My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

GTK icons suddenly missing

Several GTK-based applications are suddenly showing white icons with a red cross inside. Now what!

The update of the “shared-mime-info” package to version 0.70  in slackware-current seems to have changed the mime database format.

Slackware will automatically update the system-wide mime info database on every boot. It runs the command

update-mime-database /usr/share/mime

However, there is also a per-user mime database which is not being updated automatically. The result being that several of your GTK-based applications (such as pidgin and wicd) can not display their icons correctly and worse, starting XFCE will be disastrous because your (now) incompatible mime info database will destroy the XFCE menu and task bar.

Luckily, the solution is easy! You need to run this command once, for every user that logs on to your Slackware-current box:

update-mime-database ~/.local/share/mime

You can add this command to your “/etc/profile” script (which automatically fixes this issue system-wide for all your user accounts) or to your own ~/.profile script (you may have to create this file if it does not yet exist).

In theory, you do not need to run the command more than once but adding it to your profile will guard you against future incompatibilities like this one.



  1. Zwierz

    For me it doesn\’t worked. I reinstalled XFCE also (with slackpkg reinstall) and still some of icons missing. I even tried to remove mime directories or clean them up. No luck.Ofcourse I use -current.

  2. Zwierz

    I have noticed even that qgview was unable to display any images too. I think the change in shared-mime-info is far more complicated then this. More library calls – wrong format. Reverting to 0.60 fixed it ofcourse. But that’s not the way. I think there should be more investigation…

  3. Chris Craig

    I found that I also had to run update-mime-database on /usr/local/share/mime for many of my apps.
    I think I\’ll add it to rc.M so I don\’t get caught again by this!

  4. IrquiM

    This didn\\\’t work for me, but only had to change the icon theme and it got sorted

  5. phrag

    what Chris Craig said.. i had to additionally run…

    update-mime-database /usr/local/share/mime

    Thanks guys =)

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