Making Firefox fit in with the Linux desktop

As Firefox 1.5 is now here, I would like to say that I’m still very much interested in making Firefox fit in with the Linux desktop as I did with the Industrial theme for 1.0.x (which does not work with 1.5). However, a few things should be noted.

  1. First of all, I unfortunately do not have the time to currently work on Firefox beautification. I may have a little bit of time in a few weeks, but I also might not, depending on how things go. (Right now I’m working on some really cool stuff at work that you’ll see sometime in the future.)
  2. I’ve heard through some grapevine somewhere that there’s a patch for firefox to enable gtk-stock icon support for the default theme (and I believe it was done by someone at Red Hat, iirc). If this is true, then that’s half the battle to fitting in.*
  3. I really believe native looking changes should go upstream. This includes all of the little spacing / padding tweaks, the correct order of buttons, and making sure that all native widgets are fully represented in their XUL counterparts.

*Note: For KDE users, if an icon theme is ported to use the standard icon naming spec that Tango recommends, then it’ll inherit the same icon theme that the rest of the desktop would use too. For native looking widgets, there is GTK-QT. Of course there is Firefox ported to Qt as well.

If Firefox had native icon support and the tweaks mentioned above for the default theme, then it should just inherit the look of the desktop by default.

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10 Responses to “Making Firefox fit in with the Linux desktop”

  1. Jesus Franco says:

    The Firefox rpms in Fedora Core 4 are compiled with those patches.

  2. Nico Kaiser says:

    For those who don’t use Fedora (or have applied the stock-icons patch, the gnomestripes-Theme-XPI I found somewhere stopped working for me with FF1.5):

    I have created a Tango Theme for Firefox:

    It’s also inspired by your “Industrial for Firefox” theme that, BTW, does not work with Firefox 1.5.

    It’s not as sexy as native GNOME icons but it’s better than nothing I think.

  3. Michi says:

    If i’m not mistaken, the possibility to use stock icons should be in Fx 1.5? look at

    Doesn’t this already enable you to make a theme that references stock icons?

  4. Edd Dumbill says:

    One of the things I always have problems with is getting the DPI to match between the GNOME desktop and Firefox — I adjust the DPI in the font preferences, but this seems to not affect Firefox.

  5. [idkfa] says:

    Can this also be done through a theme, without patching the source? I think this solution would be much more elegant.

  6. Henrik says:

    Edd: Just in case you don’t know, Firefox has its own dpi settings in Preferences > General > Fonts & Colors

  7. garrett says:

    [idkfa]: this can be done through the theme, but you do have to have the source updated (as through a patch until it is in the upstream source). In other words, having it pick up the icons does not obstruct other themes from using their own icon set.

    Henrik: It would be nice if it picked up the default DPI correctly, even if it had some sort of override or something. Regardless, the browser DPI shouldn’t affect the browser chrome — that should inherit from the system DPI so that the font size for menus and other interface elements are consistent.

  8. KonMan says:


    You could use extensions and themes – that’s what I’ve done to fit Fx to my KDE desktop.
    So, I’my using the Mostly Crystal theme (I wish Plastikfox Crystal SVG was available) with the CuteMenus Crystal SVG Fx extension. These match very well. 🙂
    There are also some Gnome themes available but I’m not a Gnome fan, and didn’t dig into it.

  9. There is a good GNOME theme called GNOME-Fx (I belive it was based on the Industrial theme for Firefox) that has been updated for Firefox 1.5.

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