I just can't seem to shake my addiction to having both
the top-and-bottom Panel arrangement of Classic GNOME (GNOME 2.3x) and
a Mac OS/Unity style Global AppMenu.
Unfortunately, this combination removes Cinnamon, Gnome Shell, Mate, Unity, and Xfce from my personal "desktop options" list (for the moment).
During the GNOME 2.3x days, I would accomplish this by adding the Gnome2-GlobalMenu applet maintained by Rainwoodman and the other good folks at the eponymous project at Google Code. However, the retirement of the official GNOME 2.3x codebase (Mate not withstanding) means the applet upon which I had come to rely so much for my day-to-day productivity isn't available to "modern" Desktop Environments. The Gnome2-GlobalMenu project has sinced been reorganised to provide a "GlobalMenu" applet/extension (of sorts) for Gnome Shell, but since Gnome Shell isn't for me, the new GlobalMenu applet isn't for me, either.
I have therefore gone with a well-customized GNOME Classic/Fallback desktop installed on top of Maya from the Ubuntu Precise repositories, and enhanced with the "Indicator Applet Appmenu" applet (which works just fine) and various PPAs.
This time around, I wanted a darker theme with some blue/green highlights. Here's my current Desktop (1920x1200 pixels) for Linux Mint 13 LTS (Maya):
(Click the above image for a full-size view.)
In order to create this Desktop, you need:
- Linux Mint 13 LTS (Maya) or Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin)
- Packages (and Dependencies) from official Ubuntu repositories
- These can be installed in a Terminal window with the command:
- sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback gnome-brave-icon-theme indicator-applet indicator-applet-appmenu indicator-application indicator-application-gtk2 indicator-appmenu indicator-appmenu-gtk2 indicator-messages indicator-messages-gtk2 compiz compiz-core compiz-fusion-bcop compiz-gnome compiz-plugins-main compiz-plugins-extra compizconfig-settings-manager
- Packages (and Dependencies) from Launchpad PPAs
- Ubuntu Tweak Settings
- Tweaks - Miscellaneous:
- (check) Menus have icons
(uncheck) Show Input Method menu in the context menu
(uncheck) Show Unicode Control Character menu in the context menu
Natural Scrolling: (off)
Overlay scrollbars: (off)
- Tweaks - Theme:
- Gtk theme: Zukitwo-Dark
Icon theme: gnome-brave
Cursor theme: DMZ-White
Window theme: Zukitwo-Dark
- Tweaks - Desktop Icons:
- Show desktop icons (on)
- (check) Show "Computer" icon -- (check) Rename: = Computer
(check) Show "Home Folder" icon -- (check) Rename: = Home
(check) Show mounted volumes
(uncheck) Show contents of "Home Folder"
- Tweaks - Window:
- Window control button position: (Right)
Titlebar mouse wheel action: None
- "Close" button only: (off)
Titlebar double-click action: Maximize
Titlebar middle-click action: Lower
Titlebar right-click action: Menu
- Tweaks - File Manager:
- File browser: (check) Show advanced permissions in "File Properties"
- Automatically mount media: (on)
Automatically open a folder: (off)
Prompt or autorun/autostart programs: (off)
- Thumbnail icon size (pixels): = 128
Thumbnail cache time (days): = 42
Maximum thumbnail cache size (MB): = 512
- Tweaks - Workarounds:
- Fix the appearance of themes when granted root privileges: (on)
- Top Panel (size: 28px) - Applets
- 1. Cardapio
2. Window Selector
- To set Cardapio label to hostname:
- a. Add Cardapio to top Panel as first applet.
b. Open a Terminal window. Use apt-get to install vim (VI iMproved): sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get install vim
c. Logout of your current session.
d. Press "Ctrl + Alt + F1" to switch to TTY Console 1.
e. Login with your user ID and password.
f. Use vim to edit the file: vim ~/.config/Cardapio/config.json
g. Press the letter "i" to enter INSERT mode.
h. Modify indented line beginning with "applet label" to:
i. Press the "Esc" key to exit INSERT mode.
- "applet label": "YourSystemHostName(blankspace)(blankspace)",
(Substitute your computer's actual hostname for "YourSystemHostName". "(blankspace)" means press the Spacebar. Note the two blank spaces before the ending quote, and the comma at the end of the line.)
j. Type ":wq" (colon, lowercase letter "w", lowercase letter "q") and press "Enter" to save the file and quit vim.
k. Press "Ctrl + Alt + F7" to switch back to the graphical login screen.
l. Login to your desktop.
3. Indicator Applet Appmenu
4. Indicator Applet
5. An "invisible" Custom Application Launcher
6. Weather Report
- To create an "invisible" Application Launcher (because real GNOME Classic/Fallback Panel Separators are still broken, theme-wise):
- a. Using your favourite graphics/icon editor, create a blank 1px wide by 24px high SVG icon with no content other than a background layer set to "Transparent".
b. Save the icon as gnome-panel-blank-separator.svg and use a Terminal to copy it (as root) to the folder /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/apps: sudo cp gnome-panel-blank-separator.svg /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/apps/
c. Use chown/chmod to set the file ownership to "root:root" and make it world readable: cd /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/apps ; sudo chown root:root gnome-panel-blank-separator.svg ; sudo chmod 755 gnome-panel-blank-separator.svg
d. Use your favourite text editor to create a "null" (i.e., do-nothing) bash script file with the following content:
and save it as null.sh.
(set the second line to a blank line)
e. Use a Terminal to copy the script (as root) to /usr/local/bin and set ownership/permissions: sudo cp null.sh /usr/local/bin/ ; cd /usr/local/bin ; sudo chown root:root null.sh ; sudo chmod 755 null.sh
f. Add the Custom Application Launcher to your top Panel, and set the following parameters:
- Point icon to: /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/apps/gnome-panel-blank-separator.svg
Name: = Separator
Command: = /usr/local/bin/null.sh
7. Another "invisible" Custom Application Launcher
9. Log Out...
10. Shut Down...
Bottom Panel (size: 28px) - Applets
- 1. Lock Screen
2. Show Desktop
3. Workspace Switcher
4. Window List
5. Search for Files...
7. System Monitor
8. Force Quit
- I have made other minor adjustments through CompizConfig Settings Manager. However, it should be noted that in distributions based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS -- including Maya -- Compiz is somewhat buggy, and therefore fragile. If you install CCSM and start modifying settings willy-nilly, you can break your desktop quite easily.
Below is a summary of the changes I made through CCSM; I have kept the modifications to a minimum. The majority of my changes are related to color, since I aimed for a dark theme with bluish highlights, a bit of green, and a few other tones.
Most notably, I have NOT enabled Desktop Cube/Rotate Cube, because of problems with framebuffer swapping at the end of Rotate Cube events (i.e., when a workspace is finally selected and rendered full-size).
- CompizConfig Settings Manager Plugins
- General Options - Desktop Size
- Horizontal Virtual Size: 4
Vertical Virtual Size: 1
Number of Desktops: 1
- Expo - Appearance
- Brightness: 56.0000
- Red: 91
Grid - Appearance
Resize Window - General
- Draw Indicator (checked)
- Red: 91
- Red: 91
- Border Color
- Red: 91
- Red: 91
- Any picture with a dark background and a reasonable amount of blue/green content should work nicely. I used the image located here:
- Wall-Pix.net: Blue-Green Nebula (00003692.jpg)
(Note: The image referenced immediately above may be under Copyright, and might be licensed in such a way as to prevent free redistribution as part of a GNU/Linux Distribution, or other clip-art/image/software Collection. Download for your own personal use only. Do not redistribute the image along with your own work without tracking down the original artist and asking his/her permission.)