GTK, QT and Xwidgets. https://www.e-consystems.com/blog/system-on-module-SOM/qt-vs-gtk-vs-wxwidgets-a-comparative-study/

It seems to me that most apps look good regardless of the DE they're installed on due to the fact that devs are well aware that people will use whatever DE they prefer so they try to make their apps to be "DE agnostic" so they fit well, besides, there are many themes out there that can help in accomplishing that too.

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/04/theme-makes-qt-apps-feel-home-gnome
https://store.kde.org/p/1081157/
https://www.reddit.com/r/kde/comments/a9s1u4
If you want to test this and learn more about it, I suggest you install virtualbox, create a couple of VMs, install a couple of Linux distros, 1 with gnome and 1 with KDE, then install GTK apps on KDE and do the same on gnome; install some QT/KDE apps and compare their looks.
 
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mireiner

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Thanks Tolkem for your detailed answer.

Currently I'm on a multi-boot system with Ubunto/Gnome 3.36.3, Linux Mint 20 / Cinnamon 4.6 and KDE neon / Plasma 5.19.8 to explore both GTK and Qt worlds. At the moment I prefer Plasma because it's highly configureable out of the box and supports fractional scaling in all distros. But as said before some GTK apps look poor and I like to learn how to polish them in Plasma. In the moment I have no idea how to do that beside changes the GTK theme in Plasma.

For example GParted. This is how it looks under Gnome (Ubuntu):
GParted Ubuntu.png

Look at the toolbar icons and below in the drive list section the key symbols on the right side of the drive lables. The key symbols clearly show that the actual system GParted is running on uses the ...1p3, ...1p4 and ...1p10 partitions.

And this is how GParted looks in Plasma:
GParted Plasma.png

The toolbar icons are very small and the key symbols look different and also very small.

How to make GParted in Plasma look more like it looks under Gnome?

The actual system settings in Plasma 5.19.8 look different from the picture in the KDE userbase Wiki:
Plasma 1.png

Plasma 2.png

GParted theme changes if the GTK3-Design is changed. But no matter which GTK3 theme I try (Plasma build in Breeze or external ones) - it has only little effect on the app appearance and doesn't change the icon sizes at all.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that GParted has to be run as root and therefore its theming is special?

But generally speaking is there anything else to change the theming of a GTK app running in Plasma? Are there for example larger icon packs or something else that can be installed anywhere or anyhow?
 

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Tolkem

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But generally speaking is there anything else to change the theming of a GTK app running in Plasma? Are there for example larger icon packs or something else that can be installed anywhere or anyhow?
Try with special settings:
1. Launch gparted and once started right-click on it, alternatively, you can also hit keys left Alt + F3, from the context menu select more actions or some similar wording - my system's Spanish.
2. From the new menu select either special window settings or special application settings or some similar wording. You can also try with both; one at a time and see if that helps somehow. I've never used it cause I've never felt the need but it might help.

You can also try this theme https://store.kde.org/p/1197982 Go to System Settings > Application Style > Configure GNOME/GTK Application Style and click on get new themes and in the search box type breeze-gtk should be the first on the list. Install it and see if that helps.

Lastly, on KDE there's a fine app as a gparted alternative; partition manager. https://kde.org/applications/en/system/org.kde.partitionmanager You could install and use that instead of gparted thus avoiding the whole unmatching-theme/style issue. I use it and it works great. On that same path, you could install some QT alternatives for your GTK apps for the sake of style uniformity and dependecies; the more QT apps on KDE the less dependencies they need, on the contrary, the more GTK apps on KDE the more GTK/Gnome dependencies they need. The same principle apply for QT and GTK apps on Gnome.
 

sp331yi

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@mireiner -- one can tell I do not mess with DEs much, especially not KDE of any sort!
(Between Gnome and QT, I prefer the latter. Dislike Konquerer but like very much K3B)
 



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