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Themeing and Desktop Environment HOW-TO


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SoulSe suggested i write a bit of a Tips n Tricks thing on how i got Fluxbox as my WM in GNOME. Im gonna go a bit further and write a HOW-TO on well, the below! Below is pretty much an outlay of it.

I'll need some help writing some sections though, i dont use KDE, nor do I have the room to install it. Things marked with a ** i'll need a bit of help with. Anyone willing to volunteer?

:mystismiles: :mystismiles:



1) Alphabet Soup: X, WMs & DEs

# What X, Window managers and Desktop Environments have to do with each other.

What are Window Managers

What are Desktop Environments


2) GTK

# General info on GTK, where to get themes and how to change em.

What is it

Changing GTK theme



3) Window Managers

#Just a bit about some of the window managers and their advantages


Fluxbox & Blackbox






4) Desktop Environments


Changing the GNOME WM


Changing the KDE WM




5) About and thanks

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Ive already written the first part, X, WMs and DEs


1) Alphabet Soup: X, WMs & DEs


What X, Window managers and Desktop Environments have to do with each other.


Linux is like a stack of papers, it is layered. Different layers do different things. The bottom layer is the Kernel, it is the core, manages memory and provides an interface to devices. It does much more, but that is out of the scope of this HOW-TO. Above that is X, the X Window System, X11. X is the blank canvas of an artist. It provides simply the ability for GUI applications to run. It not only provides the screen, but the ability for programs to receive and interpret key presses, mouse movements and clicks. Programs which run on X are 'X Clients', they connect to the X Server, it gives them the screen real estate, and they start. On top of X can go Window managers and Desktop Environments.


What are Window Managers

Window managers (WM) are X Clients which provide the border around the window. The WM, controls how an app looks, border, titlebar, size of a window and the ability to resize a window.

Many Window managers provide other things like, places to stick dockapps (www.dockapps.org), a menu to start programs and to configure the WM and other usefull things. Fluxbox for example has the ability to tab windows. WIndow managers generally dont provide things like desktop icons. These are commonly seen in Desktop Environments, though it is possible to have icons in a WM (http://idesk.timmfin.net/). Because of the lack of 'extras' WMs are much lighter on system resources.


What are Desktop Environments

Desktop Environments (DE) are different to the Window Manager in the fact they provide much more, a whole environment. DEs are a bringing together of a range of different X clients, including a Window manager, often a panel for applets, starters and menus, often icons and an integrated file manager. For a WM, GNOME uses Metacity or Sawfish by default and KDE inludes its own KWin. This WM can be changed. DEs are much easier to use but are unfortunately more heavy on system resources.


I htink i might need a bit more on DEs, i also need to proofread this.


Any volunteers for topics i need help in?



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I can do XFCE4 ....  that's what I'm running now.  what sort of info are you looking to be in that section?


Description, features, and a bit about themes, how they work, how to use em and where to get em. 1 or 2 sites with themes too.


So if i decided to use XFCE, i'd be able to read this, pick a theme and use it.


And SoulSe: i've almost written the thing on setting Fluxbox as WM in GNOME.





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