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Fedora Theming Overview

There is a heckuva lotta stuff you can change the look of in Fedora. Isn't open source software great? :) Even better, you can unify the look of the entire distribution by following a common theme across these customizable screens/widgets/layouts/whatchamacallits.

If you've got great ideas for a design but are not technically-inclined, or want to learn how to code up your own themes but need help - no worries. Pass your mockups along; you can upload them to ThemeConcepts - and be sure to post the link to fedora-art-list so we can all marvel at your handiwork!

Here's an overview of the components that have gone into past Fedora themes so you can get an idea of what you can change the look of and how to test out your artwork.

Artwork seen during installation

This is all artwork users will only see on a limited basis - during and directly after installation. This is not the artwork users will be looking at day in and day out.

Anaconda Prompt Screen

Only seen during installation. Pretty much the *first* thing you see when you boot up with the install CD/DVD.

Artwork ThemingOverview 01Syslinux.png
Description: Splash screen used at the boot prompt with syslinux/isolinux. This gets transformed into the syslinux specific format.
File Name + Extension: same image, two locations:
  • /usr/lib/anaconda-runtime/boot/syslinux-splash.png and
  • /usr/share/anaconda/pixmaps/syslinux-splash.png
Package: fedora-logos / redhat-logos
Size: 640x300 pixels
Colors: 16-color palette (should be an indexed .png with #000000, #ffffff, #cdcfd5, #5b6c93, and #c90000 in your palette).
Testing Notes: The final file format of this graphic is 'lss'. To test it out there are programs available such as ppmtolss that will let you convert this image to lss to try it out (of course to use that you'd have to convert to ppm first. :) ) Once you have converted it to lss, create an installation CD, putting your newly-created lss file in the /isolinux directory, naming it 'splash.lss'. --[MairinDuffy]

Anaconda Screen - Splash

Only seen during installation. There is a 'splash' component to the wizard as well as a customizable banner. Appears after the first screen above.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_02AnacondaSplash.png] <^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: This is the the "splash" component to the Installation Wizard. It is comprised of two pieces of artwork...the header [1] and the center image [2] .
<^> NOTE: Image01 should include the following Copyright text:
Copyright (C) 2003 - 2006 Red Hat, Inc. and others. All rights reserved.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_02fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_02fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_02f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_02f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

Anaconda Screen - Progress

Only seen during installation. This is the 'countdown' screen after you've already picked all your preferences and let the installer do its magic. :)

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |12> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_03AnacondaProgress.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || This is the the "progress" component to the Installation Wizard. It is comprised of two pieces of artwork...the header [1] (same as Anaconda Prompt Screen - Splash) and the center image [2b/c] . ||

[1] Same as graphic [1] from Anaconda Prompt Screen - Splash
<^> NOTE: Both 2b/c should include the following Copyright text:
Copyright (C) 2003 - 2006 Red Hat, Inc. and others. All rights reserved.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_03fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_03fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_03f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_03f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

First Boot

Users only see this the very first time they boot their system after installing it. It walks the user through additional configuration of their system post-installation (keyboard layout, language, time zone, etc.) There is a splash (shown in screenshot below) as well as a banner along the left side.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |12> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_06Firstboot.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || Walks user through additional configuration of their system post-installation. It is comprised of two pieces of artwork...the banner along the left side [1] and a splash image [2] . ||

<^> NOTE: On large screens, firstboot will not resize to fill the window. Instead, the background color02 chosen for RHGB will be the background color.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_06fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_06fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_06f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_06f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

<^> NOTE: Additional artwork for firstboot is located in the /usr/share/firstboot/pixmaps directory/. --[MairinDuffy]
<-3> Testing Notes: Copy all of your artwork to /usr/share/firstboot/pixmaps, making sure to backup the originals if you care about them. :) Now, run (as root), /usr/sbin/firstboot --debug. This will spew a bunch of stuff out to your terminal - let it finish - and eventually you'll see a firstboot item appear in your tasklist/window list. Firstboot likes to pop under you see :) So you'll need to click the 'show desktop' icon in the lower left corner of your screen to hide all of your open windows, then click on the firstboot item in the tasklist/window list to see firstboot running with your artwork. You should be able to click through the screens. --[MairinDuffy]

Artwork seen during bootup

Below is artwork users will see every time they boot their system.

GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader)

This is seen *every time the computer boots*, and is used to select the kernel to run as well as other boot-time options. Note that for FC5, some people complained that this screen was too bright and hurt their eyes - people are used to a dark screen for this.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |12> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_04Grub.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || Seen every time the computer boots, this screen is where the selection of which kernel to run and other boot-time options, are made. ||

<^> NOTE: The selection bar is black and so the image created should take care to allow for the selection bar to be visible.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_04fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_04fc6.png,width=120,height=90] ||

RHGB (Red Hat Graphical Boot)

Shown to the users every time they boot their machine up. The user may be staring at this for a while depending on how slow startup is, so make this pretty. :)

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |18> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05RHGBa.png]
1. Graphic "Hide Detail" Mode

2. Text "Show Detail" Mode ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || Shown as the machine starts up...users can toggle between
1. Graphic "Hide Detail" mode and
2. Text "Show Detail" mode ||

<^> NOTE: The background color02 set for this section will be the same screen color during firstboot. Make sure color02 works with the graphic used in firstboot.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05fc5a.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05fc6a.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05f7a.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05f8a.png,width=120,height=90]
FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05fc5b.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05fc6b.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05f7b.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_05f8b.png,width=120,height=90] ||

<-3> Testing Notes: (write-up by Andy Shellam) The RHGB screens are simply PNG images in the /usr/share/rhgb folder, and can be replaced by custom ones. To create a custom "throbber" (the animation of a few circles spinning round), create a PNG image of 288x24 - then in that image you need 12 images of 24x24 placed side-by-side, so when viewed left to right - that's your animation. Replace the /usr/share/rhgb/throbber-anim.png image with your image, reboot and you're sorted! In Fedora, the /usr/share/rhgb/large-computer.png isn't used - there are 2 other images - one which is the fedora system logo (the bubbly f), the other is the word "fedora" in the bottom-right corner. Replace these with your own PNGs and bingo, you've got a nice customised system :) More information at [1]

GDM (Gnome Display Manager)

Basically, the login screen. If users leave their computers on all the time and don't share their system they won't see this as often as users who share a desktop system with other users on the system or laptop users who reboot and login more frequently.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |7> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_07GDM.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || Login Screen. ||

gdm goes in redhat-artwork
<^> NOTE: Design with plenty of space for text to shirnk and grow to accommodate translated text.

More information, visit Gnome Display Manager Reference Manual .

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_07fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_07fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_07f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_07f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

<-3> Testing Notes: Testing GDM themes for a widescreen monitor when you don't have a widescreen monitor, type the following in a terminal:
- 'Xnest -ac -geometry 1680x525 :123 &'
- 'DISPLAY=:123 /usr/bin/gdmgreeter' --[MairinDuffy]

GNOME Splash Screen

NOTE: Please don't focus on this graphic piece as it's turned off by default in both upstream and Fedora's GNOME. It's basically a little graphic that shows GNOME's startup, but GNOME starts up quick enough these days that it's not really necessary anymore.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |10> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_08ExtensionSplash.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || Splash screen after a user succesfully authentificated on login screen. Currently off by default. ||

<^> NOTE: The position of the icons and text is hardcoded in splash-widget.c in gnome-session and may need tweaking for a different image.

Image01 should include the following Copyright text: Copyright (C) 2003 - 2006 Red Hat, Inc. and others. All rights reserved.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_08fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_08fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_08f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_08f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

High-Visibility Artwork

This is artwork users are going to see all the time - so let's get it right. :)


[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |10> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_09Background.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || Background for desktop. ||

<^> NOTE: Create variations for the five sizes listed above.

Some colors might appear brighter or darker depending on the monitor, please test the image on a variety of monitors for optimal use.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_09fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_09fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_09f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_09f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

GNOME Screensaver Lock Dialog

NOTE: Please don't focus on this graphic piece as it's turned off by default in both upstream and Fedora's GNOME.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |10> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_10LockDialog.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || Login dialog which appears when the user returns after screensaver is running. Currently off by default. ||

<^> NOTE: Design with space for text to shrink and grow to accommodate prompts, translated text, as well as long usernames.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_10fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_10fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_10f8.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_10f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

KDE Artwork

Let's not forget the KDE fans. :)

KDE Splash

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |26> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_11KDEsplash.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || KDE ksplash is a part of redhat-logos. The theme should be installed in /usr/share/apps/ksplash/Themes/X (X is the name of the Theme). There is one (1) preview image, one (1) resource file, and Image01 is comprised of four (4) pieces. ||

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_11fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_11fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_11f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_11f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

KDE Login

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<^ |16> [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_12KDElogin.png] ||<^ style="color: #636363;"> Description: || KDE Login is comprised of one (1) preview image, one (1) background color designation, and Image01 which is the logo. ||

<^> NOTE: To be filled in.

[[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_||<-2> FC5: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_12fc5.png,width=120,height=90] FC6: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_12fc6.png,width=120,height=90] F7: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_12f7.png,width=120,height=90] F8: [[Image:Artwork_ThemingOverview_12f8.png,width=120,height=90] ||

Non-Release Dependent Artwork

There's other types of artwork we can change but don't necessarily have to change with each release. A pretty exhaustive list is available on Marketing's Fedora Branding Page . A small sample follows below.

Metacity (Window manager)

The main visual component of metacity themes is the titlebar of windows, but there are other things you can do with it too.

Designing Metacity Themes

GTK (Gimp Tool Kit)

This refers to the basic look of windows... their color, the appearance of their widgets, etc. The default GTK+ engine we use in Fedora is Clearlooks.

The Widget Factory is a great program for testing the look of your themes. It also has a great screenshot of the program, displaying all of the different widgets that can be styled for GTK2. Users can get the widget factory on Fedora Extras repository with the following command

yum install thewidgetfactory

GnomeArt GTK2 Theme Creation Tutorial