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Can't figure out the Linux theming system


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Alright ladies and gents, due to my computer HDD dying and HP

being too cheap to include a recovery CD (they put a partition on there, smart people these HP guys...), I had to install Linux. I have Ubuntu (Dapper Drake) up and running right now and am really enjoying it. I use both Gnome and KDE as I feel the urge. However, I would like to get some Aqua style themes and such going on. I HAVE searched here and have found threads about 2-5 years old on it, but they do not discuss my problem with it. Mine is HOW do I apply the themes? (for KDE, Metacity, GTK+, etc.) What's with all of the metacity and GTK stuff for this anyway? I'm used to one msstyle doing the whole deal. So, how do I need to go about applying themes to everything? I've found and have used gnome-look.org and kde-look.org in the past for stuff (only wallpapers back then for my Windows desktop.)

edit: Found Nightcrawler's post in hardware I thikn about Gnome configuration like OS X, what about working with KDE?

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There is an distinction between the widget style and the window decoration in Linux.

You have widgets libraries : QT (KDE) ,GTK1 (old apps and old gnome), GTK2 (as you guessed, new GTK apps and new gnome)

For example Firefox, Gimp and Gnome will share the same style because they use the same toolkit : GTK 2

Konqueror, Kopete, Amarok will share the same style (between them, not with firefox etc ...) ...

You have an way to get GTK 2 apps be themes like QT, it's called the qtk-qt-engine. While it's good while using gtk apps in kde, it's not good for launching gnome and it will be a big mess up if you don't UNINSTALL this engine before launching gnome (theorically you can disable it in kde control center and select another engine, but it doesn't work here).

Then you have the window decoration : It's simply the titlebar & borders of an window. Every DM (desktop manager, KDE, GNOME ...) have it's predefined one (GNOME : Metacity, KDE : kwin) but I think you can change an configuration file so gnome uses kwin or kde metacity. Just remember that you can run any WD (window decorator) on any DM, just need to tell the DM to use this one instead.

But if you only use GTK apps in GNOME (not Amarok, etc) and use Kwin, it will be an memory hog, cause kwin will load QT libraries for only one app, thus making the other kde apps (if you decide to launch one) startup faster ;)

Keep in mind that if you use kwin in gnome, the titlebar settings in gnome will not work anymore, you will need to use kde control center. Same if you use Metacity in kde.

Good luck :P Don't be discouraged !

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Theming in Linux is a bit complicated, but only because it's much more flexible - and if you know what your doing, you can create the perfect desktop for your needs. You can have it as complex or simple as you want, and there are dozens of options to mix and match several themes and window decorations together.

For Gnome, the themes you want to look for are GTK2 (the current distributions of Ubuntu all use this). The themes can be found on Gnome-Look. To apply the theme is simply a matter of downloading the tar.gz package (the zip or rar equivalent on Linux) and drag and dropping it in the Themes dialog. The theme will be applied. One thing to keep in mind is that various themes depend on different engines. For example, for the themes that have Murrina in the name - you will need the Murrine Engine for GTK2 installed for the theme to display correctly. Be sure to read what the author says which engine is needed when installing a theme. In many cases you won't need to install more since Ubuntu comes with many engines installed by default, but Murrine and others are available in the Ubuntu repositories for installation. Otherwise, some of the newer theme engines that aren't available in the repos, there will be a package for Ubuntu that is provided on Gnome-Look.org.

For KDE, the QT engine is used for theming. The concept for engines is the same, however like the KDE Control Centre indicates you have much more control over the look of your theme. For KDE, a lot more components come with the ability of customization such as color schemes and changing engine settings.

Gnome comes with the Metacity window decoration program by default. To change its look, you have to look for themes for that program. KDE comes with Kwin to power its window decoration, similarly it has its own themes. There are many window decoration programs that you can mix and match with each other (KDE and Gnome). The most popular alternative is Compiz-Fusion (formerly known as Beryl and Compiz), which provides transparency, shadows and other eye-candy effects. It has its own themes.

That's pretty much all you need to know for Linux theming. Btw you should upgrade to Feisty, since that version comes with many more engines pre-installed and has many more features compared to the old Dapper.

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Dapper Drake??!! That's quite old. Maybe you should upgrade to Feisty and then get Beryl. There are some nice aqua-style themes for it (even a tiger-mimicking one).

Dapper Drake is the current LTS release of Ubuntu, and is still in high use by Ubuntu-ers. I use it myself on one of my machines.

You can also get Beryl and Emerald working on Dapper if you'd like. There are millions of guides on how to do so on http://ubuntuforums.org .

Using the combination of Beryl and Emerald (plus some tweaking of settings in gnome itself...menus, panels, etc) can get you a 100% OS X clone if it is what you desire.

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I have never needed LTS and I don't think most people do (I'm talking of home users here). Feisty is two releases ahead of Dapper. More than enough reason to upgrade. Though it's up to Jaggedfel to do that. :)

You still get all the same upgrades and updates as Feisty as you are with Dapper. Just because Feisty is 2 releases ahead shouldn't make you upgrade on just that fact.

You still get all the updates for the kernal, and all software as you would in Feisty.

LTS is there for a reason. To provide users with a (good) sense of more stability and sturdiness.

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I'm the creator of the beryl Tiger theme (was compiz back then) and if anyone can help me on fixing the damn shadows without modifying the titlebar size it will be good. I don't want to resize he titlebar (tried margins and all, nothing works until I changed the sizee) to keep it 1:1

Thanks

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