PDA

View Full Version : [ubuntu] How to make your ubuntu (gnome) desktop look amazing



ijgrant
August 7th, 2008, 03:12 AM
If you want the cairo dock then look at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=904782 that is this except with cairo instead of awn. But before you go to that link read the rest of this.

Hey, if you ever wanted to know about how to make your Ubuntu (gnome) desktop to look amazing, you will really want to read this.

First of all you need a nice wallpaper, you can look at www.gnome-look.org or just google what ever kind of wallpaper you want.

Then you need to get your panel to look nice. I changed the default menu to a smaller Ubuntu logo only, you do this by right clicking on the panel and clicking on add to panel; from there just double click on "main menu". You also need to right click on everything on your panel and de-select "lock to panel".

to get all the cool fx you need compiz fusion and emerald theme manager. You can download emerald themes from www.gnome-look.org and you can make your own. To get compiz/emerald you just open up a terminal and type "sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager emerald" you will just have to type your password and answer yes to everything. To access all of the fx you just need to go to system>preferences>advanced desktop effects and there you can do all those crazy fx.

You will also need a cool dock. The one I use is avant window navigator. You can get this by going into a terminal and typing
"sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-bzr awn-manager-bzr" to get extra applets just add awn-core-applets-bzr to that. To be sure that the dock opens at every login just go to system> preferences> awn manager and check "automatically start awn on login" also you can change settings and such here. You can also add things to the dock by just clicking on an icon on your desktop and then dragging and dropping it on to the dock, you can adjust the positioning of the "launchers" in the AWN manager under the "launchers" tab on the side.

And finally to get that nice lookin' bar on the side you simply go into a terminal and type sudo apt-get install screenlets. To customize just go to accessories>screenlets.

Do note that you need to have (in my opinion) at least 2 gigabytes of ram, a 128 megabyte video card, and a fare processor about 1 gigahertz nothing under. My system is 2 gig of ram, dual-core processor, and a 512 meg video card.

Any questions you have you can post, I will answer as well as I am able.

The wallpaper I use I got from gnome-look.org, and a few great emerald themes are attached. To use them extract them then go into emerald and click import. Oh yeah a screen shot of my desktop is in there too. Also a tutorial I wrote for installing emerald theme manager is attached.

If you need any more help with anything you can ask me or Google it.

For info about compiz fusion just go to www.compiz-fusion.org

Again any questions you have about decorating your desktop please pass
'em by me.

Tutorials:
http://ubuntu-tutorials.com/2007/10/04/compiz-fusion-on-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbin/"]http://ubuntu-tutorials.com/2007/10/04/compiz-fusion-on-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbin/ -how to install compiz-fusion

steveneddy
August 7th, 2008, 03:18 AM
cool

where is compiz?

answer yes to everything?

what's this gnome-look thing?

where is your screenshot?

ijgrant
August 7th, 2008, 03:23 AM
sorry about the screen shot I just uploaded it

ijgrant
August 7th, 2008, 03:27 AM
when Compiz is installed it's in sytem>preferences>advanced desktop effects. The answer yes to everything is in the terminal when you install compiz/emerald but actually you type y. gnome-look.org is just a website where you can get all kinds of things like wallpapers, screensavers, and all that kind of stuff.

easybake
August 7th, 2008, 03:28 AM
I don't think you got what steveneddy was saying. If you are going to make a how-to you should really explain everything, and i mean everything, so even a person who was brand new to ubuntu could understand it. Also include instructions on how to un-install anything you tell them to install.

ijgrant
August 7th, 2008, 03:35 AM
ok thanks, I'll edit it in the morning.

ijgrant
August 7th, 2008, 11:18 PM
For in depth instructions on how to install compiz-fusion this website should be sufficient http://ubuntu-tutorials.com/2007/10/04/compiz-fusion-on-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbin/

I will continue to find more in depth tutorials.

easybake
August 7th, 2008, 11:42 PM
For in depth instructions on how to install compiz-fusion this website should be sufficient http://ubuntu-tutorials.com/2007/10/04/compiz-fusion-on-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbin/

I will continue to find more in depth tutorials.

For this howto it would probably be best for anyone who wants to read it, to put all the additional info you find in your original first post. That way people won't have to read through all the replies.

billgoldberg
August 7th, 2008, 11:43 PM
Meh.

If you need help customizing the look and feel of Ubuntu, click the customizing Ubuntu link in my signature.

tuxxy
August 7th, 2008, 11:46 PM
Nice desktop, see you stuck with the original termianl icon :)

steveneddy
August 8th, 2008, 12:31 AM
I don't think you got what steveneddy was saying. If you are going to make a how-to you should really explain everything, and i mean everything, so even a person who was brand new to ubuntu could understand it. Also include instructions on how to un-install anything you tell them to install.

Great job, ijgrant.

Keep up the good work.

I've seen folks on the forums like you, putting up How To's with only a couple of beans turn into mods and admins here on UF.

Make the How To super detailed so the uninitiated can look at your thread and "get it".

Remember that most of the people on the forums who will take advantage of a How To thread will be total noobies.

Cheers....

prabhakaran1989
August 8th, 2008, 03:07 PM
Hey, if you ever wanted to know about how to make your Ubuntu (gnome) desktop to look amazing, you will really want to read this.

First of all you need a nice wallpaper, you can look at www.gnome-look.org or just google what ever kind of wallpaper you want.

Then you need to get your panel to look nice. I changed the default menu to a smaller Ubuntu logo only, you do this by right clicking on the panel and clicking on add to panel; from there just double click on "main menu". You also need to right click on everything on your panel and de-select "lock to panel".

to get all the cool fx you need compiz fusion and emerald theme manager. You can download emerald themes from www.gnome-look.org and you can make your own. To get compiz/emerald you just open up a terminal and type "sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager emerald" you will just have to type your password and answer yes to everything. To access all of the fx you just need to go to system>preferences>advanced desktop effects and there you can do all those crazy fx.

You will also need a cool dock. The one I use is avant window navigator. You can get this by going into a terminal and typing
"sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-bzr awn-manager-bzr" to get extra applets just add awn-core-applets-bzr to that. To be sure that the dock opens at every login just go to system> preferences> awn manager and check "automatically start awn on login" also you can change settings and such here. You can also add things to the dock by just clicking on an icon on your desktop and then dragging and dropping it on to the dock, you can adjust the positioning of the "launchers" in the AWN manager under the "launchers" tab on the side.

And finally to get that nice lookin' bar on the side you simply go into a terminal and type sudo apt-get install screenlets. To customize just go to accessories>screenlets.

Do note that you need to have (in my opinion) at least 2 gigabytes of ram, a 128 megabyte video card, and a fare processor about 1 gigahertz nothing under. My system is 2 gig of ram, dual-core processor, and a 512 meg video card.

Any questions you have you can post, I will answer as well as I am able.

The wallpaper I use I got from gnome-look.org, and a few great emerald themes are attached. To use them extract them then go into emerald and click import. Oh yeah a screen shot of my desktop is in there too.

If you need any more help with anything you can ask me or google it.

For info about compiz fusion just go to www.compiz-fusion.org

Again any questions you have about decorating your desktop please pass 'em by me.

can u give the Installlation procedure!!pls in detail

ijgrant
August 8th, 2008, 05:10 PM
I am trying to find/write them so just keep checking back.

ijgrant
August 8th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Here is a more detailed instructions for emerald. If you can't read .odt then just tell me and I'll change it.

billgoldberg
August 8th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Here is a more detailed instructions for emerald. If you can't read .odt then just tell me and I'll change it.

Since .odt is supported by Ubuntu OOTB, I doubt anyone will have problems.

ellalan
August 8th, 2008, 09:19 PM
Hi ijgrant
Very nice work, I haven't seen such a beautiful DT. Well done.
Could you please tell me whether NVIDIA GeForce6150/nForce onboard graphics will be enough or I must have a video card with 128MB.

ijgrant
August 9th, 2008, 02:21 AM
I went to compiz-fusion.org and you have to have atleast 64 mb for it to work.

prabhakaran1989
August 9th, 2008, 02:27 PM
Here is a more detailed instructions for emerald. If you can't read .odt then just tell me and I'll change it.
in that u have mentioned that..open >package manager>emarald
i did that but i dont find anything even if i update all the new packages its saying like that!
wat to do?:(

billgoldberg
August 9th, 2008, 02:29 PM
in that u have mentioned that..open >package manager>emarald
i did that but i dont find anything even if i update all the new packages its saying like that!
wat to do?:(


sudo apt-get install emerald

Also check the link in my signature called "customizing ubuntu" for more detailed steps to fully customizing your Ubuntu install.

prabhakaran1989
August 9th, 2008, 03:06 PM
ya i have done it thanks!

armageddon08
August 9th, 2008, 04:26 PM
I can't install AWN-BZR. On executing the aforesaid command in terminal, I get:

E: Package avant-window-navigator-bzr has no installation candidate

What do I do?

ijgrant
August 10th, 2008, 12:18 AM
If you put code:
sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-bzr awn-manager-bzr
then it shouldn't give that error but if you did put that then I will do some investigation. Also if you don't have Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy" then it may not work.

Mgiacchetti
August 10th, 2008, 05:44 AM
Just wanted to show my setup off...

Compiz-fusion
screenlets
windowslist
main menu
ring sensors
trash
volumecontrol
digiclock
myip


Cairo-dock is an alternative to awn
dock and sys tray

Rainlendar desktop calendar

Desktop Drapes


2.2 ghz Athlon 64 (ubuntu 32-bit)
448 MB ram (512 base - 64 to video)
64 mb Vid card (GeForce 6150 LE onboard)

ijgrant
August 10th, 2008, 05:52 PM
I can't quite figure out how to get the sphere could you explain that.

ijgrant
August 10th, 2008, 10:54 PM
I now have a new desktop. Attached are some pictures, an emerald theme, background, and an awn theme. To install the awn theme go into the awn manager (applications>preferences>awn manager) and go to themes then just drag the theme to that and then check the little circle button and hit apply. The awn and emerald theme are in the .tar.gz file so be sure to extract those, there will be a Green_light.tgz file DO NOT EXTRACT THIS, it is the awn theme. Oh yeah the background is in there too. Be sure to save the .tar.gz and NOT open it.

Mgiacchetti
August 11th, 2008, 04:08 AM
I can't quite figure out how to get the sphere could you explain that.
Compiz Fusion 0.7.6 (http://wiki.compiz-fusion.org/Welcome) featuring the new Sphere desktop cube deformation

ellalan
August 13th, 2008, 03:56 PM
Hi ijgrant
You inspired me to create this DT,its not extra ordinary but with the specifications in my PC I am quite happy.
AMD Athlon 64 CPU, BiostarMCP6P-M2 (256MB shared graphics memory) mobo,2x1GB RAM.
I do not have dedicated graphics. I'll keep on trying. Thank you for your instructions and I wouldn't have done without your post.

ijgrant
August 13th, 2008, 05:26 PM
I was looking around on the web and got an idea to put a panel on the side of my desktop and make completely transparent...unfortunately you can't have any shadows otherwise you can see the edge, but besides that it looks flawless.

ijgrant
August 14th, 2008, 12:40 AM
I just wanted to let you know that I just wrote an emerald theme manager installation guide, it's attached to the first post as well as this one.

Mgiacchetti
August 14th, 2008, 05:00 AM
ok i now have my desktop mostly transparent (using compiz) added gnome-bar back to my setup, how do i make it transparent without showing the wallpaper or background color i.e. make it match compiz's effects?

ellalan
August 14th, 2008, 01:04 PM
I can't install AWN-BZR. On executing the aforesaid command in terminal, I get:

E: Package avant-window-navigator-bzr has no installation candidate

What do I do?

You can install awn-manager in syaptics then you'll find avant window navigater in Applications.HTH.

Mgiacchetti
August 14th, 2008, 01:13 PM
cairo-dock is better IMO because it loads instantly. Although it may take a while to "pretty it up" but if you use the callback zone there are some gradients for it i posted (http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=5578231&postcount=31)in the top pinned topic.

sayakb
August 14th, 2008, 01:17 PM
+1
I love my sub-docks with the Caroussel style :D

ijgrant
August 14th, 2008, 06:13 PM
ok i now have my desktop mostly transparent (using compiz) added gnome-bar back to my setup, how do i make it transparent without showing the wallpaper or background color i.e. make it match compiz's effects?
I am fairly certain that you can't do that, but I'm not sure.

ijgrant
August 15th, 2008, 09:26 PM
Don't use many screenlets unless you have a very fast computer, otherwise your computing and login will slowdown.

ellalan
August 18th, 2008, 12:14 PM
I now have a new desktop. Attached are some pictures, an emerald theme, background, and an awn theme. To install the awn theme go into the awn manager (applications>preferences>awn manager) and go to themes then just drag the theme to that and then check the little circle button and hit apply. The awn and emerald theme are in the .tar.gz file so be sure to extract those, there will be a Green_light.tgz file DO NOT EXTRACT THIS, it is the awn theme. Oh yeah the background is in there too. Be sure to save the .tar.gz and NOT open it.

Hi ij grant
Could you please do the instructions step by step, I am a bit confused here. Thanks.

fiddler616
August 18th, 2008, 02:46 PM
How do you change the splash screen?
(In case I'm calling it the wrong thing, I mean the circle of friends, ubuntu, and progress bar you get when you boot)

gjoellee
August 18th, 2008, 02:55 PM
Maybe "startup manager" will work...it is available in Add/Remove
(apt://start-up)

ellalan
August 18th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Hi
I have managed to create this desktop with the instructions but I am unable to create the cube effect. It is interesting challenge and I'll keep on trying with some help.

ijgrant
August 18th, 2008, 09:44 PM
Hi ij grant
Could you please do the instructions step by step, I am a bit confused here. Thanks.
To install the awn theme go to the awn manager and then on the right there is a "themes" tab, click on it then click "add" when you have selected the file just check the little circle next to the theme and click "apply".

ellalan
August 18th, 2008, 10:49 PM
Hi
I have managed to create the Green Grass desktop but I am unable to upload it( .png file ). However I am unable to get the cube effect. I do really appreciate your help.

ellalan
August 18th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Hi
Here it is

ijgrant
August 20th, 2008, 02:07 AM
That looks ok but unless your hardware limits you I must recomend using a seperate dock such as awn, but do what ever you like best.

ellalan
August 20th, 2008, 08:11 AM
You are right, I am quite pleased with the present setup as it is determined by the hardware limitations. I must admit it's much better than what I had before. Thanks again.

sayakb
August 20th, 2008, 03:07 PM
How do you change the splash screen?
(In case I'm calling it the wrong thing, I mean the circle of friends, ubuntu, and progress bar you get when you boot)

Download usplash themes from http://gnome-look.org/
Extract the files. They should be .so files. Install startupmanager as advised. Open System->Administration->Startup-Manager and add the theme under the Boot Usplash themes drop menu.

ijgrant
August 23rd, 2008, 01:37 AM
I was just thinking and noticed that you also may want to customize firefox...for skins and such goto https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ here you will find many different addons for firefox 3 (comes with 8.04 hardy heron) and older.

armageddon08
August 23rd, 2008, 04:26 AM
I was just thinking and noticed that you also may want to customize firefox...for skins and such goto https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ here you will find many different addons for firefox 3 (comes with 8.04 hardy heron) and older.

Are there themes like GreenShift for firefox3. I had used the GreenShift in the past.......and it was awesome. Unfortunately, the developer hasn't released any updates since FF version 1.5.......and the older themes don't install in FF3:(

ellalan
August 23rd, 2008, 09:29 AM
Hi
Could someone tell me how to add window match as I couldn't find any instructions please, I have attached my screen shot for you to understand my request.

Garratt
August 23rd, 2008, 09:41 AM
ok i now have my desktop mostly transparent (using compiz) added gnome-bar back to my setup, how do i make it transparent without showing the wallpaper or background color i.e. make it match compiz's effects?

You can, just right click the gnome-bar and click properties. Background tab, then make it a solid color and change opacity to virtually nothing.

ijgrant
August 24th, 2008, 02:02 AM
Hi
Could someone tell me how to add window match as I couldn't find any instructions please, I have attached my screen shot for you to understand my request.
I understand your question but unfortunately I must say I have no answer...but If you wouldn't mind could you attach that emerald theme? To attach it you need to compress it first.

austintmetal
August 24th, 2008, 02:33 AM
It said it couldn't get the package when I entered "sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-bzr awn-manager-bzr" into terminal. Not sure what happened.

ellalan
August 24th, 2008, 08:21 AM
I understand your question but unfortunately I must say I have no answer...but If you wouldn't mind could you attach that emerald theme? To attach it you need to compress it first.

Hi ijgrant
How do I compress this theme? I haven't done it yet. Thanks.

ellalan
August 24th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Hi
I think I have managed to compress this Theme and here it is

ellalan
August 24th, 2008, 09:34 AM
It said it couldn't get the package when I entered "sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-bzr awn-manager-bzr" into terminal. Not sure what happened.

You can install awn-core applets-bzr and awn-manager-bzr from synaptics. HTH.

ellalan
August 26th, 2008, 02:23 PM
Hi Guys
Here is my new Desktop,I hope you like it.

Garratt
August 27th, 2008, 07:57 AM
Hi Guys
Here is my new Desktop,I hope you like it.

it's nice.... but you really dont need that bottom gnome bar there, you can simply move the window switcher (If you use it) to the top bar along with rubish bin and desktop shower, and then delete it, because any new windows you open up and apps show up on awn, so having a bar that shows currently opened apps isn't really needed, see my desktop for example.

unless of course you regularly turn off desktop effects, then it's good to have a backup, but you could make an invisible bar up top under main bar purely for running apps. just make the dimensions really small as not to interfer with windows too much.

* my desktop :)

ellalan
August 27th, 2008, 05:03 PM
Hi Garratt,
Thnx for the tip and its not cluttered anymore at the bottom of the screen.

ijgrant
August 27th, 2008, 07:08 PM
Nice desktop, if you wouldn't mind could you post that wallpaper?

ellalan
August 27th, 2008, 08:22 PM
Hi
Here is the wall paper
http://penicilline.deviantart.com/art/Ubuntu-Glass-Wallpapers-81003786

ijgrant
August 28th, 2008, 03:03 AM
I was just thinking and decided to wright a tutorial about how to customize the menu button...I will post it when it's done.

ijgrant
August 29th, 2008, 02:28 AM
Sorry but I still havn't finished the tutorial becuase of school, but I've been working on making video tutorials but I can't seem to find a good program do to so if you have any sugestions I will apreciate it greatly.

kev3124
August 29th, 2008, 04:56 AM
Garratt- Where'd you get those desktop icons? Particularly the firefox/gimp ones

eopi
August 29th, 2008, 08:04 AM
Can someone link me to a Compiz Instruction page that doesn't have any errors?

I need eye candy. Thx I'm a newbie. This is a simple request please help. I gave up on Broadcom Wireless since no one could help with it. Bygones.

Compiz!? anyone thx.

EDIT TO THIS POST*

Ok i figured it out. now i have 4 desktops and can switch. The screens even wiggle. ok, moving on to cube, if possible.

ijgrant
August 29th, 2008, 07:02 PM
I decided to try out cairo-dock and wow, man if you want something more flashy than awn then get cairo. Unfortunately the .deb packages are too big to attach so I will give you the link in a later post.

ellalan
August 29th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Cairo-dock is in Synaptic Package Manager.BTW I like the FF3 icon.

ijgrant
August 29th, 2008, 09:59 PM
here are my two favorite icons for ff

ijgrant
August 29th, 2008, 11:14 PM
Here's my very own Emerald theme, I made it totaly from scratch minus the buttons. You can change the colors to fit your desktop but I think it looks best in black

chavanak
August 29th, 2008, 11:33 PM
I personally feel there are lot of these guides available out there. Though a nice effort

ijgrant
September 5th, 2008, 08:54 PM
here's an awn theme that I just made...it goes with a darker wallpaper, I attached a screenshot of my current desktop; you could sorta say i'm trying to copy osx but I just like that wallpaper.

ellalan
September 6th, 2008, 12:18 AM
Hi
I have managed to get these 3D effects working but still a long way to go. Its good fun though.

gulmer
September 6th, 2008, 06:58 PM
here are my two favorite icons for ff

I love the icons, how do I get them onto my desktop,on top of my wallpaper? also, what program creates the bottom panel icons into a nice row,on top of the desktop,with a reflection on what looks like a shelf? Thanks for all responses.

ellalan
September 6th, 2008, 09:08 PM
Hi
You can download them from www.gnome-look.org, type firefox icons in the search. Once you downloaded to the desktop extract them to the desktop and you can move them around where ever you want.
There are two docks in Synaptics, AWN and Cairo-dock. I prefer Cairo-dock because its more stable than AWN. HTH.

gulmer
September 7th, 2008, 01:01 AM
Hi
You can download them from www.gnome-look.org, type firefox icons in the search. Once you downloaded to the desktop extract them to the desktop and you can move them around where ever you want.
There are two docks in Synaptics, AWN and Cairo-dock. I prefer Cairo-dock because its more stable than AWN. HTH.

Thanks for the icon link,it worked, except how do I get rid of the white box around the icons and the name,firefox01_01.png that's under the icon?

Glubbdubdribian
September 7th, 2008, 02:26 AM
Nice.. thts rly kl.

...but 2 gigs of RAM?!?! wtf? why? I seriously doubt tht the screenlets take up the same amount of RAM as Shadowrun! lol.

... anyways, i'll try it later (not on ubuntu right now) and see how it goes, thx vm. :D

semitone36
September 10th, 2008, 09:47 PM
Hey i got a question for anyone who wants to help me out.

So i installed AWN on my computer and it shows up under my applications menu but i cant figure out how to put the dock on my desktop... Anyone know what im doing wrong?

DaymItzJack
September 10th, 2008, 10:10 PM
I decided to try out cairo-dock and wow, man if you want something more flashy than awn then get cairo. Unfortunately the .deb packages are too big to attach so I will give you the link in a later post.

Do you seriously consider that desktop amazing? All I see is a bunch of cluttered docks at the bottom, huge desktop icons in the middle with weird emblems on them and then even more shortcuts on your top panel. I know it's a personal opinion but seriously how could you think that's "amazing" as you've said in your title?

redserpent7
September 16th, 2008, 06:39 PM
what is the weather widget you're using it looks good

presence1960
September 16th, 2008, 11:20 PM
ijgrant, Thanks so much for that post. As far as explaining everything blow by blow, save it for another time. I am a noobi and was able to get awn & compiz fusion up and running with no major problem. grabbed some screenlets too and now have a few on my desktop. Even got the panels controlled by F9 through compiz. I am sure some people want a detailed blow by blow explanation, but for me what you posted was adequate. When I got stuck I experiment and when that failed I went to the homepage of the products and back to these forums. That's how I learn. Again thanks for the tips 'cause now my desktop is way better than I ever had it with windows. It actually grabs my attention.

trestamanos
September 24th, 2008, 04:41 AM
Meh.

If you need help customizing the look and feel of Ubuntu, click the customizing Ubuntu link in my signature.



hello there-i followed your instructions and it didnt work. I think the problem is i am on a AMD 64?

when i go to applinces and sys tools > i see the cairo icon.........when i click on it nothing happens.....

any advise?
thanks

tres

gldtn
September 24th, 2008, 05:29 AM
I get an error on apt-get cause it can find the "avant-window-navigator-bzr".. any ideas?

Thanks!

ellalan
September 24th, 2008, 08:37 PM
I get an error on apt-get cause it can find the "avant-window-navigator-bzr".. any ideas?

Thanks!
Try synaptics Package Manager, System->Admin->Synaptics, in search box enter awn and tick the box to install awn-manager. HTH.