Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environment?

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Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environment?

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:37 pm

I am new to Linux, and there are a ton of different desktop environments. It's hard to figure out what's what. So for you guys that have tried several different environments, which one(s) in Mint allows the greatest customization in relation to themes/colors, and is the easiest to modify such things in? Changing window title bar colors, window colors, task bar and main menu, icon colors/themes.... I'm currently using Cinnamon, and it's very hard to change these things, or at least it's not intuitive enough (I think I found where, but the options never seem to change when I switch themes), or I'm just too much of a newbie... As near as I can tell, the pre-loaded themes change only the task bar and main menu, but nothing else. I found this site called Gnome Eye Candy http://gnome-look.org/index.php?xsortmode=high&page=0&xcontentmode=167, and I'm wondering if Gnome themes work in Cinnamon? I also found some more themes on Deviantart, so it'd be cool to know what is compatible with Cinnamon and what isn't, to help me choose a Mint flavor.

I need to change over to 64-bit Mint, so this gives me an excuse to try a different DE, thus my questions.

[Edit] I was browsing the Gnome Eye Candy link I put above, and noticed a section in it called called "Metacity".... isn't that what our window theme is called? Would these thems work in my Cinnamon? I'm so clueless, sorry. :( [/Edit]
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby Orbmiser on Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:15 am

Try Linux Mint 14 KDE or Xfce versions.

Most customizable Desktop Distro I have seen in my opinion is KDE. Always hated KDE for all it's in your face configuring options but found through actually using it's not that bad.

And the real surprise is that it IS NOT the resource hog that many gnome users and others that haven't actually used and are parroting what others are saying about it.

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Desktop Dual KDE 4.10 - 462mb by Orbmiser, on Flickr

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Mint KDE 4.10 upgrade Feb. 7 Desktop by Orbmiser, on Flickr

Found mine chimes in at 424mb now and found it smooth,faster than Cinnamon.
Installed backports so it's running 4.10.1.

Compiz effects built in and can have windows remember Size & Position which is a biggy for me using dual displays on 3 virtual workspaces. So can have 6-8 programs opened and a mouse wheel turning cube to virtual workspaces with all the apps laid out in order I want to work with them.

And endless tweaking of titlebars,buttons,themes,buttons and actions on windows.
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby JWJones on Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:09 am

I'd have to agree that KDE is the most configurable/tweakable. And also that it's not as big a RAM hog as some make it out to be. My 64-bit Slackware-current setup with KDE 4.10 idles at under 300MB of RAM usage.
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby catweazel on Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:29 am

Orbmiser wrote:Most customizable Desktop Distro I have seen in my opinion is KDE.

I tend to agree with that, and most everything else you said. I've got KDE looking like Cinnamon :mrgreen:

I switched from Cinnamon this weekend and had a ball theming Mint KDE. I made the change because I like to watch videos on one monitor while doing stuff on the other, such as reading and posting here. I discovered a really annoying problem in Cinnamon. The video would pause momentarily if I clicked a window on the second monitor to give it focus. It annoyed me so bad that I tried Mint KDE, found it was smoother and didn't jerk the video around, so I stayed with it.

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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby DisappearingOak on Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:46 am

I've always found KDE to be very ugly. And the third party themes are not very nice either. You might want to try QtCurve theme engine, which is somewhat saner. I think Cinnamon is still a very new project and will probably have more features as development goes on. But it's my favourite desktop. I've tried every DE out there and was frustrated with them all but Cinnamon is the first time I'm enjoying actually using my computer. It's pretty easy to make custom themes also if you have basic knowledge of CSS. CSS is not a programming language. It is just a very easy markup language and easy to learn.

As for extremely themeable customizable. there's E17. (I didn't like it, but lots of people do.)
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:04 pm

Cool, thanks guys. Looking at stock screen shots of KDE, I have to agree that it wasn't too apealing to me, which is why I opted for Cinnamon. But if KDE can be made to look really awesome, quite easily, then this will be worth checking out and seeing what I can do with it. I like tweaking lots of options, so having a bunch of stuff to wade through isn't a bad thing to me. Looking at the screenshots Orbmiser posted (thank you!!), I have to say that is a sexy desktop. Yummy. I will check this out when I switch to 64-bit Mint.

I did notice that Cinnamon is tweaked with CSS, so I'll started poking around in Google about that, with the intention of trying to learn it so that I can customize Cinnamon more. It's such a pretty interface, and I bet there's lots coming down the future pipe that will make it even better. I really love it, except that tiny flaw about ease of customizing the looks. Not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to have better themability. I'll check out QtCurve as suggested, and see what that allows me to do. Thank you all for your input!

Edit: so when looking for additional themes online, is KDE a Gnome-based edition? So all I need to look for is Gnome stuff and it'll be compatible?
Last edited by Fuzzy Penquin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:13 pm

DisappearingOak wrote: ....As for extremely themeable customizable. there's E17. (I didn't like it, but lots of people do.)


Wait, I missed this the first time. Is that even available for Mint? I don't recall seeing it as an option among the Mint downloads. I've seen some amazing desktops on Bodhi Linux, and holy cow they've got some amazing themes/designs for E17. Blew my mind. Would be rad to have that in Mint.
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:16 pm

TehGhodTrole wrote:
Orbmiser wrote:Most customizable Desktop Distro I have seen in my opinion is KDE.

I tend to agree with that, and most everything else you said. I've got KDE looking like Cinnamon :mrgreen:

I switched from Cinnamon this weekend and had a ball theming Mint KDE. I made the change because I like to watch videos on one monitor while doing stuff on the other, such as reading and posting here. I discovered a really annoying problem in Cinnamon. The video would pause momentarily if I clicked a window on the second monitor to give it focus. It annoyed me so bad that I tried Mint KDE, found it was smoother and didn't jerk the video around, so I stayed with it.

Image

Cheers.


Beautiful desktop you got there. The shots from you and Orbmiser give me hope on what's possible in KDE. I too would have a ball tweaking all the options out like that. I love that kind of stuff.
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby palo on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:50 pm

Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
DisappearingOak wrote: ....As for extremely themeable customizable. there's E17. (I didn't like it, but lots of people do.)


Wait, I missed this the first time. Is that even available for Mint? I don't recall seeing it as an option among the Mint downloads. I've seen some amazing desktops on Bodhi Linux, and holy cow they've got some amazing themes/designs for E17. Blew my mind. Would be rad to have that in Mint.


Enlightenment has been my main homey pretty much since I started using Mint (though I like to explore all the enviros from time to time). Many old themes still work and many get updates. Maybe this will help you get hooked up: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=110719

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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:35 pm

palo wrote:
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:
DisappearingOak wrote: ....As for extremely themeable customizable. there's E17. (I didn't like it, but lots of people do.)


Wait, I missed this the first time. Is that even available for Mint? I don't recall seeing it as an option among the Mint downloads. I've seen some amazing desktops on Bodhi Linux, and holy cow they've got some amazing themes/designs for E17. Blew my mind. Would be rad to have that in Mint.


Enlightenment has been my main homey pretty much since I started using Mint (though I like to explore all the enviros from time to time). Many old themes still work and many get updates. Maybe this will help you get hooked up: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=110719

Pat


Cool, thanks for the link. I had no idea we could get E17 onto Mint. I'll explore that one too, because I really like the themes people have built on their Bodhi desktops. Between KDE and E17, that should keep me busy for a while, lol. Half the fun of an OS is theming! :mrgreen:
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby anandrkris on Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:42 am

As others have pointed out , KDE it is - Keep Desktop Elegant :). Though will admit that it has a steep learning curve - it took me a while to understand desktop containment concepts - workspaces, activities and figured that the widgets could be added to a panel as well as desktop.
I am running the latest KDE Plasma Desktop 4.10.1.

http://chakra-linux.org/wiki/index.php?title=Basic_Desktop_Orientation
http://chakra-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Plasma_Desktop_Basics
http://chakra.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Advanced_Plasma_Desktop_Features
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby catweazel on Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:07 am

Fuzzy Penquin wrote:Beautiful desktop you got there. The shots from you and Orbmiser give me hope on what's possible in KDE. I too would have a ball tweaking all the options out like that. I love that kind of stuff.

Thank you. I just download lots of themes and try out bits of this and bits of that.
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:43 pm

TehGhodTrole wrote:
Fuzzy Penquin wrote:Beautiful desktop you got there. The shots from you and Orbmiser give me hope on what's possible in KDE. I too would have a ball tweaking all the options out like that. I love that kind of stuff.

Thank you. I just download lots of themes and try out bits of this and bits of that.


Yeah, mixing and matching results in some very cool and unique looks, and it's fun. I saw one guy's YouTube video of his desktop (KDE?) and what he'd done with it. He said he used this and that bit and piece, and the result was stunning. I can't remember where I found it or what the video was called. So what themes are compatible with KDE? Do I look for "KDE" or do I look for Gnome, or GTK? Or is Gnome or GTK for Cinnamon?


Good news for Cinnamon fans! Found this just a minute ago while looking for the release date for Mint 15:

From PC World http://www.pcworld.com/article/2021461/three-new-features-coming-in-linux-mint-15.html

Cinnamon 1.8

It's already been a full year since the launch of the GNOME 2-like Cinnamon desktop environment, and the next version of Linux Mint will use Cinnamon 1.8.

Included along with that popular desktop will be desklets, or desktop widgets, such as for system monitor, terminal, and picture, video, and slideshow frame; themes with configurable color schemes; calendar events similar to those in KDE; and new applets including an email notifier and an RSS reader similar to Pulse.

Also coming will be bump maps and a control center governing settings for both Cinnamon and GNOME properties, among other features.


So maybe in a few months Cinnamon will be almost as themable as KDE? Ooooh I can't wait to find out. Meantime, I'll play with KDE.
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Re: Most theme-able & easiest to customize, desktop environm

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:12 am

Awwwww..... KDE didn't like my system. :( Was very slow, laggy, like there was something majorly holding it back and hogging all resources. Heated up my CPU and power supply. Then it crashed, repeatedly, in a never ending loop, until I forced it off with my case's power button. Had to reinstall Cinnamon 32-bit just to get my computer back. Oh well.... I can live with this until Mint 15 comes out at the end of May, to see what those "themes with configurable color schemes" and this "bump map controller center" thing mentioned in the quote above from PC World regarding the upcoming Mint 15.
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