F8 User Guide - Customizing the Desktop

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Customizing the Desktop

It is possible to customize the look and feel of your desktop in several ways. All of the graphical elements of a desktop - window borders, buttons, scrolling sliders, and other control elements - can be adjusted, modified, or replaced. A theme is a collection of such graphical elements, designed to give a common look and to fit together, and bundled for the desktop.

Changing the Theme

Themes are a way to change your desktop to suit your personal preferences.

GNOME

The default theme is Fedora GNOME theme. Fedora 8 comes with many other themes that can be installed using Pirut.

To change the desktop theme, choose System > Preferences > Look and Feel > Appearance. The Theme Preferences window appears:

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Customizing themes.png

To change the theme, select one from the list, the theme will be applied automatically.

Additional GNOME themes can be installed using Pirut and searching for gnome-themes-extras or from the command line

su -c 'yum install gnome-themes-extras'

KDE

By default KDE uses Plastik as its theme, with many more available from http://www.kde-look.org/ .

To change the them, click KMenu > Applications > Control Center. When the Control Center window appears expand the Appearence & Themes item and click [Theme Manager] .

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Customizing kdeControlCenter.png

To change the theme, select one from the list and click the [Apply] button at the bottom of the window.

Additional icons and themes can be downloaded for KDE by searching in Pirut for kdeartwork-icons and kdeartwork or

su -c 'yum install kdeartwork-icons kdeartwork

Changing the Background

GNOME

To change the background image on your desktop, right-click on an empty area of the desktop, and select the Change Desktop Background option. The Desktop Background Preferences window appears. To change your desktop background, choose a new image form the list. You can add your own images by clicking Add Wallpaper.

To set a color or gradient, select No Wallpaper. Then change the color under Desktop Colors.

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Another way to change the desktop background is to choose System > Preferences > Desktop Background from the menu panel.

KDE

To change the background in KDE, right click and empty area of the desktop, and select the Configure Desktop option. When the Configure KDesktop window appears, you can select a new background image from the drop down, or use your own by clicking the Open File icon next to the drop down.

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You can also change the desktop background by clicking KMenu > Applications > Control Center. When the Control Center window appears expand the Appearence & Themes item and click Background.

Customizing File Browsing Behavior

By default, Fedora uses the Nautilus file manager, which opens a new window each time you open a folder. You can change this behavior to use one window with [Forward] and [Back] buttons.

To change this, double-click on Computer on the desktop, click Edit and then Preferences. You can also select Places > Computer > Edit > Preferences from the menu panel. Click the Behavior tab and click on the box next to the text Always open in browser windows.

To install a program that modifies several aspects of using Nautilus. Install Gtweakui which enables you to modify your GNOME desktop quickly and painlessly.

Applications > Add/Remove Software then searching for gtweakui will provide the program to install. The program's location can be found under System > Preferences

Compiz-Fusion

The Compiz Fusion Project brings 3D desktop visual effects that improve usability of the X Window System and provide increased productivity though plugins and themes contributed by the community giving a rich desktop experience.

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There may be problems with running Compiz Fusion if you do not have a 3D capable video card

The Fedora Project does not enable Compiz Fusion by default and it therefore will need to be installed.

To install Compiz Fusion you will need to load Pirut by going to the Applications > Add/Remove Software, click on the Search tab and type compiz-gnome or compiz-kde depending on which desktop you have.

When Compiz Fusion has been installed you can launch the program by selecting System > Preferences > Look and Feel > Desktop Effects

GDesklets

Installing GDesklets in Fedora requires you to open Pirut which is located at Applications > Add/Remove Software then going to the Search tab and searching for gdesklets.

When searching for Gdesklets in Pirut you will come across a few packages:

gdesklets
gdesklets-calendar
gdesklets-goodweather
gdesklets-quote-of-the-day

GDesklets is the program that needs to be installed and the other programs listed are the plugins. The example of setting up GDesklets will use the gdesklets-goodweather plugin. With that in mind you will need to install both GDesklets and the GDesklets-goodweather plugin.

You can install using the following command in the terminal.

su -c 'yum install gdesklets-calendar gdesklets'


When the software is installed you can access GDesklets by going to Applications > Accessories > Gdesklets. This will load up a program with all available plugins. Select the uncategorized category and double-click GoodWeather Display.

After a few moments the the desklet will appear on the desktop and allow you to move it to a preferred location on the desktop.

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Where you initially place it is not important. The desklet can be moved at any time by right-clicking on the desklet and choosing move desklet

To configure the the weather gdesklet, right-click and select configure desklet. A dialog will appear with general settings. Modifying the location can be done by going to http://www.weather.com/ . At the very top of the weather.com website is a search box for local weather information. Type in the location. After searching the code for the location will be found in the url. For example, Perth, Australia weather is the following link: http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/local/ASXX0089?from=search_city .

To use that information, extract the location code: ASXX0089 and enter it into the weather desklet and select [Close] button. The weather information will be available after the next update interval.

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Customizing gdesklets-weather.png

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To get additional plugins rather than only three please visit http://gdesklets.de/
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