Changing Desktop Appearance On Linux Mint 11

Changing Desktop Appearance On Linux Mint 11

Version 1.0
Author: Christian Schmalfeld <c [dot] schmalfeld [at] 
projektfarm[dot] de>

This tutorial is supposed to show how to change the desktop’s appearance to people
who are new to Linux.


1 Preliminary Note

For this tutorial I am using Linux Mint 11
with the Gnome desktop. This is the default desktop you have installed
on your system. If you have not configured it otherwise already,
everything should work for you.

This tutorial comes without warranty of any kind!


2 Appearance Settings

This is the way your desktop usually looks like if you haven’t changed anything on it.

To access the desktop appearance settings, go to Menu > Preferences > Appearance or Menu > Control Center > Personal > Appearance.

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The window that opens shows three basic tabs which are Themes, Backgrounds and Fonts. The theme
is what your system generally looks like apart from your wallpaper,
meaning the looks of the control panel, window panels, menus, icons and
everything else. There are multiple themes already installed with Linux
Mint 11, but with a connection to the Internet you can download more of
them. The single parts of the theme can also be customized to your
likings if a whole theme does not match your preferences. The Background
section lets you choose the wallpaper which covers your desktop. There
are also multiple background pictures preinstalled on your system, but
you can download and install new ones easily. Fonts, as the name says, lets you change the way the system text used for windows and other parts of the system looks like.


3 Themes

To pick a new theme in the Themes tab,
simply click on it and it will automatically be applied. To download
another theme, click on the link on the bottom left corner and the
gnome website will be opened where you can download new themes by
choosing the one you like and clicking the download panel.

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Choose the Open with: Theme Installer (default) option to directly install and open the theme in the preferences window.

Choose Apply New Theme if you want to use your downloaded theme.

The looks of your system will now change depending on which theme
you downloaded.

If you don’t like it, you can simply click on
another theme in the appearance preferences to undo the style changes.
If you like the theme except for minor details (e.g. a background that
is slightly too dark), you can hit Customize…
to edit single parts of it. Some themes however do not support the
change of single parts like background colors. If you like your
customized theme, you can save it so it appears as new option in the
main themes tab. That way you do not have to build it over and over
again if you choose to use another one.


4 Backgrounds

The Backgrounds tab will provide you
with some images to choose as your wallpaper. You can either use one of
them or a configurable single color by clicking them once or download
new images by clicking the Get more backgrounds online
link. You will be directed to the Gnome page again, however you can use
any image you find on the Internet as a wallpaper by just right-clicking
them and choosing the Set as desktop background… option. The image will then be set as your wallpaper and downloaded to your home directory.


5 Fonts

As with the other options, there are quite a few fonts preinstalled
on your system. To change them, simply choose the text you want to
change the font of and select one of the given list. The usual style
and size options are also available in the selection window. If you
want to install new fonts, you can do that with your package manager.
Just select one of the Fonts panels and
install the wanted font. It will then appear in the list of fonts in
the appearence preferences. Notice that it is not enough to install a
font if you want your system to use Japanese or Cyrillic letters. For
this, you need to install the language files via Language Support.

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