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Old 08-09-2005, 08:48 AM   #1
archlyn
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Help me spice up my Desktop!


I've been using KDE for as long as I've been using Linux. and while it's nice, it's also very drab, and looks a lot like my Windows setup. On top of all that, KDE is bloated and resaource hungry, so it's time for a switch.

This however will not be so easy as you think (maybe )

I'm trying to make a desktop worthy of those screenshot gallerys, the ones that show the beautifully tricked-out setups, with lot's of widgets and such.

A truly kickass example:
http://www.gentoo.org/images/shots/godoisw.jpg

I've been googling around for ages and have come up with very little, and at my wit's end.

I have come across things like iDesk and ROX, but they don't seem to play very nicely with any of the WMs I've tried them with.

Another problem I'm having is documentation. I see all of these wonderful screens of how I would like my box to look, but no info on how you do it, or where you might go to learn more. And none of the WMs I've tried have very good info on how you do even the most basic things (like adding/removing items from their menus or creating a launcher).

Here's a list of things I've tried:
Enlightenment
XFCE <--- my favorite so far
one of the *boxes (fluxbox or blackbox, can't remember which)

I know it's not many, but I thought I'd ask you guys for hrlp before I ernt any further
 
Old 08-09-2005, 09:56 AM   #2
IsaacKuo
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There's a massive thread on http://www.justlinux.com/ about "eye candy apps".

If you have OpenGL 3d hardware acceleration working, then I must recommend the CrystalGL window decorations for KDE. It turns your window borders semi-transparent with lens distortion effects and shading. When moving around a window, the lens effect on the background underneath is incredibly cool!

If you don't have 3d hardware acceleration working, then the non-3d Crystal window decorations are still pretty cool. No lens effect or shading, though. You can get both versions of the Crystal window decorations from http://www.kde-look.org/

Honestly, the CrystalGL window decorations are so cool that I keep returning to KDE just for it.

There are a few really nice icon sets at KDE-look. My favorites are Umicons and Cezanne.

For a good relatively fast OSX zoomy dock type thing, kooldock is good. It's been a while since I've checked out OSX dock clones, though. AFAIK, there still isn't an OpenGL 3d accelerated one out there yet.
 
Old 08-09-2005, 10:14 AM   #3
DJOtaku
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I'm not sure if you know about this or not, but you may want to try superkaramba on KDE. It allows you to have little programs on your desktop like calculators, weather monitors, system monitors, etc It's exactly like those widgets that everyone in macland is so excited about even though Linux has had them forever.

In Gnome and *box you can use gdesklets which are the same as superkaramba.

In any WM you can use aterm or eterm (which you should have since you tried enlightenment) and set the background to transparent to get something similar to the desktop you showed in the screenshot. If you search on LQ.org for my screenname you should see one of the threads around march/april where I had it explained to me how to make eterm transparent. I am not home now, so I don't know the command.

What a lot of people have running on a transparent background (a)eterm that makes it look so cool is the commandline program "top" which is kinda what you get in windows with ctrl-alt-del and click on processes. But it gives you a little more info. I find it really useful in case things start running slow, I can see what's running. Another thing that people do is use an IRC chat program that doesn't have a GUI. That's how these people seem to be having conversations right on their desktops.

By the way, once you make eterms have no background or title bar you may wonder how to move them around. Hold down alt and then click on the window to move it around.

Also, you may want to check out themes for Enlightenment or *box at themes.org which leads to a freshmeat site for themes. Most of them are really nice and have pretty cool backgrounds. For kde or Gnome go to kde-look.org and gnome-look.org.

Finally, for awesome backgrounds, check out deviantart.org (or .com...can't remember)
 
Old 08-09-2005, 10:36 AM   #4
archlyn
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Thanks for the replies

@Isaac:

I'll look into the 3D thing you mentioned, even though I'm keen on leaving KDE, it sounds cool.

@DJ: I'll look for that thread. I'm installing eterm now, though. (I've been using Konsole up til now.

I'm using superkaramba now and, while I like it, it's still KDE-only so....

--
As far as the applets go, I don't really care abpout most of them. I've only really used system monitors.

I guess I should tell you guys about what I'm trying to get out of this in terms of function and not just form.

All I REALLY need is a clock, a quicklanch bar (not even something like a kmenu) and a desktop, but I want the quicklanch to be something special, since that's mostly what I'll be using to start programs. An added bonus would be if I could set up some drawers (think GNOME) but not required.

Again, I know all of this is possible to do, I just don't know HOW to do it, which is really frustrating me.
 
Old 08-09-2005, 11:28 AM   #5
IsaacKuo
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AFAIK, you can use Superkaramba with any WM, as well as kooldock. In doing so, you'll load KDE libraries so your lightweight WM will no longer be so lightweight, but it should work.
 
Old 08-09-2005, 11:40 AM   #6
fouldsy
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Fluxbox combined with gKrellM works quite nicely- they are nice sys monitors built-in and has extra plugins such as GKrellMLaunch which is pretty like your quick launch buttons to load apps directly. It lets you mount drives, adjust volumes, etc. depending on what plugins you turn on, so frees up your desktop to look pretty without loads of icons ;-) It'll work with pretty much any WM, not just Fluxbox, though since you mentioned *box, reckon you'd be quite happy with them as it's light, fast, and has some great themes on the sites previously mentioned.
 
Old 08-09-2005, 02:30 PM   #7
craigevil
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Xfce has plugins for the panel/taskbar that show cpu usage, net, weather, and a few other things.

Gkrellm has plugins that will show just about anything from system load to the phase of the moon.

Personally I like Icewm you can set it up so you can launch apps using the F* keys and using either Ctrl+Alt+ any letter key or the Windows key + a letter. Very nice on a laptop. You can quicklaunch icons to the taskbar also.

Screen shot of my desktop running Icewm and Rox. Taskbar shows netload and cpu usage. Between the two they only use about 30k ram.
http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/115...adown116tl.png

Last edited by craigevil; 08-09-2005 at 02:31 PM.
 
Old 08-09-2005, 05:14 PM   #8
archlyn
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Ok, I've just about set up luxbox the way I want it, but I'm still having a couple problems.

1) Still no quicklaunch-style bar

2) even though I've edited my ~/.fluxbox/startup script to include the line:

fbsetbg /path/to/wallpaper.jpg

it doesn't seem to listen. My desired wallpaper flashes on screen for a second, and then is immediately overridden by whatever image my fluxbox theme uses.

Any ideas?
 
Old 08-09-2005, 06:13 PM   #9
fouldsy
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For your wallpaper, check /home/username/.fluxbox/init and see if it is declaring a style. Chances are, when your init is read, it applies a certain style, assuming that you have fbsetbg on your machine anyways, though if your wallpaper flashes on, should be the case. Check out the styles folder within .fluxbox and simply change the wallpaper location in one of these styles to that of your background image, then try applying the style by right-clicking on the desktop, selecting Styles, then the style you edited. It should switch to your background wallpaper. If it does, great, edit init with the name of your style. This is simplistic and dirty! There are loads of styles for download that include a proper style file + background including associated font styles, sizes, etc. but it will get it going.

For your quicklaunch, install gkrellm2 and gkrellm-launch. gkrellm2 handles all sorts of system monitors depending on what you turn on, and gkrellm-launch handles your quick launch programs.
 
Old 08-09-2005, 08:06 PM   #10
archlyn
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Heere's my ~/.fluxbox/init file:

Code:
session.screen0.overlay.lineWidth:	1
session.screen0.overlay.lineStyle:	LineSolid
session.screen0.overlay.joinStyle:	JoinMiter
session.screen0.overlay.capStyle:	CapNotLast
session.screen0.slit.layer:	Dock
session.screen0.slit.autoHide:	true
session.screen0.slit.direction:	Vertical
session.screen0.slit.placement:	TopRight
session.screen0.slit.alpha:	121
session.screen0.slit.onhead:	0
session.screen0.slit.maxOver:	true
session.screen0.slit.onTop:	False
session.screen0.menu.alpha:	255
session.screen0.iconbar.wheelMode:	Screen
session.screen0.iconbar.iconTextPadding:	10l
session.screen0.iconbar.usePixmap:	true
session.screen0.iconbar.alignment:	Relative
session.screen0.iconbar.deiconifyMode:	Follow
session.screen0.iconbar.iconWidth:	70
session.screen0.iconbar.mode:	Workspace
session.screen0.toolbar.autoHide:	true
session.screen0.toolbar.tools:	workspacename, prevworkspace, nextworkspace, iconbar, systemtray, prevwindow, nextwindow, clock
session.screen0.toolbar.visible:	true
session.screen0.toolbar.alpha:	255
session.screen0.toolbar.placement:	BottomCenter
session.screen0.toolbar.onTop:	False
session.screen0.toolbar.layer:	Top
session.screen0.toolbar.widthPercent:	66
session.screen0.toolbar.maxOver:	false
session.screen0.toolbar.height:	0
session.screen0.toolbar.onhead:	0
session.screen0.window.focus.alpha:	255
session.screen0.window.unfocus.alpha:	255
session.screen0.tab.rotatevertical:	True
session.screen0.tab.alignment:	Left
session.screen0.tab.width:	64
session.screen0.tab.height:	16
session.screen0.tab.placement:	Top
session.screen0.strftimeFormat:	%h:%M
session.screen0.menuDelayClose:	0
session.screen0.windowMenu:	
session.screen0.autoRaise:	false
session.screen0.rowPlacementDirection:	LeftToRight
session.screen0.imageDither:	false
session.screen0.decorateTransient:	false
session.screen0.desktopwheeling:	true
session.screen0.workspaceNames:	one,two,three,four,
session.screen0.menuMode:	Delay
session.screen0.sloppywindowgrouping:	true
session.screen0.workspaces:	4
session.screen0.showwindowposition:	true
session.screen0.clickRaises:	true
session.screen0.focusLastWindow:	true
session.screen0.antialias:	false
session.screen0.colPlacementDirection:	TopToBottom
session.screen0.resizeMode:	Bottom
session.screen0.opaqueMove:	false
session.screen0.windowPlacement:	RowSmartPlacement
session.screen0.workspacewarping:	true
session.screen0.followModel:	Ignore
session.screen0.focusNewWindows:	true
session.screen0.menuDelay:	0
session.screen0.focusModel:	SloppyFocus
session.screen0.rootCommand:	
session.screen0.fullMaximization:	false
session.screen0.edgeSnapThreshold:	0
session.titlebar.left:	Stick 
session.titlebar.right:	Minimize Maximize Close 
session.iconbar:	true
session.tabs:	true
session.keyFile:	~/.fluxbox/keys
session.styleFile:	/usr/X11R6/share/fluxbox/styles/Artwiz
session.ignoreBorder:	false
session.imageDither:	True
session.menuFile:	~/.fluxbox/menu
session.tabsAttachArea:	Window
session.numLayers:	13
session.groupFile:	~/.fluxbox/groups
session.doubleClickInterval:	250
session.cacheLife:	5l
session.useMod1:	true
session.appsFile:	~/.fluxbox/apps
session.cacheMax:	200l
session.tabPadding:	0
session.opaqueMove:	False
session.colorsPerChannel:	4
session.forcePseudoTransparency:	false
session.focusTabMinWidth:	0
session.autoRaiseDelay:	250
session.slitlistFile:	~/.fluxbox/slitlist
I can't find anywhere in there to set my theme's wallpaper.

I also checked my ~/.fluxbox/styles/ directory and it was empty.

I'm using the artwiz style, if that matters.

Also, is it possible to set up the GKrellm-launcher to display either a larger font or use icons? the font on that thing is ridiculoisly tiny.
 
Old 08-10-2005, 07:05 AM   #11
fouldsy
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Quote:
session.styleFile: /usr/X11R6/share/fluxbox/styles/Artwiz
so, go to /usr/X11R6/share/fluxbox/styles/Artwiz and there'll be a line along the lines of
Code:
fbsetbg /path/to/wallpaper
change that to where your wallpaper is as I outlined before. You don't specify an image directly through the init file, at least I don't think you can, but you edit the style itself. ~/.fluxbox/styles probably will be empty as you won't have any installed themes yourself...

As for gKrellM fonts, am at work now so can't check, but think if you go right-click and go to configure you can adjust the fonts. Either that or there's a config file within ~/.gkrellm2 that controls fonts - either using system fonts + sizes, or whatever you specify. What resolution you running - I've never had a problem with the font sizes.
 
Old 08-10-2005, 07:50 AM   #12
oneandoneis2
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Just thought I'd mention that the WM in the screenshot posted right at the start actually comes from an Enlightenment desktop. . .
 
Old 08-10-2005, 08:29 AM   #13
archlyn
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-+
Quote:
Originally posted by oneandoneis2
Just thought I'd mention that the WM in the screenshot posted right at the start actually comes from an Enlightenment desktop. . .
I know And I really want to learn it, I just can't seem to find any good docs. I really wish I ould find out how they did that thing with the icons in the middle-bottom of the screen

--

Anyway, about the fontsizes:

For me, they're too small. I have bad eyesight

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3...lyn/screen.jpg
 
Old 08-10-2005, 08:40 AM   #14
fouldsy
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To change font sizes, go to Configuration | Themes | Fonts and change to a large font size
 
Old 08-10-2005, 09:24 AM   #15
archlyn
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Quote:
Originally posted by fouldsy
To change font sizes, go to Configuration | Themes | Fonts and change to a large font size


Don't I feel dumb now.

Thanks for the info

Off to find some good themes now
 
  


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