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uzee 03-22-2008 03:46 AM

Customize desktop environment and theme
I'm familiar with changing themes and start menu settings, etc. but was wondering is it possible to completely create a new look, not from a pre-existing theme.
I'm trying a few different desktop environments: simplymepis, ubuntu, pclinuxos.... and would like to change the appearance right from the start when the computer starts up, so instead of giving me one of the chosen desktops, it launches a picture for example with a few of my own icons placed over it to launch some frequently used applications, and then an icon maybe to load a standard desktop with start menu etc...
How would that be possible ? I'm not afraid of experimenting and tweaking and have a fair understanding of unix and some scripting, hoping to get some pointers in the right direction...
Thanks a lot

sleekmason 03-23-2008 12:52 PM

I'm not sure what you are asking? What desktop environment? Or, is that what you are looking for? you can download different desktop managers and environments and find them under "sessions" in your login screen and change to them that way . .. Everything is customizable. I'm afraid you will have to narrow your question down some to get proper help.

uzee 03-25-2008 12:40 AM

Sleekmason, thanks for your reply. Let me try to be more specific.

I want to load Ubuntu for example (the desktop edition, not the server). Once installation is complete it gives me a standard gnome desktop with a wallpaper and a standard start menu. Now ofcourse I can go into wallpapers and change the wallpaper as well as select other themes to change the "look-and-feel", this is available for any distro....
Instead of teh above what I want to be able to do is, when the computer boots up it loads an image that I choose with only 3-4 icons which I design, for example a red background with 4 blue squares serving as icons. Then each icon would launch its specific application.... hope its a bit more clear. Basically I just want to know how can I completely customize the look-and-feel to my choice instead of going with pre-existing themes.

LaurelRaven 03-25-2008 04:21 AM

Not sure if this will be helpful or not (don't really have a direct way of doing that to suggest), but something you might try out is is really easy to configure, down to that you can remove every toolbar but one if you want and only add the buttons on it that you want. In fact, when I installed it on Ubuntu without the Xubuntu branding, it started with nothing but a single button on a single toolbar, and everything that I have was built from that.

DragonSlayer48DX 03-25-2008 05:00 AM

In Ubuntu, you can change the taskbars simply by right-clicking on the one you want to change/remove. A menu will appear that allows you to remove the taskbar, change taskbar color from existing theme, add/remove icons, etc., etc., etc. You can also move icons around on the taskbar by right-clicking the icon, unlock it from the panel, and select "Move".

To change the background picture, simply find one you want, download to a folder- i.e. home/username/backgrounds. Right-click on the desktop, select "Change Wallpaper", then select "Add Wallpaper". You then browse to the picture you want and select it.

To add launch icons to the desktop, find the one you want in the menu, right-click on it, and select "Add icon to desktop".

Hope this helps...

sleekmason 03-26-2008 07:41 AM

If your looking to simplify your desktop to exactly what you want without all of the "extra stuff" then downloading a 'window manager' like Fluxbox would take care of the problem. This being said, even gnome can be made to look like whatever you want. I believe your first step would be getting the initial desktop squared away with your four icons and picture(all easy to do) and change your login settings to automatically boot into your environmeny so when you start your computer the first thing you see is a picure, and four desktop icons. you can remove the taskbar at the bottom, or move it to whereever you like, or make it invisible, or . . . the list goes on and on. The easiest way to accomplish all of this is to break what you want to do down into individual "tweaks" and then ask google on each one. Example: "How to remove taskbar ubuntu". Does this help you? If not, break it down in linux questions as well. Good luck and don't give up. You'll soon have exactly what you want:)

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