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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
A 'fix' for the 'gtk_widget_get_scale_factor' error.....
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Mike Walsh

Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 6397
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2019, 11:22    Post subject:  A 'fix' for the 'gtk_widget_get_scale_factor' error.....
Subject description: Perennial 'symbol lookup error' when attempting to run Chromium 'clones' in many newer Pups....

Afternoon, all.

I know many Puppians are staunch Firefox users.....but for those of us who prefer the Chromium-based browsers, one irritating issue has been cropping up with increased frequency in the last year or so. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed it, either.

When starting new versions of these browsers for the first time, I always like to do so from the terminal, so's I can see any 'problems' that crop up. Yes, I know the Chromium 'clones' are extremely noisy in the terminal (this is by design, since it provides maximum debugging info for developers), but there's always clues there if you drill down a little way. Which brings me to the point of this post; for several releases now, this particular error has been showing up on a regular basis:-

symbol lookup error : undefined symbol gtk_get_widget_scale_factor

I know others have been coming across it, due to it being mentioned in other threads/posts at times over the last 12-18 months.


I resolved it this morning, after finding out Oscar had done a 32-bit package of Iron 69 recently, and attempting to get this running in peebee's Upup-Bionic. I 'installed' it, and started it from the terminal. Well, whadd'ya know? There was that dozy message, staring back at me from the terminal again....


So. I calmed down, had a scratch & a think, and read back through the thread a wee way. I noticed that Oscar had said he'd briefly tested it in DPup 'Stretch' (and I'd pretty much figured out that the GTK-3 libs were the culprits....again!) On went my considering cap. Hmmm.....

I went into the Debian 'Stretch' repos, and compared version numbers between their libgtk-3.0/libgdk-3.0 libraries and what Canonical had supplied as standard in Bionic. Surprisingly, it appeared the Ubuntu versions were quite a bit older than their Debian counterparts.....the more so, given that Canonical are not above employing their user-base as 'guinea-pigs' for trialling new items. Not, it appeared, in this case; possibly due to its being an LTS version, which tend to be more about stability than 'cutting-edge'.

Anyway, I downloaded the 'Stretch' libgtk/libgdk-3.0 items, extracted, and replaced things manually. Opened a terminal, and tried to start Iron again....

Bingo! Everything working.....even NetFlix. (This last item was of interest to me especially, since NetFlix will no longer run in the elderly, final Linux 32-bit Chrome 48 release I've been using across the kennels for the last 3 years or so......and Iron is my browser of choice to replace it.)


If anybody's interested in this 'fix', I've 'Puppyfied' the libgtk-3.0 .deb package into a .pet (re-organising the layout very slightly to remove the 'i386-linux-gnu/x86_64-linux-gnu' items, since these are not strictly necessary. /usr/lib is a perfectly acceptable destination, and works fine).

You can find it at my Google Drive, here:-


You may also find that once the browser's working, you will need to install the 'glib-2.0 schemas' .pet I put together to prevent browser crashes when attempting to download/upload anything. See here.

Hope some of you may find this useful..! Posting from Iron 69 in Upup Bionic now.

EDIT:- Also running fine in Xenialpup, and in Tahrpup 6.0.6, too. No need here to change the GTK3 stuff.....in both Pups, it appears to be sufficiently new enough to keep Iron happy.

Mike. Wink


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