Ubuntu Customization Guide v2

Discussion in 'Guides and Tutorials' started by Dark Star, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. Dark Star
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    Dark Star Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ubuntu Customization Guide v2

    Changes are part of Nature so as with Technology.. Though this cannot be True for Windows and Mac cause the life cycle of a single Version is too much which is not the case with Linux.. Open Source evolve at very rapid rate and with evolution comes new & special changes ... Today with a hike in Linux acceptance its pretty hard for competitors to provide similar solutions at free of cost. Open Source is known for User Interaction with Operating System which cannot be done with other OS. Linux user can customize, create, edit, add files according to his/her taste..and customization is the part where Linux is one step ahead of every OS.. You need not to search for poorly written Customization Packs.. What you need is just follow the guide and pimp up your desktop as you like. .. The guide will focus on a particular area but you can customize your desktop using the way mentioned and adding your own idea...

    With Gusty Gibbon packed with latest tools and great support couple with new gGun Gnome 2.20, I was adamant to write another Customization Guide..Since M$ launched Vista and Apple launched Leopard quite a while ago so I'll let you know how to customize your Ubuntu to Vista and Leopard.. Added with few new Customization that I used it...

    I have tried to kept the guide as simple as I can so that even a newbie can understand how to make changes.There are few major changes in Ubuntu Themes and Icon Control Panel so please read carefully so that you can get everything..



    Points to Ponder

    This guide will let you pimp you Ubuntu latest Gusty Gibbon i.e Ubuntu 7.10 . If you don't know how to get Ubuntu the head towards Ubuntu download and download a copy today which suits best your system.. There you will will be prompted to choose location and system type. After downloading, burn the image and boot through it and Install Ubuntu in 6 easy steps...

    “The themes icon set , wallpaper ,desklets, fonts ,sounds

    used while customization the Operating System are ® to their

    respective owner. Copying, editing and use of those

    application are free and can be distributed without

    the owner permission.â€

    Though I had used few Icon Links and themes , but this does not meant that your are confined to those only .. You can always use your own choice themes and icons from Gnome-Look.org..

    Note: Though this guide has been made to customize Ubuntu Gusty Gibbon but this can be used to Customize other OS which comes with Gnome 2.20 installed/optional..Though installation of particular software can be different.

    So hold your breath and go through the complex customization made easy..

    [BREAK=Installation / How To]

    Installation / How To

    Installation of the themes, icons, cursors have totally changed. Now the previous theme/icon control panel, Cursor Control panel has been merged into a single CP i.e Appearance Wizard .. This is available with new Gnome 2.20 .. The Appearance wizard lets you configure your theme,icon , cursor, metacity/gtk windows border, color if supported by theme.. Apart from that you can add wallpaper, change fonts, change Menu/Tool bar Interface, and select the Visual Style i.e Desktop with 3d Effects or without it..

    Installation in Gnome 2.20 is very easy as compared to previous version so lets take a look on how to install themes, icon cursor and other customization stuffs..

    [​IMG]

    Installing Theme/Icons/Cursor:- To install theme,icon or cursor just follow the give steps..There are mainly 2 methods of installing a GTK2.x themes,icons and cursor ....So lets take a quick look on both of the process.



    1'st Installation Process:-
    • Download the theme/icon/cursor from given Source.. and Save it to Desktop..
    • Note that the theme or other pack must have following extension .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 .
    • If the theme did not come with the following extension you have to convert it into it... To do this open the Theme Archive by double clicking it.
    • Now Unzip the the archive only if has other extension the the mentioned above and Unzip it.. Place the Unzipped Folder to Desktop..
    • Note in case the theme comes in .rar pack then you cannot unzip it since default Ubuntu Archiver did not support .rar extraction .. To make your archiver able to do this open Terminal and type the following commands , make sure all the options .Under Software Sources are checked else it will not install via following command..
      Code:
      sudo apt-get install unrar
    • After you unzipped the non .tar.gz and .tar.bz2 archive.. Right click the Folder the is being Unzipped. and select Create Archive option.. Under this select .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 .
    [​IMG]


    • After you successfully created the desired archive Open Appearance by Right Clicking on empty Space and selecting Change Desktop background or navigate to System -> Preferences -> Appearance.
    • After that drag a Windows will open with several tabs.. navigate to Themes Tag. After the navigation drag the .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 archive in the Themes tab Windows.
    • The installation of themes/icons and Cursor will be finished and you willl be prompted to Apply the New Installed theme or Keep System with default/presently set theme.
    • You can always select and mix theme/icon and cursor by pressing Customize tab in the Themes option. Navigate to Controls, Windows Border , Icons and cursor to set your choice theme...
    2'nd Installation Process:-
    • The second Installation process is simple too.. Download the Icon/Theme/Cursor from give source ..
    • The unzip the Archive ... Save the folder to Desktop.
    • Now Paste the folder in these locations.
    1. Themes : - ~/.themes
    2. Icons : - ~/.icons
    3. Cursor :- ~/.icons
    • ~/ refers to /home/<User Name>.. You cannot view extra content of your Home Folder..
    • To view all the contents Point towards View option in the 1'st toolbar and select “Show Hidden Files†or press Ctrl+H.
    • The Icon/Theme and Cursor option now can be seen under Theme Tab of Appearances.
    Miscellaneous Installation : - This Installation Guide is based on Installation of different customization packs like GDM theme, Splash themes , Sounds , Fonts etc....

    Log In/ GDM Theme Installation : - Installation of GDM theme is very easy .. Just download the GDM theme from given location and save it to your desktop. Now click on Main Menu and point towards System then towards Administration and open LogIn Windows. Click on Local tab and drag you GDM theme to Local Window. your theme will be automatically gets installed and you can select it by clicking on the desired screen/theme. After next reboot you can see a new Log In Screen..

    Download : Start Up Manager

    [​IMG]

    Splash Image Installation : - There are 3 types of Splash Part that are used in Linux .. I'll let you know how to install and change splash of all 3 kinds. So lets take a look about Splashes :-
    • Grub Splash : - The 1'st Splash Screen that appear .. Its is mainly the Grub menu from where you select booting into multiple OS if has else will load Linux only.. Grub Splash place an image at the grub screen that add's eye candy to it ...The grub splash comes with extension .xpm.gz . To install a Grub Splash copy the ~.xpm.gz file to /boot/grub/splashimages since only root user can copy/edit Root File system your need to gain root privileged.
    To do this Open terminal from Main Menu -> Accessories -> Terminal. Type
    Code:
      sudo nautilus
    and press enter. A new Window will open which will let you copy/edit modify files of root file system.. Copy the desired ~.xpm.gz to /boot/grub/splashimages . Now to change Grub Splash you need a software known as Startup Manager. To download click here . Download the latest .deb file so that you can easily install it.. After the download gets finished double click the .deb file and click install .. Note : You must be connected to net while installing it .. Few files will be downloaded to complete installation..

    After the installation finished navigate to System -> Administartion -> Startup Manager. After it opens click on Boot Option and check “Show Boot Loader†& “Show Boot Splash†options under Misc..After you are done click on Appearance tab and check “Use Color In Boot Loader Menu†and “Use Background Image for BL†. Assuming you have already copied the ~.xpm.gz file select desired Grub Splash from drop down list under grub Splash Option.

    Now Installation is finished you will see a Grub Splash after next reboot.
    • Boot Splash / Usplash : - Boot Splash or U Splash is boot screen.It is the 2'nd Splash Screen that appears. To change Usplash 1'st download the Usplash from give location. The Usplash themes comes with ~.so extension. To install it you need to copy the ~.so files to /usr/lib/usplash . Since only root user can paste and edit files under File system. gain root privileged.. To do this Open terminal from Main Menu -> Accessories -> Terminal. Type
      Code:
      sudo nautilus
      and press enter. A new Window will open which will let you copy/edit modify files of root file system.. Copy the desired ~.so to /usr/lib/usplash ..
    [​IMG]


    After the installation finished navigate to System -> Administartion -> Startup Manager. After it open click on Appearance tab . Assuming you have already copied the ~.so file, select desired USplash from drop down list under USplash Option.

    Now Installation is finished you will see a new USplash after next reboot.

    Note : - You can face few problem changing Usplash via Startup Manager. If you face problem that your Usplash did not change even after selecting different Usplash from Startup Manager.. To overcome this problem rename the Usplash you want to change to usplash-theme-ubuntu but this will replace default Ubuntu Splash so take backup before doing this step....
    • GTK Splash : - Gtk Splash is the last splash screen that comes after Log In Screen.GTK Splash are normal images thaT comes with ~.png extension .To Install download the GTK Splash images from give links and paste them under /usr/share/pixmaps/splash since its is under Root File System you need root privileged. To do this Open terminal from Main Menu -> Accessories -> Terminal. Type
      Code:
      sudo nautilus
      and press enter. A new Window will open which will let you copy/edit modify files of root file system.. Copy the desired image to /usr/share/pixmaps/splash ..
    To Install GTK Splash Open Terminal and type
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gtweakui
    .This will install gtweakui which is a very handy tool.. Now after the installation gets finished open gtweak sessions from System -> Preferences -> gtweak sessions.. Check Show Splash Screen on Log-In click on big thumbnail and select desired image..

    Installation is finished now you can view new GTK Splash after next Log-In..

    [​IMG]

    Sounds Installation : - Sounds are beeps/music that are the reaction of computer towards user integration. You can install different sound to do this 1'st download the sound from given location. The unzip the folder to desktop.. Now Paste the Folder to /usr/share/sounds since its is under Root File System you need root privileged. To do this Open terminal from Main Menu -> Accessories -> Terminal. Type
    Code:
    sudo nautilus
    and press enter. A new Window will open which will let you copy/edit modify files of root file system.. Copy the desired image to /usr/share/sounds . To change sound navigate to System -> Preferences -> Sound a new window will open Click on Sounds tab and change the cound you want to change.

    [​IMG]

    Emerald Installation: Emerald provide windows border when 3d desktop manager is selected. Emerald provide huge set of beautiful windows border to match you wallpaper and themes.. To install Emerald Open Terminal and type
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install emerald
    , this will install emerald. You can access emerald from System -> Preferences -> Emerald Theme Manager.

    Emerald themes comes with .emerald extensions.. To install themes download from give location and Open Emerald theme Manager.. Click on Import and navigate to ~.emerald file and click open your new Emerald theme is installed .. In order to use the Emerald theme your 3d Composite Manager should be running just select the theme you want to use from Emerald theme Manager...

    Terminal Hack :- To make Terminal transparent with/without Berly follow the steps Open Terminal click on Edit tab. Then select Current Profile, a new window will open click on Effects tab. Under effects tab you will notice background option. Select Transparency and adjust the amount of transparent desktop you need. You now has a transparent Terminal.

    [BREAK=Customization to OSX]

    Customization to OSX

    Apple latest OS that is full of eye candy and beautiful sets of icon and themes. Customization of OSX is very easy and selective in terms of icons and themes as there are plethora of themes and icons sets present to pimp you Ubuntu to OSX...So lets start the customization .. The new version of Ubuntu hasn't changed in terms of UI by default so it pretty same customization in the beginning ..Here is the default Ubuntu desktop which has 2 Taskbars or Panel..The upper Panel is for navigation of Menus while the lower panel has option for navigation of Active Widows and Workspace..

    Since OSX comes with One dock and sigle panel we have to configure Ubuntu like it only .. So lets follow the steps to configure ubuntu into OSX..
    • The 1'st thing is we have to delete the lower panel ..Right Click on lower panel and select Delete. After that your lower panel will be deleted..
    • The lower panel has 3 main applications . i.e Windows List, Workspace Switcher & Trash Icon.Apart from these three only Windows List is important.
    • To get Windows List in Upper Panel Right Click upper panel and select Add to Panel..
    • A new Windows will appear under Desktop & Windows option click on Window List and select add..
    • Now you have successfully created a new panel...
    [​IMG]

    Customization of the panels have been successfully done. Now we should head towards customization of Looks, Feel and Sound of OSX..

    Since OSX has 2 flavor one is old OSX and other is new Leopard so I has selected themes so that you can choose a particular theme for OSX according to your taste.. There are lots of other themes too but I'll recommend you to use this at most and after you know how to change theme you can select theme by your own choice..



    Fos OSX Old : -
    For OSX Leopard Customization : -
    [​IMG]

    Misc. Customization Pack : -[BREAK=Customization to Vista]
    Customization to Vista

    Vista is the latest OS from Microsoft camp.. Promised a lots Vista fails to stands even a single..Finding Gnome 2.20 Vista theme is pretty difficult since developers are least bothered about it .. but still I find something that will match the taste of it ... So lets start the customization of Ubuntu to Vista.

    Since Vista comes with One dock and single panel we have to configure Ubuntu like it only .. So lets follow the steps to configure Ubuntu into Vista..
    • The 1'st thing is we have to delete the lower panel ..Right Click on lower panel and select Delete. After that your lower panel will be deleted..
    • The lower panel has 3 main applications . i.e Windows List, Workspace Switcher & Trash Icon.Apart from these three only Windows List is important.
    • To get Windows List in Upper Panel Right Click upper panel and select Add to Panel..
    • A new Windows will appear under Desktop & Windows option click on Window List and select add..
    • You can change the position of panel just click on empty space of panel and drag where you want to place it..But I will suggest you to place the tab in the upper side only..
    Now you have successfully created a new panel...and customization of Panel has been done . So head towards configuring theme and other parts of Ubuntu to make it look like Vista...

    For Vista Leopard Customization : -
    [​IMG]

    [BREAK=Miscellaneous Customization]

    Miscellaneous Customization

    Since I have been customizing Ubuntu from a long time I thought of giving few other and nice Customization. I have added few new customization : -
    1. New Human Customization.
    2. Dark Ubuntu Customization..
    3. Peace Ubuntu Customization.
    So let me start with my newly added customization ..

    New Ubuntu Customization :- This Customization part will be focusing on providing new Human Theme, better icon and will provide with you new and better goodies..Panel customization will remains the same as you have done with Vista and OSX .. So head towards configuring theme and other parts of Ubuntu to make it look like new and improved Ubuntu...



    For New Ubuntu Customization : -
    [​IMG]




    Dark Ubuntu Customization :-
    This customization will customization will customize your Ubuntu to Dark Ubuntu providing your Ubuntu a new dark look that you will like a lot.Panel customization will remains the same as you have done with Vista and OSX .. So head towards configuring theme and other parts of Ubuntu to make it look like dark Ubuntu...



    For Dark Ubuntu Customization : -
    [​IMG]

    Peace Ubuntu Customization : - This customization will change the look of you Ubuntu and will provide a serene white look that will provide you peace while your work.Panel customization will remains the same as you have done with Vista and OSX .. So head towards configuring theme and other parts of Ubuntu to make it look like dark Ubuntu...

    For Peace Ubuntu Customization : -
    [​IMG]


    [BREAK=Docks and Desklets]

    Docks and Desklets

    A cool desktop without Desklets and a cool Dock cannot be consider cool cause main eye candy if being provided by these Utils only.. In this part I'll guide you Installing Dock and Desklets Manager.. The Dock I will install is the most stable and is frequently updated know as AWN or Avant Windows Navigator is the best dock available for Linux ;) So lets take a look at the Installation Steps of AWN and Desklets manager I'll use is Screenlets since Gusty comes with Compiz by default user will not face problem with transparency and all....



    Note: Before you try to install any of them I'll recommend you udate your system through Update Manager..


    Installing Avant Windows Navigator in Gusty Gibbon: - AWN is a Fully customizable dock-like window navigator for GNOME. Awn is pretty stable and comes with some striking features so lets take a look on how to install AWN In Ubuntu Gusty Gibbon..To do this open Terminal and type the following codes..

    Code:
     gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
    At the end of the text add these lines

    Code:
     deb [url]http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/[/url] gutsy avant-window-navigator
    
    deb-src [url]http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/[/url] gutsy avant-window-navigator
    Now copy and paste the following codes in Terminal ..

    Code:
    
    wget [url]http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/reacocard.asc[/url] -O- | sudo apt-key add -
    
    sudo apt-get update
    
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    For AWN BZR do:

    Code:
     sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-bzr
    You can install more applets for AWN by doing:

    Code:
     sudo apt-get install awn-core-applets-bzr
    Installation of AWN is finished you can Customize AWN from AWM Manager which you can Access from System -> Preferences -> AWN Manager



    Here is a theme that you will need for AWM To install the theme open AWN Manager and under theme tab add the theme to AWN manager apply it and after next time you will open AWN theme will be activated..
    [​IMG]

    Installing Screenlets in Gusty Gibbon: - Screenlets provide with some eyecatching desklets that pimp your desktop and give a much better look.. Screenlet provide a lot of desklets which work when 3d Composite Manager is turned On..So lets take a look how to install Screenlets :-

    Open Terminal and type the following code :--

    Code:
    echo “deb [url]http://download.tuxfamily.org/screenlets[/url] gutsy screenlets†| sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
    
    sudo apt-get update
    
    sudo apt-get install screenlets
    Download Screenlets from [SIZE=-1]www.screenlets.org/ .. Extract the archive and place the folder at desktop.. Now open Terminal and type following codes..

    [/SIZE]
    Code:
    cd <path of the folder>
    Then type this

    Code:
    sudo make install
    Now you can access Screenlets from System ->Preferences -> Screenlets

    Enjoy you have installed the best pimping utility ;)


    Adding Screenlets in database : - To add a screenlets 1'st download the screenlet from gnome-look.org or Screenlet home page and follow the steps mentioned :D

    To do this Open terminal from Main Menu -> Accessories -> Terminal. Type sudo nautilus and press enter. A new Window will open which will let you copy/edit modify files of root file system.. Copy the desired image to /usr/local/share/screenlets ..

    Now download the Screenlets from Gnome-look.org and unzip them .. Open /usr/local/share/screenlets under root privileged and paste the folder under it you can now access your added Screenlets from Screenlets Manager i.e under System ->Preferences -> Screenlets

    [​IMG]




    [BREAK=Conclusion]

    Conclusion

    Well I am ending my customization guide now hope you must have liked it and I am sure it will help you pimp your Ubuntu / Linux Mint Desktop... So here Ubuntu Gusty Customization Guide or Linux Mint Customization Guide comes to an end...

    This guide is free to use. No part or whole of this guide should be reproduced without my permission.

    Thats all for now. Hope you all will like the hard work.. Keep the reply and suggestions coming. Any queries ask.

    Ever your Sincere

    Dark Star
    11 people like this.
  2. Dark Star
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    Dark Star Super Moderator Staff Member

    I am extremely sorry guys can't add screenlets part will add 2omorrow their site is down and I cannot get the d/l link :( Mods please move it to guide section :)

    Edit: Thanks Masky :)
  3. Pat
    Offline

    Pat Privileged Users

    Looks good! Will try it out when I get time! Thanks for the guide :)
  4. Dark Star
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    Dark Star Super Moderator Staff Member

    Added Screenlets part .though the site is still down. Now guide is complete.. Hope you guys liked it :D Regards Ds ;)
  5. montylee
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    montylee Upgraded User

    awesome guide as always darky!

    U r the king of Ubuntu customizations!!!
  6. Quad Master
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    Quad Master Privileged Users

    Gr8 Effort there DarkStar.

    Keep writing more on Linux. :)

    Repped :hap2:
  7. Dark Star
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    Dark Star Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks guys :) btw i am no linux king :p
  8. DanDroiD
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    DanDroiD Upgraded User

    Nice job as always DS ;)

    If your emerald installs without themes, you can get base them package here.

    sorry still can't give you reps :mad:
  9. montylee
    Offline

    montylee Upgraded User

    read my post carefully bro. I said u r the king of ubuntu customization.
  10. Dark Star
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    Dark Star Super Moderator Staff Member

    ^^ Hehe :p Thanks :)
  11. Checksum
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    Checksum Privileged Users

    Excellent post mate!

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Dark Star again.

    Reps pending :p
  12. Hardware_freak
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    Hardware_freak Upgraded User

    Nice guide Dark star !!!

    You are very good in Linux !!!
  13. Arihant.EXE
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    Arihant.EXE ex-Mod

    Gr8 guide dude !.. keep this Guides n tutorials section getting these scintillations frm ur cracking reviews to keep it shining !! ... Nice Job !
  14. hammerhead
    Offline

    hammerhead Privileged Users

    Nice one dark star. I would like to mention a very useful application for windows that allows you to access your ext2/ext3 drives (both read and write).
    Ext2 IFS For Windows

    Another very nice thing you can add is uninstalling ubuntu. Its a pain in the neck.
  15. Quad Master
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    Quad Master Privileged Users

    DarkStar , this is the number one thread on Wordpress.

    Congrats Bro. :hap2:
  16. Dark Star
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    Dark Star Super Moderator Staff Member

  17. H@rsh
    Offline

    H@rsh Privileged Users

    You are awesome man.. :)
  18. 200mph
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    200mph Upgraded User

    hey man great guide again ... u get better every time.
  19. w1nD
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    w1nD Privileged Users

    [​IMG]

    this my foobar skin :)
    if you like it i can upload all the files :)
  20. w1nD
    Offline

    w1nD Privileged Users

    sorry frnds wrong post :(
    by mistake stumbled upon wrong tab actually wanted to post in this forum Graphics & Eyecandy :p
    mods may delete this post :)
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