and the Look&Feel of the NB IDE will be ...

As you probably noticed if you ever run the NetBeans IDE on different operating systems there is default look and feel for every OS. It is even more complicated... There is a look&feel assigned to every OS+JDK +WM combination. Does it look complicated? Or don't like the default?
You should read Look and Feels in NetBeans IDE where it's explained by Petr Chytil. Thanks to Adam Bien for screenshots.


Great article - now I know what's available on what platform, though having said that, as a Linux user I tend to stick with the default Java laf. Seems to work best for me. :o)

Posted by Ben Hills on January 09, 2009 at 01:36 AM CET #

I do not like this laf... It is good for solaris bay be,but it looks no nice on win, mac or linux. It would be better to use native laf for avery os. And woul de soper nice if somebody fix fix laf for gnome (the bug with com-box box.. not fixed yed).

Posted by Sergey on January 09, 2009 at 03:51 AM CET #

@Ben - which one is the default? Metal? Or Nimbus?

@Sergey - "I do not like this laf..." - which one do you mean?

Posted by Lukas Hasik on January 09, 2009 at 06:12 AM CET #

It'd be even better if we could just change it with a combo box instead of having to dig into the config file.

Why keep the glasses in the hallway closet when we could put them right next to the sink, aight?

Posted by James Arlow on January 09, 2009 at 06:15 AM CET #

Maybe that's very-hidden-for-special-people option? ;)

@Lukas Hashik: I think, Sergey meant Nimbus GTK.

Posted by Namek on January 10, 2009 at 03:37 AM CET #

THIS IS A HORRIBLE TIP, one which exposes a serious serious weakness in NetBeans. If I was Tor Norbye (or similar), I would have said, "NO. NO. No tips on Look and Feel, or anything else in the netbeans.conf file."

Why you say? I made a few changes to the netbeans_default crap in the netbeans.conf file. Not only did NetBeans totally puke but it did so silently. No error messages, no log file time stamp, nothing. Of course, I figured out the problem because I'm relentless (I modified bin/netbeans shell script on the old Mac OSX TiBook and ran it a bunch of times with different settings for the netbeans_default crap).

NetBeans has been around for a while now. I've been using it on all platforms for maybe two years. Parsing the config file should not be so brittle. This is intern-level stuff. At the very very least (and if you're going to publish tips on it) the netbeans config file stuff needs better inline docs (i.e. comments in the config file itself, if it can't be fixed for some strange reason).

Just my 2c. NetBeans L&F not ready for prime time.


Posted by D. Faris on January 12, 2009 at 10:31 PM CET #

But it seems that I couldn't use the Nimbus as Netbean's default look&feel under Windows OS ?

Posted by linjuddpk on January 12, 2009 at 10:53 PM CET #

A nice article on Pimp Your Netbeans would be cool :D.

And a small selection of themes like VS has would also be nice :P.

Posted by Mihai on January 12, 2009 at 11:49 PM CET #

@Nimbus: I haven't said that I like it.
@D. Faris: the purpose of this tip was to show what are the defaults on what OS/jdk. And that there are more options when you don't like a look and feel of your app in java. You should know that every change of defaults is on your own risk. I f you don't then it's your problem.

@linjuddpk: you cannot change default. You can change what L&F your IDE uses. Nimbus is part of JDK 6u10

Posted by Lukas on January 13, 2009 at 02:20 AM CET #

Hi Lukas,
Maybe I misunderstand your meanning.
I enter below command into netbeans.conf
netbeans_default_options="--laf GTK"or other Look&&Feel mentioned in the article.
It doesn't work.
Need the version 6u10 ?

Posted by linjuddpk on January 13, 2009 at 02:35 AM CET #

@linjuddpk: I meant the you cannot change the default L&F because it's hardcoded in the netbeans' code however you can change the L&F of your IDE instance.
The GTK isn't available in the jdk on windows. There is only the WinXP, Metal and Nimbus(jdk6u10) look and feel. As written in

However you can use what ever look and feel you want you just have to have the 3rd-party libraries on classpath etc... (e.g.

Posted by Lukas on January 13, 2009 at 09:15 AM CET #

D. Faris: I understand this view, and so I will extend this tip by repeating the tip number one for anyone wanting to do any change anywhere in config files: DO BACKUP THE ORIGINAL FILES! :-)

Posted by Petr Dvorak on January 15, 2009 at 07:15 AM CET #

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