#1141 PD starts with black background


Pd version 0.43.2 (vanilla, installed from Debian repos)
Debian Wheezy 64-bit (linux kernel 3.12-0.bpo.1-amd64)
Intel Haswell CPU

Pd starts with black background. Objects are also black and therefore invisible
unless highlighted, making pd unusable. The same problem occurs on a completely
different machine with the same version of Debian. The black background is both
on the parent window and the patch windows.


  • IOhannes m zmölnig

    if this is a Debian bug, you probably should (also) report it in the debian bug-tracker, e.g. using

    $ reportbug puredata

    otoh, i never heard of this problem before (no other Debian user reported it yet), even though it does make Pd quite unusable.

    is it possible that you've installed some weird GUI-plugin that does this?
    e.g. what is the content of ~/pd-externals/ and /usr/local/lib/pd-externals/

    furthermore, does the problem persist if you start Pd from the cmdline with -noprefs flag?

  • Anonymous - 2014-04-09

    Neither of those two pd-externals folders are present on my system. I have no gui plugins at all as far as I know and this is a plain vanilla pd installation. The problem persists with the -noprefs flag.

    Also, I thought it might have been a problem with my window manager (Xmonad), but I tried Openbox on both computers and got the same problem.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Anonymous - 2014-04-21

    I just downloaded PD, same issue and audio problems as well. Right from the start... not a good sign.

  • IOhannes m zmölnig

    i recently read an email (on the pd-list, from some years ago), that mentioned a similar problem (unfortunately i haven't got a reference at hand).

    the issue there was, that the user had a special window manager and/or tweaked their wm to have some none-default "default background color" (e.g. black). Pd somehow honored this background color but not any foreground color, resulting in the problem you described.

    could this be the same for you?

  • Anonymous - 2014-04-22

    I have not consciously tweaked my wm to have a default background color, but
    I guess Xmonad might be considered a special window manager. Like I mentioned
    before, uninstalling it and using Openbox did not solve the problem, but maybe
    another package initially installed by Xmonad and still present on my system
    is the culprit. I will try pd on a fresh install of the same version of Debian
    with Gnome when I get a chance.

    I would like to ask the other anonymous user having the same problem what
    distro and window manager he/she is using.

  • Anonymous - 2014-05-24

    Update: the problem is fixed.

    The problem was that I had changed the default background color in .Xdefaults with the following line:

    *background: #000000

    This had the intended effect of making the background of xterm black, but it seems puredata also looks at .Xdefaults. Changing the line in .Xdefaults to:

    xterm*background: #000000

    makes puredata behave normally while still affecting xterm.

  • IOhannes m zmölnig

    • status: open --> closed-remind
  • IOhannes m zmölnig

    so the problem seems to be one of user-configuration.
    thus i'm closing the bug report.

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    Anonymous - 2016-07-15

    I hit the same problem, however did not consider setting the background explicitly an adequate solution. On my system several applications are affected by the wildcard resource setting (terminal emulators, emacs, qt and gtk apps) and listing them all explicitly here seems not right.
    After much investigation, trial and error and kind help from other pd users, I found an Xdefaults setting which allows to keep the wildcard option for foreground/background, but still override the settings for puredata in order to get back to a bright background and dark foreground. This is necessary since some colors, e.g. the wires and boxes, are hardcoded in pd.

    ! mind the . instead of just * here, it is mandatory for this to work!
    .foreground: #f0f0f0
    *.background: #202020

    PdWindowbackground: #f0f000
    PdWindowforeground: #202000
    PatchWindowbackground: #f0f000
    PatchWindowforeground: #202000

    Hope this helps others encountering the same problem.



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