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Incorrect Emacs UI on foreign distro (Ubuntu)

From: Chris Marusich
Subject: Incorrect Emacs UI on foreign distro (Ubuntu)
Date: Wed, 10 May 2017 00:16:20 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.2 (gnu/linux)


I've installed Emacs using Guix on a foreign distro (Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS,
to be precise).  When I start it from GNOME terminal via the following


it looks weird (see attached file "emacs-incorrect-ui.png") and lots of
warnings are printed to STDERR (see attached file
"emacs-incorrect-ui.log").  Please note that the output of "which emacs"


which demonstrates that I am invoking the emacs installed via Guix.

However, when I start Emacs via the following command:

  env -u XDG_DATA_DIRS emacs

it looks correct (see attached file "emacs-correct-ui.png") and fewer
warnings are printed to STDERR (see attached file

The contents of XDG_DATA_DIRS are as follows:


By process of elimination, I have determined that the presence of the
"/usr/share/" directory is the cause of this issue.  What I mean is that
when I invoke:


the UI looks the same (and the warnings are the same) as when I invoke:

  env -u XDG_DATA_DIRS emacs

What's going on here?  How can I resolve it?  I know that the
Guix-installed emacs is actually a wrapper which adds some values to the
environment variables, but I don't really understand why all these
warnings are being emitted, or why the UI looks weird.  I can work
around the issue by using a custom alias (to launch emacs with the right
combination of environment variables set), or by crafting a similarly
customized .desktop file, but it'd be great if Emacs's UI didn't look
weird by default on a foreign distro.

Oh, one last note: I tried installing pretty much every kind of GNOME-
or GTK-related theme I could find in Guix, but it didn't seem to help.
I also tried setting various environment variables like XDG_DATA_DIRS
and XDG_CONFIG_DIRS to point at (what I believe to be) the right places
in my profile (after installing the themes), but that didn't seem to
help, either.  The only way I was able to get rid of most of the
warnings was to start emacs as mentioned above.  If I'm just missing
some theme, please let me know what to install!


Attachment: emacs-correct-ui.log
Description: Binary data

Attachment: emacs-correct-ui.png
Description: PNG image

Attachment: emacs-incorrect-ui.log
Description: Binary data

Attachment: emacs-incorrect-ui.png
Description: PNG image

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

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