Table of Content

This is a five-parts article. There are few sections here.

Where to Discuss?


Goal: Reusable SVG, as a base for Fluxbox theme.

Table of Content


fluxbox Style: exilorate Window Preview

I will go straight to Inkscape’s SVG, and discuss about the style configuration later.

This guidance applied for any linux distribution.

Previous Article

Most Inkscape related article has been discussed in previous XFWM4 article.

1: Unified Graphic Material

This is the Inkscape Part.

Instead of separated UI design for each icon, we can put all icons into one SVG file.

Inkscape Document

SVG source is available at:

Get the SVG

You may make from scratch or get my exilorate.svg from my dotfiles repository at github.


Before you begin this the slices that we want to achieve.

fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG slices

You might want to alter the UI/UGM image yourself to suit your needs.


I utilize some more layers, we are going to build this step by step.

fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG layers

Button Size

We are using, only [W*H = 24px * 24px] button for this style. Some other image might have different width and height.

2: Building the XPM

This is also the Inkscape Part.

Since we are going to use XPM only.

Exporting Button

Hint: Use Inkscape’s Batch Export, to export all shapes at once.

Consider set these layers before export:

  • Locked: icon, icon border, button, icon shadow, highlight, gradient, border

  • Unlocked: Frame

  • Hide: name, background

Now the tricky part, for each border box parts. We must select the box first in frame layer, so we can have the export target filename such as close-active.png.

fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG export

This is a tricky part.

For image with transparency, such as selected menu button, We have to hide the frame layer, because we want empty space as transparent. The next thing to do is to click the export button to export PNG.

Unhide the frame layer, to select other box.


Fluxbox is using XPM, while Inkscape export to PNG. Hence, we should convert from PNG to XPM. We can utilize mogrify to do this task.

$ mogrify -format xpm *.png
  • .

3: Gradient and Highlight

This is still the Inkscape Part.


I utilize some more layers, such as this two

  • gradient

  • highlight

Gradient Node

Remember that, the button has 24px height.

fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG gradient

On gradient layer, below the icon layers: I put a box, 24 px height, filled with gradient with four handles as shown above.

  • Handle 0: rgba = (0, 0, 0, 80)

  • Handle 1: rgba = (0, 0, 0, 48)

  • Handle 2: rgba = (0, 0, 0, 24)

  • Handle 3: rgba = (0, 0, 0, 64)

On highlight layer, over the top border: 8px vertical offset of the previous box I put a box, 16 px height, filled with gradient with two handles.

  • Handle 0: rgba = (255, 255, 255, 255)

  • Handle 1: rgba = (255, 255, 255, 40)

Neither gradient or highlight on unfocused button. It is just simply flat.


Now that we are done, we can export each PNG boxes.

4: Button

This is still also the Inkscape Part.


  • Size: W*H = 24px * 24px. Each box button has this size.

  • Colors: Using Google Material: Red, Green , Blue, Orange. Each box button has different color. Stick button and Stuck button, have the same color.

You may have different, to suit your needs.


We are going to make a uniform shape for each button.

fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG layout


The issue with minimalist color is that, it is good in aestethic issue, but lack of functional aspect. In order to solve this usability issue, I put functional icon on keypressed, such as the x icon for close. So that user won’t click the wrong button.


There are four details, for each use the same spec as these below

  • Focused:

    • layer icon: circle of 12 px radius with red300 color

    • layer icon-border: circle of 16 px radius with white color

    fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG - focused button

  • Unfocused:

    • layer icon: box of 12 px radius with red100 color

    • layer icon-border: box of 16 px radius with white color

    fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG - ufocused button

  • Pressed, give an icon to solve usability issue.

    • layer icon: circle of 12 px radius with white color

    • layer icon-border: circle of 16 px radius with red300 color

    • layer button: cut circle of 24 px radius with red700 color

    • layer icon: x shape with red900 color

    fluxbox Style: exilorate SVG - pressed button

What’s Next

This is only the Inkscape Part, Consider continue reading [ Theme: Style Part ]