Category Archives: Customization

Why I Switched to KDE

I have always been a Gnome person. I’ve tried KDE every once in a while but I never really liked it. It seemed it was always either features that were missing that Gnome had or things didn’t work right where they worked fine in Gnome.  I could never get used to it and I would always find myself back in Gnome.

Recently though, the timing was just right. I used to be a big fan of Unity, but I was very put off by the version that is in Ubuntu 11.10.  I liked the version in 11.04 much better. Not to mention it was much stabler. The version in 11.10 was very unstable for me and I did not like some of the new functionality. I quickly became very unhappy with Unity.  I realized that I wasn’t as big of a fan of Unity as I thought. I didn’t want to use Unity anymore I got so frustrated with it. So I started looking at my options.

 

I decided I would try KDE yet again. Not only did KDE look absolutely beautiful, but all of the features that were missing for me had been implemented and all of the deal breaking bugs had been fixed after many years. So I tried to give KDE a genuine shot. It was a bit awkward getting used to the way KDE does things. But I fell in love with it after just a few days and haven’t looked back. KDE seems very refreshing and freeing compared to Gnome. I can customize every little bit to my likings. Now I look back and Gnome seems very restrictive to me.

 

tl;dr: Got tired of Unity and tried KDE again. Fell in love with it and never looked back.
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Docking Stuff with Kdocker

I have just discovered an awesome little application called Kdocker.  Kdocker allows you to minimize applications to the notification area.  It’s similar to Alltray, however I’ve found Kdocker to have more features and a bit lighter on the RAM usage.  To install it just run

sudo apt-get install kdocker

Then press Alt+F2 and run

kdocker

The mouse cursor will turn into a little box, then just click on a window to put it in the notification area.  You can also modify a menu entry for an application so that it will go to the notification area whenever it is launched.  Just right click on the Applications menu and select “Edit Menus”.  Find the entry for the application and right click on it and select “Properties”.  Then just prefix the command with kdocker.  This will actually put it in the notification area immediately.  If you want it to open but not go immediately to the notification area, use the -m option.  That will open the application but not hide it immediately.  See

man kdocker

For many other useful options.

I’ve found this particularly useful for Evolution since Evolution can’t put itself in the notification area natively.  This is a nice workaround for that.

The possibilities are endless with the app.  You can dock just about anything, like Firefox or even a terminal 😀

Changing GDM’s GTK Theme

This guide is outdated and will not work the current GDM.

I’m surprised I didn’t figure this out a while ago because the answer has been staring at me in the face this whole time. 😆

Have you ever gotten a very nice looking GDM theme only to be disappointed because the widgets and highlights were still themed in the Human theme and it clashed horribly?  Like this?

Ugh. 😯

Well there’s actually a very simple solution to this.  If you go under System→Administration→Login Window, the General tab contains a check box that says “GtkRC file:”.  This is where you can specify a gtkrc file for GDM to use so it will use a different GTK theme.

Most themes can be found in /usr/share/themes/ and the gtkrc file will be located in the gtk-2.0 directory under the theme name.  In the example I used the Clearlooks gtkrc and afterwards my GDM looked like this:

Ah, much better. Happy theming! 🙂