Starting with GTK+ Programming

Posted on March 26, 2013
Tags: ,
by Sanchayan Maity

It’s been a while since my last post in January. I shifted to Bangalore for work and took some time to get used to the new work environment and schedule. Anyways, let’s get on with the topic at hand.

My current work involves a lot of GUI development on WinCE in C# and since I wanted to work on Linux, it left much to be desired. So, I thought why not do some GUI development on Linux. I could have opted for Qt and an Integrated Development Environment does speed up the work a lot and though developing GUI applications is a breeze in C#/QT with an IDE, I don’t like GUI development and it becomes boring if things become too simple, like it happened with C#. So, I chose GTK+ for this task and Nano as the editor of my choice on my new Arch Linux installation to amuse myself and keep myself from getting bored.

Also, on a different note, I recently tried my hands on Gentoo. For any package installation, having to download the source, compile the package and then install, turned me off it. Actually, I have wanted to contribute to the open source community for a while, and this motivated me to go ahead with Gentoo, but, I was put off by the package management. I will stick with Arch.

I am using Xfce as my desktop environment in Arch Linux. At first, I was worried about having to take care of package installation and dependencies for starting with GTK programming, but, I think during the Xfce installation or something else this was taken care of.

First I just typed the below program in the Nano editor.

#include <gtk/gtk.h>

static void hello( GtkWidget *widget, gpointer data )
    g_print ("Hello World\n");

static gboolean delete_event( GtkWidget *widget, GdkEvent *event, gpointer data )
    g_print ("Delete event occurred\n");

    return FALSE;

static void destroy( GtkWidget *widget, gpointer data )
    gtk_main_quit ();

int main( int argc, char *argv[] )
    GtkWidget *window;
    GtkWidget *button;

    gtk_init (&argc, &argv);

    window = gtk_window_new (GTK_WINDOW_TOPLEVEL);

    g_signal_connect (window, "delete-event", G_CALLBACK (delete_event), NULL);

    g_signal_connect (window, "destroy", G_CALLBACK (destroy), NULL);

    gtk_container_set_border_width (GTK_CONTAINER (window), 10);

    button = gtk_button_new_with_label ("Hello World");

    g_signal_connect (button, "clicked", G_CALLBACK (hello), NULL);

    g_signal_connect_swapped (button, "clicked", G_CALLBACK (gtk_widget_destroy), window);

    gtk_container_add (GTK_CONTAINER (window), button);

    gtk_widget_show (button);

    gtk_widget_show (window);

    gtk_main ();

    return 0;

You can compile the above code by typing the following on command line.

gcc -o hello hello.c `pkg-config --libs --cflags gtk+-2.0`

After compilation, run the output file generated and see the output. I did not intend much with this tutorial, but, just wanted to share. This post is more sort of an incoherent musing and working on GUI’s is boring and I can’t make head or tails of how to make good user interfaces.

You can find a detail tutorial and explanation of various functions, API’s and callbacks on the GNOME development center below.

I hope to put up some articles soon on PCB design, which I have been putting off and some other stuff related to programming may be.