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A Win2K inspired theme for GTK3 and GTK2 developed for XFCE4
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A Win2K inspired theme for GTK3 and GTK2 developed for XFCE4 Image Screenshot


The Redmond2K project aims to recreate the Win2K look and feel for the XFCE4 desktop environment. The goal is to provide the clean and professional look of the classic Windows desktop while enjoying the stability and flexability of Linux. A side effect of the theme is that programs running under wine also integrate nicely with the Redmond2K theme. The theme should be useful for those who are new to Linux and would prefer a familiar interface or those feeling a little nostalgic for the classic look.


Included with the main theme package are the GTK themes, the Xfce4WM theme, and a Firefox classic IE5 theme. Many color schemes from the Windows 98 Plus! pack are also included. A theme generator script is also available to compile the Redmond2K theme using custom colors.


Main theme

The following packages are recommended for full functionality:

firefox, xfce4, xfce4-goodies, xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin (included with xfce4-goodies), gtk-engines, gtk-nocsd

The theme has been designed for XFCE4 so the XFCE4 desktop environment is highly recommended but not required for the use of the GTK and Firefox themes. There is no Window Manager theme support for desktop environments other than XFCE4 at this time. The theme also includes support for the GTK3 version of Whisker Menu if available.

Redmond2K Theme Builder

For the theme generator the following packages are also required:

imagemagick, bc, sed, grep, tar


Main theme

Make a .themes directory in your home directory if one doesn't exist and extract the Redmond2K.tar.gz archive into the ~/.themes directory.

mkdir ~/.themes
tar -xvzf Redmond2K.tar.gz -C ~/.themes/

The GTK2/3 and Xfce4WM themes will now be installed. It is also recommended to disable GTK overlay scrollbars (autohiding scrollbars in GTK3). The following command will disable the overlay scrollbars for the current user:


You may have to log out and back in for the setting to take effect.

Xfce4 Panel Configuration

The main theme includes a GTK2 hack for the system tray and orage clock applet to make them appear to be inside the same inset frame (only applies to GTK2 version of the Xfce4 panel). In order for the frames to display correctly, you must add the two applets in order: "Notification Area" and then "Orage Clock". Your panel layout should look like the image below:

Image Screenshot

Once you have added the applets you will notice that the frames between the two applets don't line up correctly. To fix this you will need to deselect the option "Show Frame" for the notification area applet. Right click on the notification tray applet and select "Properties":

Image Screenshot

Uncheck the option "Show Frame" on the dialog window:

Image Screenshot

The frame borders should now look aligned between the notification area and the Orage Clock applets. (Note that there will be a small gap between the two applets this is currently a bug in the theme.)

Firefox theme

You will first need to find your firefox user profile directory. It is usually the one that ends with ".default". To find the correct directory, open a terminal and go to the hidden Firefox directory. Using grep you can view the directories ending with ".default".

cd ~/.mozilla/firefox
ls | grep default

In this exmaple I have two directories: one .default and the other .default-release. Image Screenshot If you only have one directory ending with .default that one is the correct profile directory and you can skip this next step. Otherwise, you can run the following to see which profile is the default.

firefox -P

You will then see the following window:

Image Screenshot

The selected profile is your default profile, in my case it is the default-release profile.

Once you have found the correct profile directory, you will then need to make a directory inside of it called "chrome". Following my example above you would run the command:

mkdir ~/.mozilla/firefox/vugvl4ul.default-release/chrome

Now that the chrome directory has been created, you can install the classic IE5 theme by extracting the ie5_classic_firefox.tar.gz archive into your chrome folder. Again, using my example above the command would be:

tar -xvzf ie5_classic_firefox.tar.gz -C ~/.mozilla/firefox/vugvl4ul.default-release/chrome/

The Firefox theme should now be installed and will be activated once you close all Firefox sessions and restart Firefox.

Known issues

As of right now GTK3 Libre-Office does not display 100% correctly. Some widgets are off in the preferences window and the scrollbar buttons don't use the default theme arrows. There has however, been many additions to the theme for LibreOffice compatibility and I no longer recommend using the GTK2 workaround for this theme.


  1. Write documentation for the theme builder script
  2. Add more features to the theme generator
  3. Troubleshoot Libre-Office issues


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