Linux Magazine: Getting Artsy and Crafty with GUIs

“One of the few ways we are allowed to manifest our
personalities and our sense of taste (or lack thereof) with
computers is by decorating our desktops. In the Microsoft world,
there is only one GUI environment, which you can decorate and
modify via plug-in themes and color schemes. Those migrating to
Linux will soon realize that, unlike Windows, Linux has two
different GUI environments that you can customize to your heart’s
delight. Those are GNOME and KDE. And, as Martha Stewart says, it’s
a Good Thing.’

“This is where things get a lot more complicated and somewhat
overwhelming for the end user. Not only does Linux have two
distinct GUI environments from which to choose (and customize), but
it also has at least a dozen window managers that sit on top of
those environments, and each has its own unique themes. It’s enough
to make decorating your desktop space a Major Project.”

“Configuring your GNOME desktop can be a bit complicated. If you
really want to have a nice color-coordinated desktop scheme that
has classical styling, that doesn’t clash with your chinaware, and
is in vogue with seasonal trends, it’s going to take a bit of work.
You will need to take both GNOME’s color/font schemes and its
textures into consideration, in addition to the color/widget
schemes and textures of the window manager that is running on top
of GNOME.”

“In KDE, things are a bit easier, as KDE has its own integrated
window manager. You can also use Enlightenment as a window manager
for KDE, but unless you really want to make your life complicated,
you probably want to avoid doing that. Generally speaking, themes
are compressed into gziped tar archives of graphics files and
widgets. Sometimes your environment or window manager can read
these directly, but occasionally you may have to untar/unzip them
to specific directories of your filesystem before you can use


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