Customizing Ubuntu (look)

I’ve been using Ubuntu for a while now (almost one year). For those who don’t know what Ubuntu is, I suggest you to follow this links:

This operating system is really amazing. At the beginning it was quite hard to use (it’s quite normal if you have been always using Windows) but after a while… well, I understood how powerful, nice and everything this system was. The most important thing to me is that it is fully FREE, it’s developed by the community and everybody can help (even with small things) to it’s growth.

In this article, I’d like to summarize what I know about Ubuntu look, and how to customize it. Let’s start with a small list of terms:

  • Splash Screen: the small window which is showed after inserting username/password (loading OS)
  • Icon Theme: sets of Icons

Well, this was nothing special. A good place to look for new graphical stuff is http://www.gnome-look.org . They have quite a lot of cool stuff there, and you can submit your own works if you want to. Let’s talk about how to install different stuffs:

Installing a Theme
This is actually quite simple, but not that simple if you don’t know where to press the right button. Go on System -> Preferences – > Theme. There, select “Install new Theme”. Browse your PC until you find the right tar.gz file (which is a compressed file). Ubuntu will decompress it automatically and install the theme. DON’T decompress the file by yourself (it’s not dangerous obviously, but it’s not necessary). Another way is that of dragging the tar.gz file into the themes window. It will have exactly the same effect.

Installing an Icon Theme
Icon themes are stets of icons which can be used with every theme. To install such a theme: System -> Preferences -> Theme -> Customize -> Icons -> Install and select the tar.gz file you downloaded. The way of installin this kind of themes is exactly the same as that for installing “normal” themes. Even when installing this kind of themes, you can drag/drop the tar.gz file in the window.

Changing splash

Ubuntu Splash

Well, this is just a little bit trickier that installing a Theme. Be sure you downloaded a PNG (image) file to use as splash. The default splash screen is saved in a special directory into your home. “~/.gnome/” will lead you there otherwise (same thing) /home/yourname/.gnome/. Into this directory you will find a file called “splash.png”. Well, rename that file to “splash_old.png” (or whatever you want) and put in this directory the file you want to use as splash, renaming it to “splash.png”. Well done, next time you log in you’ll see your new splash (you can reboot the X session by pressing CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE).

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Customizing Ubuntu (look)

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