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Running GTK+ Applications

Running GTK+ Applications — How to run and debug your GTK+ application

Running and debugging GTK+ Applications

Common commandline options

All GTK+ applications support a number of standard commandline options. These are removed from argv by gtk_init(). Modules may parse and remove further options. The X11 and Windows GDK backends parse some additional commandline options.

--gtk-module module A list of modules to load in addition to those specified in the GTK_MODULES environment variable and the gtk-modules setting.

--g-fatal-warnings Make GTK+ abort on all warnings. This is useful to stop on the first warning in a debugger, if your application is printing multiple warnings. It's almost always best to start debugging with the first warning that occurs.

--gtk-debug options A list of debug options to turn on in addition to those specified in the GTK_DEBUG environment variable. This option is not available if GTK+ has been configured with --enable-debug=no.

--gtk-no-debug options A list of debug options to turn off. This option is only available if GTK+ has been configured with --enable-debug=yes.

The following options are really used by GDK, not by GTK+, but we list them here for completeness nevertheless.

--class class Sets the program class; see gdk_set_program_class().

--name name Sets the program name.

--gdk-debug options A list of debug options to turn on in addition to those specified in the GDK_DEBUG environment variable. This option is only available if GTK+ has been configured with --enable-debug=yes.

--gdk-no-debug options A list of debug options to turn off. This option is only available if GTK+ has been configured with --enable-debug=yes.


Environment variables

GTK+ inspects a number of environment variables in addition to standard variables like LANG, PATH, HOME or DISPLAY; mostly to determine paths to look for certain files. The X11, Windows and Broadway GDK backends use some additional environment variables.

GTK_DEBUG Unless GTK+ has been configured with --enable-debug=no, this variable can be set to a list of debug options, which cause GTK+ to print out different types of debugging information.

misc

Miscellaneous information

plugsocket

Cross-process embedding

text

Text widget internals

tree

Tree widget internals

updates

Visual feedback about window updates

keybindings

Keybindings

multihead

Working on multiple displays

modules

Loading of modules

geometry

Size allocation

icontheme

Icon themes

printing

Printing support

builder

GtkBuilder support

size-request

Size requests

no-css-cache

Bypass caching for CSS style properties.

The special value all can be used to turn on all debug options.

GTK_MODULES A list of modules to load. Note that GTK+ also allows to specify modules to load via a commandline option (--gtk-module) and with the gtk-modules setting.

Note that this environment variable is read by GTK+ 2.x too, which may not have the same set of modules available for loading.

GTK_PATH Specifies a list of directories to search when GTK+ is looking for dynamically loaded objects such as the modules specified by GTK_MODULES, theme engines, input method modules, file system backends and print backends. If the path to the dynamically loaded object is given as an absolute path name, then GTK+ loads it directly. Otherwise, GTK+ goes in turn through the directories in GTK_PATH, followed by the directory .gtk-3.0 in the user's home directory, followed by the system default directory, which is libdir/gtk-3.0/modules. (If GTK_EXE_PREFIX is defined, libdir is $GTK_EXE_PREFIX/lib. Otherwise it is the libdir specified when GTK+ was configured, usually /usr/lib, or /usr/local/lib.) For each directory in this list, GTK+ actually looks in a subdirectory directory/version/host/type Where version is derived from the version of GTK+ (use pkg-config --variable=gtk_binary_version gtk+-3.0 to determine this from a script), host is the architecture on which GTK+ was built. (use pkg-config --variable=gtk_host gtk+-3.0 to determine this from a script), and type is a directory specific to the type of modules; currently it can be modules, engines, immodules, filesystems or printbackends, corresponding to the types of modules mentioned above. Either version, host, or both may be omitted. GTK+ looks first in the most specific directory, then in directories with fewer components. The components of GTK_PATH are separated by the ':' character on Linux and Unix, and the ';' character on Windows.

Note that this environment variable is read by GTK+ 2.x too, which makes it unsuitable for setting it system-wide (or session-wide), since doing so will cause either GTK+ 2.x applications or GTK+ 3 applications to see incompatible modules.

GTK_IM_MODULE Specifies an IM module to use in preference to the one determined from the locale. If this isn't set and you are running on the system that enables XSETTINGS and has a value in Gtk/IMModule, that will be used for the default IM module. This also can be a colon-separated list of input-methods, which GTK+ will try in turn until it finds one available on the system.

GTK_IM_MODULE_FILE Specifies the file listing the IM modules to load. This environment variable the default value libdir/gtk-3.0/3.0.0/immodules.cache (libdir has the same meaning here as explained for GTK_PATH). The immodules.cache file is generated by the gtk-query-immodules-3.0 utility.

Note that this environment variable is read by GTK+ 2.x too, which makes it unsuitable for setting it system-wide (or session-wide), since doing so will cause either GTK+ 2.x applications or GTK+ 3 applications to see the wrong list of IM modules.

GTK_EXE_PREFIX If set, GTK+ uses $GTK_EXE_PREFIX/lib instead of the libdir configured when GTK+ was compiled.

GTK_DATA_PREFIX If set, makes GTK+ use $GTK_DATA_PREFIX instead of the prefix configured when GTK+ was compiled.

GTK_THEME If set, makes GTK+ use the named theme instead of the theme that is specified by the gtk-theme-name setting. This is intended mainly for easy debugging of theme issues. It is also possible to specify a theme variant to load, by appending the variant name with a colon, like this: `GTK_THEME=Adwaita:dark`.

The following environment variables are used by GdkPixbuf, GDK or Pango, not by GTK+ itself, but we list them here for completeness nevertheless.

GDK_PIXBUF_MODULE_FILE Specifies the file listing the GdkPixbuf loader modules to load. This environment variable overrides the default value libdir/gtk-3.0/3.0.0/loaders.cache (libdir is the sysconfdir specified when GTK+ was configured, usually /usr/local/lib.) The loaders.cache file is generated by the gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders utility.

GDK_DEBUG If GTK+ has been configured with --enable-debug=yes, this variable can be set to a list of debug options, which cause GDK to print out different types of debugging information.

misc

Miscellaneous information

events

Show all events received by GDK

dnd

Information about drag-and-drop

xim

Information about XIM support

nograbs

Turn off all pointer and keyboard grabs

multihead

Information related to multiple screens

xinerama

Simulate a multi-monitor setup

cursor

Information about cursor objects (only win32)

draw

Information about drawing operations (only win32)

eventloop

Information about event loop operation (mostly Quartz)

The special value all can be used to turn on all debug options.

GDK_RENDERING If set, selects the way how GDK creates similar surfaces. This affects both the functionality of the function gdk_window_create_similar_surface() as well as the way GDK creates backing surfaces for double buffering. The following values can be used:

similar

Create similar surfaces to the window in use. This is the default behavior when the variable is not set.

image

Always create image surfaces. This essentially turns off all hardware acceleration inside GTK.

recording

Always create recording surfaces. This causes bare rendering to the backend without the creation of intermediate surfaces (Pixmaps in X) and will likely cause flicker.

All other values will be ignored and fall back to the default behavior. More values might be added in the future.

GDK_BACKEND If set, selects the GDK backend to use. Selecting a backend requires that GTK+ is compiled with support for that backend. The following backends can be selected:

quartz

Selects the native Quartz backend

win32

Selects the native backend for Microsoft Windows

x11

Selects the native backend for connecting to X11 servers.

broadway

Selects the Broadway backend for display in web browsers

wayland

Selects the Wayland backend for connecting to Wayland display servers

Since 3.10, this environment variable can contain a comma-separated list of backend names, which are tried in order. The list may also contain a *, which means: try all remaining backends. For more information about selecting backends, see the gdk_display_manager_get() function.

XDG_DATA_HOME, XDG_DATA_DIRS GTK+ uses these environment variables to locate icon themes and MIME information. For more information, see Icon Theme Specification, the Shared MIME-info Database and the Base Directory Specification.

DESKTOP_STARTUP_ID GTK+ uses this environment variable to provide startup notification according to the Startup Notification Spec. Following the specification, GTK+ unsets this variable after reading it (to keep it from leaking to child processes). So, if you need its value for your own purposes, you have to read it before calling gtk_init().

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