My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Icons disappear in XFCE 4.6.0


You just upgraded your Slackware computer to the latest slackware-current and you are using XFCE as a desktop manager. Perhaps you wondered why all of a sudden most of your panel icons are missing, and several of the icons that should display in menus and dialogs are gone as well.

The issue you are experiencing is caused by the removal of the Rodent icon theme from XFCE 4.6.0. This icon theme was the default in past versions, and your configuration in ~/.config/xfce4/ will have references to that Rodent theme especially if you selected custom icons in some places. Now you upgraded to 4.6.0 and the Rodent is gone, XFCE will not be able to display the associated icons.

The remedy is fairly simple (thanks Robby for informing me). Running (all of) the following three steps should work:

  1. Run the command “/usr/bin/gtk-update-icon-cache /usr/share/icons/hicolor”
  2. Use the XFCE Settings Manager to change the theme to Tango or Gnome
  3. Re-install the “hicolor-icon-theme” package

When that is done, you may still have icons for launchers on the panel that are missing. In that case there is no other solution than to edit that particular launcher’s properties and select a new icon for it. See our bug report about this issue at which was opened by Robby Workman.

Note that you will not experience this “missing icons” behaviour if you install XFCE 4.6.0 without ever having used older versions of XFCE before on that computer. It is purely upgrade-related.

Cheers, Eric


  1. Robby Workman

    Actually, I’d recommend removing the /usr/share/icons/hicolor/*.cache file- all the icon caches do is take up space and cause problems.

  2. Andrey

    This does not help. I get error messages like “(thunderbird-bin:4067): Gtk-WARNING **: Error loading theme icon ‘gtk-directory’ for stock: Unrecognized image file format”

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