Strange GUI issues with JOSM and Ubuntu/Debian

Posted by Nakaner on 8 February 2016 in English (English)

There are some issues JOSM users experience which are not the fault of JOSM developers because Java/OpenJDK causes it.

You use Ubuntu or Debian an experience strange GUI issues at JOSM's tag editor and at comboboxes at JOSM presets? They look like this:

screenshot tag editor 1

or this

screenshto tag editor 2

or this

screenshto tag editor 3

or this?

screenshto bug at preset combo box

There is even a video of it.


There is a workaround. Thank you, Don-vip. Remove the line


from /etc/java-8-openjdk/ (the file might be located at another directory if you use OpenJDK 7)

How I discovered the bug

I have been using Arch Linux for the last 18 months and started using Ubuntu (better: Xubuntu) on my new laptop. First I thought it were a KDE-related problem because I tried Kubuntu. A switch to XFCE did not fix it. Searching JOSM's issue tracker for open issues did not help because the issue was closed (that's ok, it's no JOSM problem). I tried an older version of JOSM but did not help. I tried OpenJDK 7 and 8, both behave the same. I asked at #osm-de IRC and malenki pointed me to the issue and the workaround.

Comment from andrewsh on 9 February 2016 at 07:55

Thanks. I was seeing this and a couple of other issues recently, I switched from GTK+ theme to Metal, but not all of them disappeared.

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Comment from malenki on 9 February 2016 at 09:27

Hint: When I search the JOSM issue tracker I always also look for closed bugs. One never knows… :)

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Comment from rurseekatze on 12 February 2016 at 00:34

Thanks! I had the same issues, with this workaround everything works fine again.

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