View Full Version : [gnome] How to change the way ubuntu+gnome looks?

August 11th, 2009, 03:22 PM

are there easy ways to make standard-ubuntu with gnome (not kde etc) look different and at the same time keep the advantages of ubuntu, like 25.000+ packages, continuous development, security updates etc?

Yes of course there are numerous ways to make gnome look different.

You can use colorful themes and even some minor variations of the desktop by installing packages like *-desktop and *-theme-*. Not to forget the different icons, mousecursors etc.

But for some reason all of of these look alike. The only differences are the colors and occasionally some minor additions to the menus. Sometimes even a different wallpaper appears :-)

What never changes is the design of the panels and the menu. There are always two panels and three menus (applications etc).

The menu and the panel-icons can just as well be set up completely differently. For example they can be placed on one single panel, as can be seen on the desktop of ubuntustudio-desktop.

So I am looking for alternate desktops for gnome (with "alternate" meaning: altered=ONE panel and altered=concise=single menu) that can be installed using the package manager. This design should then also be the default for new users. Other colors and a different wallpaper are of course acceptable. These can easily be changed.

Yes I know: you can modify everything yourself simply with you mouse.

Obviously you can start pushing around panels and icons manually. Unfortunately if you do that to any non-superficial extent you quickly find that a good-looking and useable desktop needs serious time and brainwork. (and probably also some sense for arts and design, both of which I certainly do not have)

Stuff like the setup of the menu, colors etc will look horrible if you just start fiddling.

So there must be alternate well designed desktops around here somewhere. The only one I found so far is ubuntustudio-desktop. That can be installed on top of standard ubuntu and gives you a single panel and a menu that starts with one small button instead of three big ones.

As said above all other "-desktop"-packages are alike, with some superficial differences in colors, icons and wallpaper. Other DMs and other distros (linux-mint) look different but are not basic ubuntu+gnome anymore.

Are there any alternate desktops that can installed in standard-ubuntu+gnome ?


August 12th, 2009, 02:16 AM
There are alternative desktop environments, but you can't use them in conjunction with gnome, only as a replacement. Also, it is possible to only have one panel, on any side of the screen (or even floating wherever you want it) with a consolidated menu. The menu can be added by right-clicking on a panel and choosing "Add to panel" and then adding the "Main menu" item