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Old 02-06-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
LinuxNoobX
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Question Minor Customizations?


Are there any simple ways to alter a Linux distro to personalize it or give it a unique feel. I am still reading introductory material so I don't need to make any performance enhancements ( such as one-click file executions in the GUI ) yet.

Just want to make a few minor alterations so the interface doesn't feel so out-of-the-box. For example is there a way to make command line windows seem transparent in a non-root account? Is there a simple program for tweaking the GUI?

I know I should google first but my brain is so full of Linux introductory material and I don't wanna shift gears and get off track over a minor customization issue.

I appreciate any help but don't waste any time unnecessarily on this question if there are worthier questions to address. Z/Z
 
Old 02-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
aikiwav
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I haven't tried it myself yet, but there's a program called "Conky" which can do a lot of interesting things for a desktop.

I'll be trying it out asap.

http://conky.sourceforge.net/

Last edited by aikiwav; 02-06-2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: added link
 
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
LinuxNoobX
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Thank you... I'll have a look. Z/Z
 
Old 02-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
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You don't mention which DE or WM you use, most of them can be tweaked with themes, lots of them are downloadable at places like Gnome-Look.org, KDE-Look.org or XFCE-Look.org.
The sites of the WMs and DEs should also give some options to tweak the look.
For your terminal question, usually something like that can be achieved with an option in your terminals preferences.

By the way, one-click execution is just a change in the behavior of your DE/WM, that has no performance benefits.
 
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
LinuxNoobX
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The one-click executions don't make the OS faster BUT they do make it feel faster if you are a confident user. The trick for me came from trying the make Win 7 suck less and one-click execution makes it feel like it is working faster. By default Win 7 is designed so people with no computer experience wont screw something up but for experienced users it is a pain because it takes forever to hunt down all the tweaks to make it feel faster.

Fortunately Linux distros come in a range of flavours so upon becoming more proficient you can move to a non-noob distro. And even the noob distros are a lot less restrictive than windows and consume less system resources. When I am more confident with Mint I intend to move to Debian primarily because I know with some certainty that I can run it from a virtual ram disk which should drastically improve performance... depending on the reliability of the virtual ram disk I may or may not get a solid state drive later.

In short: thanks for the advice Z/Z
 
Old 02-06-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinuxNoobX View Post
Are there any simple ways to alter a Linux distro to personalize it or give it a unique feel.
There are loads, but what will work for you depends a lot on what DE you use. LM12? I'd guess that you are using Gnome.

Very broadly, out of the two biggest (and that means 'heaviest, as well as 'most popular'), KDE tends to be more on the 'make everything configurable, so that the end user can get what they want' end of things and Gnome tends to be more on the 'make sure that everything works reasonably well out of the box' end; while this isn't absolute, it does mean that KDE is better for tweakers (and time-wasters, which is the other side of this particular coin), but Gnome has its adherents too amongst those who would rather have their options limited and get on with things.

@TobiSGD
Quote:
You don't mention which DE or WM you use, most of them can be tweaked with themes, lots of them are downloadable at places like Gnome-Look.org, KDE-Look.org or XFCE-Look.org.
Not only is this true, but if you go into kde settings > window decorations or kde settings > desktop theme, there is the option to grab new decorations or themes directly, without any messing around with separately downloading, moving to the right directory, untarring, etc. I thought Gnome had a similar facility, but as I haven't even looked at recent Gnomes, that may be wrong.

Warning: although you can do much customisation, that isn't the same as saying that you should. It is really quite a good way of wasting time, and you should really only go there if you have the time to waste.
 
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
Not only is this true, but if you go into kde settings > window decorations or kde settings > desktop theme, there is the option to grab new decorations or themes directly, without any messing around with separately downloading, moving to the right directory, untarring, etc. I thought Gnome had a similar facility, but as I haven't even looked at recent Gnomes, that may be wrong.
Didn't know that, thanks for that hint. Since I am one of those tiling WM guys I only have sometimes a look at Gnome-Look or XFCE-Look when I am searching for a new GTK theme. Just because I use mostly GTK applications and only very rarely QT/KDE apps.
 
Old 02-06-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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Mostly the only tweaks I use are ones that improve response time for the tasks I regularly perform or make the OS feel smoother. In Window 7 this requires a lot of time and effort as hunting down various registry tweaks can take a while. Typically you can tell a windows person is unsatisfied with the OS when he starts scratching at the walls of the internet trying to improve it... he knows there is something wrong with it and is trying to fix it in the only way windows will allow. To be fair it is not so much what is wrong with windows in that situation it is that that person is probably a Linux person trapped in a Windows OS. Mac attempts to take advantage of this by "manufacturing" a community ( for a good profit ) and a pseudo-counter OS (buy us we are not them thing). I am not saying any of this is wrong... it is just the truth and besides I like choice so I would not discourage the success of alternate OSs.

I was not gently brought into the Linux community. I had a friend who helped me with projects... for months I had been researching something I should not have been researching ( I have a reputation for being ummm... "disobedient" ) and after many false leads found the answer I was looking for. I brought the findings to my friend who has more computer-related skills for verification of authenticity. At this point I was introduced to Linux... but not the shallow end. I had MANY bad encounters with Linux people until etech gave me links to documents that rationalized the hacker behaviour for me... as well as explaining my Mal-adaptive windows-user habits. The transition was especially hard for me but for the most part once you know how and when to ask questions and how to show respect without groveling then the community is very supportive.

I didn't mean to tell my Linux life story... I am just one of those people who can't STFU when he gets started Z/Z

Last edited by LinuxNoobX; 02-06-2012 at 05:12 PM. Reason: misspelling
 
Old 02-06-2012, 05:55 PM   #9
TobiSGD
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Well, if you want to improve the responsiveness of your system then I would recommend to not use Gnome, Unity or KDE at all. You will get a faster system if you exchange them with one of the window managers, or at least with one of the smaller desktop environments, like LXDE or Enlightenment, may be the "fattest" of the light ones, XFCE. They are less resource hungry, which means that your applications will have more usable resources for themselves.

For me personally, wmii (a tiling WM) is the one with the best performance and the easiest to customize, at least currently, I am always looking for good alternatives and trying them.
 
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
LinuxNoobX
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Wink

Thanks.

One of my favorite Futurama quotes from when they over-clocked Bender in violation of the EULA they agreed to without reading--- "I slightly modified something I already owned and I agreed to something without reading it... WE'RE MONSTERS"

Z/Z
 
  


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