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GRAMPS is written with the GTK+ toolkit, which means it best fits in with GNOME applications, as those use the same toolkit. This does not mean GRAMPS cannot look lovely on KDE. If you run KDE, chances are GRAMPS is in the repositories of your distribution. Select it and install it. Make sure you upgrade to a recent version, as GRAMPS got quicker and better in version 2.2.x.

Set default file-associations

GRAMPS will open your sources with the default GNOME applications, if you have installed those. Without GNOME, it is difficult to change the default application GRAMPS uses to open, however, it is possible:

  • If you have GNOME, go with Nautilius to a file, right click, and change the default application to open the file.
  • Otherwise, open with GRAMPS the Media view, and see if the Type is valid. For a jpg file this should be the MIME type image/jpeg. If no type is given, you do not have an application to open the document.
  • If the MIME type is known, you can set the default application to open it as follows
    • You need the gnome application update-desktop-database and the file /usr/share/applications/defaults.list. For Kubuntu, you can obtain those by installing desktop-file-utils package:
  sudo apt-get install desktop-file-utils
    • After this package is installed, you can normally already open a document in an external viewer by right-clicking on a selected document, and choosing the view option in the context menu in GRAMPS that is now available. However, the default application might not be interesting, like firefox for jpg files.
    • Change the default application by changing the defaults.list, and regenerating the associations. Note that defaults.list in Kubuntu is a link to the file /etc/defaults.list, so we edit that. Also, we must make the kde application we want as default available to GNOME. KDE applications mime links are available in /usr/share/applications/kde/, whereas those of GNOME are in /usr/share/applications. As example, I show how to make gwenview the default for image files:
  cd /usr/share/applications/
  sudo cp kde/gwenview.desktop gwenview.desktop
  sudo kate /etc/gnome/defaults.list
    • change eog.desktop in gwenview.desktop where needed:
      • image/bmp=gwenview.desktop
      • image/gif=gwenview.desktop
      • image/jpeg=gwenview.desktop
      • image/jpg=gwenview.desktop
      • image/pjpeg=gwenview.desktop
      • image/png=gwenview.desktop
    • save the file, and now regenerate the GNOME file-associations:<code>
  sudo update-desktop-database -v

The above should do the magic. If it does not work in GRAMPS, test your file associations as follows:

  grep image/jpeg mimeinfo.cache
  >> mimeinfo.cache:image/jpeg=gwenview.desktop;gimp-2.2.desktop;firefox.desktop;

The first entry here is gwenview.desktop, so Gwenview will be the default application for type image/jpeg.

Note: In AMD64 you cannot associate 32bit applications to MIME types, and have the associations working in GRAMPS. Only connect 64bit applications to the file-types.

Known problems and how to solve them

  • No colour markers in person view. Solution: see below
  • Wrong background in date editor. Solution: Uninstall GTK engine

Depending on your system, GRAMPS will look ok in KDE or will look out of place. You should check the following: go to a person in the person view, double click to open the person editor. Change the status of the person to Complete. Save. In the person view, the line of the person should be in green, or whatever other colour you specified in Preferences->marker colour. If the colour is not present, you have a KDE bug. Probably gtk-qt-engine is installed on your PC, with a version number < 0.7. You have two options to obtain a working GRAMPS as the developers intended:

  • uninstall the gtk2-qt-engine/gtk-qt-engine package. This means all GTK application (firefox, gimp, ...) will be drawn in their GNOME style. If you are comfortable with this, ok. If you think all your application should have the same look and feel, go for the second option.
  • upgrade to gtk-qt-engine >= 0.7. For 32 bit systems there is an autopackage here. Unfortunately, autopackage does not work on 64 bit systems, so those should download the sourcecode, compile and install (instructions can be found on the website). If after this upgrade parts of GRAMPS still don't look ok, changes are you are using a not well implemented style in KDE. Go to System Settings->Appearance->Style and choose a widget style that plays nice with GTK. Eg at the time of writing, Lipstick gives problems, but the Plastik style is lovely on GRAMPS.


Gtk-qt-engine 0.7 does not solve all GTK drawing problems in GRAMPS. Eg issue 786 is resolved in 2006. Should other problems come up which you think are due to gtk-qt-engine, contact the developers. You can test this by switching in System Settings->Appearance->GTK Styles and Fonts, to style Rayleigh. It doesn't look nice on KDE, but should prove if a problem is engine related, or just a bug in GRAMPS.