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The "muppet magic" recursion and the found code snippet suggested one way to switch on images for all buttons. A block was that 'isa' did not behave as I expected on buttons. It doesn't distinguish between check buttons and normal buttons for example and misidentifies some other things. I may not be calling it correctly (should be blessed? Currently I test for a string match in the widget name and filter out check buttons. I call the following on the main top-level window just before showing all:

sub turn_button_images_on { my $widget = $_[0]; my %buttonimages; if ("$widget->get_name" =~/Button/){ unless ("$widget->get_name" =~/CheckButton/{ print "Widget $widget is a Gtk2 button\n"; $buttonimages{$widget}=$widget->get_settings: $buttonimages{$widget}=$widget->set('gtk-button-images', TRUE +) } } elsif ($widget->isa(Gtk2::Container::)){ $widget->foreach(sub {turn_button_images_on ($_[0]); }); } }
(This will be an option in case the user doesn't want button images). My system doesn't have a .gtkrc-2.0 on the filesystem. (EDIT: There are gtkrc files in /usr/share/themes but for the Default theme that contains a comment only. Switching themes in my program does not enable button images). Creating ~/.gtkrc-2.0 to try to turn button images on does nothing there at least for gtk2-perl. I suspect this is system-specific. This issue is very similar to that experienced back in 2005 by the OP on this thread where the 2-line code snippet came from:

In reply to Re^3: gtk2-perl: how to enable stock images in all widgets by wdef2
in thread gtk2-perl: how to enable stock images in all widgets by wdef2

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