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#1 2019-09-10 20:17:38

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

Hi again,

Since I upgraded from XFCE 4.12 to 4.14 on Debian, some of my panel applets have a dark appearance (much more than the others), as you can see on the following screenshot:
Panel applets
The XFCE Settings → Appearance dialog shows that I am using the “Xfce” style and Tango Icon Theme. Thanks for any help getting all my icons back to normal colors.

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#2 2019-09-10 21:30:43

Spass
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2016-12-07
Posts: 133
Website

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

That "Xfce" style may be quite old, so GTK2 only probably. So some elements aren't properly themed on your panel. My advice is to find another, more modern GTK theme. If you want a light panel like on your screen, try "Adwaita".

You can also try setting a custom panel color in the panel settings, here - https://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-panel/ … appearance (Style -> Solid color). Maybe that will overwrite the theme and will set one color for all items.

Another way is to make (possibly many) specific changes in the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css file, but that would require some research (find out what plugins are problematic and finding a specific part of code responsible).

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#3 2019-09-10 22:15:01

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

Thanks for your advice. I tried setting a solid color, but the problem remains, for instance with yellow:
i3QS0Dy.png

Changing “Icons” themes in XFCE Menu → Settings → Appearance doesn't seem to help either (I also tried to use Adwaita in the “Style” tab of the same dialog). For instance:

Adwaita:
uupNVEMl.png

Breeze Dark:
6NjucnRl.png

I'll try your third idea in the next days when I have more time.

Regards

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#4 2019-09-11 21:44:44

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

I tried to play with GTK+ styles (CSS), focusing on the DateTime plugin which is one of those that appear too dark. The GTK+ Inspector showed datetime-17 inside an XfcePanelWindowWrapper. Using the following in ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css (my GTK+ is 3.24):

#XfcePanelWindowWrapper {
	background: #880000;
}

colors in red precisely all of the plugins that are displayed “too dark”:
AIhvfWil.png
Unfortunately, this XfcePanelWindowWrapper (whatever it is) seems to apply some kind of overlay that darkens the specified background color. Indeed, with:

#XfcePanelWindowWrapper {
	background: #ffffff;
}

I don't get a white background, but precisely the original “too dark” gray:
aYBd8mol.png
Of course, if I use the #rrggbb specification for the desired color (obtained with a screen capture then GIMP), the result is a darker gray, since #ffffff already gives the “too dark” gray.

Do you have any idea with these new infos? Thanks!

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#5 2019-09-11 23:03:20

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,879

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

Use ".xfce4-panel.background" instead of "#XfcePanelWindowWrapper". It will reach all of the panel items.

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#6 2019-09-12 06:00:35

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

That's true but not what I wanted to do, because it doesn't remove the darkening “overlay” that seems to be applied to some of the panel items. Note: the items in question are exactly those marked with “(external)” in Panel Preferences → Items.

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#7 2019-09-12 10:47:58

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,879

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

I'm not seeing this overlay on any of those themes that you mention. Do you have any other code on ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css that might be causing this?

Try with the built-in adwaita theme:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s ""

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#8 2019-09-12 11:54:09

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

Unfortunately, this doesn't change anything interesting to the screenshots I posted (i.e., overlay still there—one icon, namely the xfce4-mount-plugin, has a different size, that's all). For the record, except for the test you suggested, I am now running with the Breeze theme, because it allows me to conveniently switch between windows in a given workspace using the mouse wheel (cf. my other question).

My ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css was empty before I asked this question. Now it only contain this:

/* cf. https://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=11265 and more specifically
       https://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=13366 */

#XfcePanelWindowWrapper {
	background: #ffffff;
}

(which doesn't solve my problem; for now, it's only a reminder of what can be done...). Thanks.

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#9 2019-09-12 12:43:32

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,879

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

If you remove that snippet and use the built-in Adwaita theme, does the overlay disappear?

Also, which version of debian are you running? I can throw it up in a VM and have a closer look.

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#10 2019-09-12 13:50:49

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

No it doesn't, I've tried it of course... I'm running Debian unstable. I'm comfortable with Git, can apply patches and rebuild the Debian packages with patches applied in case this helps (but I haven't installed XFCE from source; without the pakages, that would probably require a lot of care to do that cleanly).

I've now tried on the same computer with a different user account, the problem serms not to be there. But with my normal user account, even if I add new instances of the plugins to the panel (I tried on two different instances of xfce4-panel), depending on the particular plugin, I get the right or wrong background. Contrary to what I believed, the fact that a plugin is marked as “external” in Panel Preferecnes → Items doesn't appear to be decisive: the Mail Watcher plugin (lower envelope in my screenshot below) is one of these and still has the correct background (note: the topmost envelope visible on my screenshot is not from Mail Watcher, it is for the genmon plugin). Thanks.
XbZS5pY.png

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#11 2019-09-12 15:25:11

kunzlata
Member
Registered: 2019-06-24
Posts: 40

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

foobar wrote:

... with a different user account, the problem serms not to be there...

Then, as you must have figured already, the issue lies in your ~ folder. Probably your custom css tweaks.

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#12 2019-09-12 19:39:54

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

As already explained, I had no ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css at all when the problem appeared. It appeared very recently after a routine update of my Debian unstable, update which contained the transition

xfce4-panel:amd64 4.12.2-1 -> 4.14.0-1

Since then, I have tested countless of times with an empty ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css and the Adwaita theme. If this were so simple, I would not be writing here anymore.

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#13 2019-09-12 21:04:18

kunzlata
Member
Registered: 2019-06-24
Posts: 40

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

Ok, but you know that just logging out isn't enough as your user processes keep running. So you would maybe have to reset your local theme settings, logout and then in another tty kill all your user processes before checking the changes.

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#14 2019-09-12 22:06:29

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,879

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

I haven't had a chance to confirm myself, but is it possible that those plugins that are shaded are still built on GTK2? In which case, ~/.gtkrc-2.0 would take preference.

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#15 2019-09-13 01:06:38

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 132

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

ToZ wrote:

I haven't had a chance to confirm myself, but is it possible that those plugins that are shaded are still built on GTK2? In which case, ~/.gtkrc-2.0 would take preference.

This is clever thinking. However, he pointed out that the discoloration is not present under a different user account.

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#16 2019-09-13 01:40:02

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,879

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

Aravisian wrote:
ToZ wrote:

I haven't had a chance to confirm myself, but is it possible that those plugins that are shaded are still built on GTK2? In which case, ~/.gtkrc-2.0 would take preference.

This is clever thinking. However, he pointed out that the discoloration is not present under a different user account.

If it is a potential mix of gtk3 and gtk2 plugins, the second test account wouldn't have, by default, a ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file. It is a bit of a long shot though.

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#17 2019-09-13 06:46:23

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

My normal user account (the one exhibiting the problem) has an empty ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css. It has a ~/.gtkrc-2.0 that only contains:

gtk-can-change-accels=1

The test user account (which sees correct colors) has neither ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css nor ~/.gtkrc-2.0. In the directory possibly containing a global css file, namely /etc/gtk-3.0/, there is only one file, named im-multipress.conf and containing:

# Example configuration file for the GTK+ Multipress Input Method
# Authored by Openismus GmbH, 2009.
#
# (...)
#
# The example configuration below imitates the behavior of a standard mobile
# phone by a major manufacturer, with German language setting.
KP_1 = .;,;?;!;';";1;-;(;);@;/;:;_
KP_2 = a;b;c;2;ä;à;á;ã;â;å;æ;ç
KP_3 = d;e;f;3;è;é;ë;ê;ð
KP_4 = g;h;i;4;ì;í;î;ï
KP_5 = j;k;l;5;£
KP_6 = m;n;o;6;ö;ò;ó;ô;õ;ø;ñ
KP_7 = p;q;r;s;7;ß;$
KP_8 = t;u;v;8;ü;ù;ú;û
KP_9 = w;x;y;z;9;ý;þ
KP_0 = \s;0

My normal user account uses openbox inside XFCE, but yesterday, I temporarily reverted to xfwm4 inside XFCE and the problem was still there. The test user account uses xfwm4 (it has been little used and must be close to the XFCE defaults from 2-3 years ago—possibly auto-migrated since then, if XFCE does that).

Whenever I change ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css, I run 'xfce4-panel -q' and restart 'xfce4-panel' in order to see the changes. I also rebooted and relogged several times since the beginning of the thread (at least once per day).

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#18 2019-09-13 10:35:18

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 132

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

Foobar, I had a similar problem when I used a custom background image on my XFCE4 panel.
I admit, I doubt it is related, but it may be. Worth a shot since you have tried everything else.

I put a background image that is not uniform in shape or color on the panel. If I add a launcher, it's fine. But... if I added a Plugin, it adopts the background  that is right at the very leftmost position of the panel which it assigns to the background of the plugin, regardless of where the plugin is on the panel.
So if I put a plugin at the far right, it has the background of the far left. If I put it in the middle, it has background of far left.
My workaround was to create launchers for all the items I would have used the plugins for.

Is your panel uniform all the way across?

Last edited by Aravisian (2019-09-13 10:36:11)

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#19 2019-09-13 11:16:08

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,879

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

One other thought.

xfconf-query -c xsettings -lv

Maybe there is an override in the xfconf settings? Perhaps in /Gtk/ColorScheme.

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#20 2019-09-13 12:56:18

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

@Aravisian

Thanks for your suggestion. The background style in Panel Preferences is "None (use system style)". So, the background of the panel is uniform. I've already tried to set it to a solid color, you can see the result in this message.

@Toz

'xfconf-query -c xsettings -lv' prints this:

/Gdk/WindowScalingFactor        1
/Gtk/ButtonImages               true
/Gtk/CanChangeAccels            true
/Gtk/ColorPalette               black:white:gray50:red:purple:blue:light blue:green:yellow:orange:lavender:brown:goldenrod4:dodger blue:pink:light green:gray10:gray30:gray75:gray90
/Gtk/CursorThemeName            default
/Gtk/CursorThemeSize            48
/Gtk/DecorationLayout           menu:minimize,maximize,close
/Gtk/FontName                   Sans 14
/Gtk/IconSizes                  
/Gtk/IMModule                   
/Gtk/IMPreeditStyle             
/Gtk/IMStatusStyle              
/Gtk/KeyThemeName               Default
/Gtk/MenuBarAccel               F10
/Gtk/MenuImages                 true
/Gtk/MonospaceFontName          Monospace 10
/Gtk/ToolbarIconSize            3
/Gtk/ToolbarStyle               icons
/Net/CursorBlink                true
/Net/CursorBlinkTime            500
/Net/DndDragThreshold           8
/Net/DoubleClickDistance        5
/Net/DoubleClickTime            401
/Net/EnableEventSounds          false
/Net/EnableInputFeedbackSounds  false
/Net/IconThemeName              Adwaita
/Net/SoundThemeName             default
/Net/ThemeName                  Adwaita
/Xft/Antialias                  -1
/Xft/AntiAlias                  1
/Xft/Hinting                    1
/Xft/HintStyle                  hintfull
/Xft/RGBA                       none

I don't see what you mentioned, but thanks for the suggestion!

If there is no other possibility, I might do some dichotomy on the contents of /home/$user between my normal user account and the test user account, but this will be time consuming and I fear I don't have enough time for this now.

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#21 2019-09-13 17:14:00

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 132

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

foobar wrote:

@Aravisian

Thanks for your suggestion. The background style in Panel Preferences is "None (use system style)". So, the background of the panel is uniform. I've already tried to set it to a solid color, you can see the result in this message.

If there is no other possibility, I might do some dichotomy on the contents of /home/$user between my normal user account and the test user account, but this will be time consuming and I fear I don't have enough time for this now.

I figured, but I have noticed that when several ideas get tossed out there, sometimes even the wrong suggestion bears a clue that points a person in the right direction.
What happens if you create a new panel on your normal user account? Panel 2, so to speak? If you remake it, adding the same plugins as the panel right below it has, I assume you should see the exact same effect on the duplicate panel.

When you use another User account, is it accessing home theme or system user theme, as opposed to your normal user account?
This question is also a long shot... But I remember when I started building the re-make of the theme I am currently using, I made sure to add workarounds to the .css file in hopes of one day being able to distribute the theme for others to use. This included workarounds and patches for D.E.s I was not using at the time, including xfce.
Came in handy when I switched over to xfce, though.
I have also noticed that when I add the theme to /usr/share/ as opposed to the ~ /.themes, I tend to put my most up to date theme copy in home and neglect /usr/share until I go root and realize something looks different.

Like I said, Longshot... but you MIGHT take a real quick peak in your theme .css and see if there is something like this:

/*xfce panel workaround */

.xfce4-panel {
  background-color: @dark_bg_color; 
  font: normal;
}

.xfce4-panel .button {
  background-image: none;
  background-color: @dark_bg_color;
  border-radius: 0;
}

.xfce4-panel .button:active,
.xfce4-panel .button:checked {
  background-image: none;
  background-color: shade(@dark_bg_color, 1.20);
  border: none;
}

.xfce4-panel .button:hover,
.xfce4-panel .button:active:hover,
.xfce4-panel .button:checked:hover {
  background-color: shade(@dark_bg_color, 1.20);
  border: none;
}

If missing in one but present in the other or if you have only one theme version in one account but an updated version in another account. it MAY be the issue...

Also, since this occurred after upping to 4.14, it may be that that workaround above is present, but needs to be adusted for the newest .css; "xfce4-panel .button:hover" instead of ".xfce4-panel .button:hover" perhaps. --( I could be totally wrong how to code that- double check it... but IF that suggestion is remotely helpful, then it's just a matter of coding it the right way...)

Last edited by Aravisian (2019-09-13 17:18:42)

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#22 2019-09-13 20:44:03

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

@Aravisian Thank you very much for all your suggestions!

1) You've probably found way to “fix” the issue: indeed, if I create a third panel (I have two normally) and add the same plugins there, colors are fine! I had already tried to add the plugins to my “other panel” (the one having the task switcher), this exhibited the same problem. But with the brand new panel, it works. So, I assume that if I remove my right panel, recreate it and readd everything, it should be okay. It's a bit boring because I have a launcher with a bunch of commands and a few custom icons, but that should be quite doable even so.

2) I'm not very sure about this distinction between system and user theme. This probably means I am only using system themes. The command 'find ~/.config | grep -i css' returns the empty ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css in my normal user account, and nothing in the test user account.

3) Concerning the CSS code you posted, where would I find it? Clearly not in my ~/.config unless the file name doesn't even contain "css" (see 2). Then I only know about /usr/share/themes/*/gtk-3.*/*.css. I do have such files, but of course they are the same for all users. So, the idea was interesting, but unless the CSS code is hidden under my home dir in a file whose name doesn't contain CSS, I don't see how that could explain the problem.

EDIT: I also looked inside ~/.themes, the only file I have there in my normal user account is ~/.themes/Username/xfwm4/keythemerc which only contains key assignments ("Username" being my login with the first letter capitalized). The test user account has no ~/.themes at all, FWIW.

At least, thanks to 1), I probably have a way out now. I think I'll keep my current panels as is for a few more days in case someone has ideas to find the precise cause of this, and then replace my right panel with a new one.

Thanks & good night! :-)

Last edited by foobar (2019-09-13 21:06:15)

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#23 2019-09-13 21:44:50

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 132

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

foobar wrote:

2) I'm not very sure about this distinction between system and user theme. This probably means I am only using system themes. The command 'find ~/.config | grep -i css' returns the empty ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css in my normal user account, and nothing in the test user account.

3) Concerning the CSS code you posted, where would I find it? Clearly not in my ~/.config unless the file name doesn't even contain "css" (see 2). Then I only know about /usr/share/themes/*/gtk-3.*/*.css. I do have such files, but of course they are the same for all users. So, the idea was interesting, but unless the CSS code is hidden under my home dir in a file whose name doesn't contain CSS, I don't see how that could explain the problem.

EDIT: I also looked inside ~/.themes, the only file I have there in my normal user account is ~/.themes/Username/xfwm4/keythemerc which only contains key assignments ("Username" being my login with the first letter capitalized). The test user account has no ~/.themes at all, FWIW.

You got there on your own but...

Let's say you download a theme you like, it defines colors, window borders- you extract it and place it in /usr/share/themes for system wide application. Or, you can extract it and place it in /home/$USER/.themes (Creating the .themes folder if it is not already there.) In the Home folder, it only applies to your user account and in /usr/share/themes it applies to all users.

That theme is defined by a .css file within it. The name of that .css file varies depending on what theme you have installed.
My OS came with Adwaita.
I navigate to /usr/share/themes/Adwaita/gtk-3.0/ and there I see gtk.css (This is a poor example though since in that case, that file says nothing in it except that it says nothing in it. The reason why is because Adwaita is the default theme and therefor, the information for it is stored in a "safer" location to prevent me from messing with it. You know...MICROSOFT STYLE.)
But that is wher eyour theme .css would be, in one of those two places, ~/.themes/ ThemeName/gtk-3.0 or /usr/share/themes/Themename/gtk-3.0

Themes are not placed in the config folders, though what you place in the config folders can take priority over a theme you have installed in the themes folders.
Themes are far more expansive than what is placed in the config folders whereas the config folders will house small tweaks and tidbits.

In the meantime, replacing your panel may be the solution even if it leaves a minor mystery behind it.
I have two panels, as well and I have re-made them so many times I can do it blindfolded with both hands tied behind my back.
My biggest problem with Linux is the question "I wonder what would happen if I did...this..."
A wipe and reload later and now I know what happens. Sometimes, I am not convinced and I do this several times.
No lie, I lost count of how many times I had to reinstall many,many re-installs ago.

Last edited by Aravisian (2019-09-13 21:49:34)

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#24 2019-09-14 09:29:18

foobar
Member
Registered: 2019-09-10
Posts: 14

Re: Dark colours for some of the Panel applets since I upgraded to 4.14

I've found a way to fix the problem without recreating the panel from scratch. The main idea, thanks to Aravisian's suggestion, was that my first two panels might have some special settings causing the problem. The difficulty was finding these settings and changing them in an effective way.

First, I found that ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml for my normal user account had suspicious settings for panel-0 and panel-1 (the only ones when I don't create a third panel):

* for panel-0:

<property name="leave-opacity" type="uint" value="80"/>
<property name="enter-opacity" type="uint" value="100"/>

* for panel-1:

<property name="leave-opacity" type="uint" value="80"/>
<property name="enter-opacity" type="uint" value="100"/>
<property name="background-style" type="uint" value="0"/>
<property name="background-rgba" type="array">
  <value type="double" value="0.988235"/>
  <value type="double" value="0.913725"/>
  <value type="double" value="0.309804"/>
  <value type="double" value="1.000000"/>
</property>

The test user didn't have these settings. My first attempt was thus to do 'xfce4-panel -q', back up ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml, modify it to suppress or alter the aforementioned settings and restart 'xfce4-panel'. This didn't work. The settings seemed to come back automatically. I tried with a full log out & log in cycle (editing the file in a virtual console outside of any graphical session), maybe I did a mistake there? It didn't work either (I believe the settings didn't automatically reappear at this point, but still, it didn't work and I restored from my backup file to be on the safe side.) I tried a few other changes to get closer to the test user's xfce4-panel.xml (panel-1 and panel-2 instead of panuel-0 and panel-1 + the corresponding change to <property name="panels" ...>, order of entries...), no luck.

Then I found an “interesting” panels.xml file from 2013, lost among the *.rc files in ~/.config/xfce4/panel. For the first (and only) two panels, it had:

<property name="transparency" value="20"/>
<property name="activetrans" value="0"/>

Aha! I renamed it to panels.xml.bak, logged out & back in, no change. Big disappointment. I suspect that this might be due to the fact that I had restored ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml from its backup in the meantime, which thus carried the unwanted settings (that's not a claim, only a hypothesis).

Finally, I found out about xfce4-settings-editor, fired it out of curiosity and recognized my ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml with the supicious settings mentioned at the top of this post. I quit xfce4-panel, used xfce4-settings-editor's Reset button for said settings, quit xfce4-settings-editor, restarted xfce4-panel and... it worked!

My hypothesis is that the values shown by xfce4-settings-editor are cached in memory and that:

  • either I did a mistake when I edited ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml outside my user session;

  • or I did that correctly but XFCE still restored the unwanted settings from the old ~/.config/xfce4/panel/panels.xml, ruining the effect of my changes to ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml (I had not renamed the old panels.xml yet when I tried the out-of-session changes to xfce4-panel.xml).

I have backups of the old panels.xml as well as the original xfce4-panel.xml in case people are interested.

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