Monday, April 25, 2011

Skinning Gnome 3 in Fedora 15 pt. 1/2

So, in my last post I demonstrated how I made my gnome 3 look a little less like gnome 3. I will now try to explain how I set up gnome 3 to look the way it does.


First we will install the tools needed for this task.

$ sudo yum install unzip gnome-tweak-tool gtk-equinox-engine gconf-editor

Adding buttons

Now the dirty secret here is that the option of having the buttons there aren't gone, they are just not exposed. So open your gconf-editor and go to destkop > gnome > shell > windows and change the value of the button_layout to whatever you want. The basic is that the : is where you want your title and then you put close, minimize and maximize wherever you want. As an example here is mine:


Or the default layout for Gnome 2:


To see the changes press alt + f2, write 'r' and press enter. Then the gnome shell will reload itself.

Changing window borders.

At the same place in the configuration editor, you also have a variable called 'theme'. The thing is, that they still use the old metacity themes for this, so installing any old themes is okay. For the sake of this tutorial we have installed the equinox pacakge witch contains the border I use. So go ahead and change it from "Adwaita" (the default) to:

Equinox Evolution Squared

Reload the shell (alt + f2, type 'r' and press enter) and voila, new borders.

You can install new borders by copying the entire theme folder to /usr/share/themes and change the name of the above variable to the name of that folder.

Changing Icon Theme

Now this one is pretty straight forward. In this tutorial we are going to use a theme called "AwOken". Download the theme from the creators Deviantart page to your Download folder ( AwOken Theme Page (the Zip-file download link can be found on the right)). And run the following commands to unzip and move it to the correct directories:

$ cd ~/Downloads/
$ unzip awoken*.zip
$ tar -xvf AwOken-*/AwOken.tar.gz
$ sudo cp -r AwOken /usr/share/icons/
$ sudo chmod -r a+rx /usr/share/icons/AwOken

Start the Tweak Advanced Settings program (for eksample by pressing alt + f2 and write "gnome-tweak-tool" and hit enter). Go to Interface in the menu on the left. Select "AwOken" in the Icon Theme Dropdown menu, and then you have (hopefully) succsessfully installed the AwOken theme.

Changing the shell theme.

Since the plugin for the Gnome Tweak Settings doesn't seem to work (at the time of writing), we are going to install the theme system wide, forcefully replacing the original theme. First, offcourse backup your original theme.

$ sudo cp -r /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme \

Now we are going to download a gnome shell theme called Atolm from his deviant art site. Download the zip on the right-hand side of the page into your Downloads Folder. Then Copy all the theme files into the existing theme folder.

$ cd ~/Downloads/
$ unzip gnome_shell____atolm_*.zip
$ sudo mv -f gs-atolm/gnome-shell/theme/* /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/

Reload shell with alt + f2 and 'r', and you should have yourself a brand new shell theme.

Warning: Your shell might crash, if it does, copy the content of the backup folder back into your theme folder. If all else fails, run sudo yum reinstall gnome-shell

You might have noticed that the Tweak Tool has an option for GTK+ theme, but it does not work unless you have a gtk3 compliant theme. I will explain that and GTK+ theme changing in gnome-shell in the next blogpost. Questions may be directed in the comment section. Happy Hacking. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gnome 3 Look & Feel

Before I start, I would like to notice that the work and progress in the Gnome 3 desktop is huge. It is an exiting project and it is still in its early stages. But then again, we must be allowed to say something at this stage too.

And to be frank, while I went into this with the attitude that I wanted to like and try this (I even installed it on my main computer), what I got disappointed me. It is not the workflow or the small things that annoy me. Quite the opposite, its because everything is so big. I have what you might call an average resolution on my screen (1366x768), and only the toolbars fill half the thing. Honestly I feel the design on the left is faar better.

But before I rant more, I tried changing the theme to be more suitable. While I was disappointed that the Gnome3 team was going for "One theme fits all" rather than easily customizable, and I got rather enfuriated by what seemed to be the reason behind a lot of the choices, like big ass menues so anyone with a bad touchpad can easily click them (Seriously, who makes a design choice based on "His hardware is bad so we must overcompensate for it"). After a couple of hours, I atleast got it looking more like the desktop I wanted.

Granted, I didn't manage to remove the menu-bar and hide the panel, like I always do to get more space, but atleast now I dont feel like gnawing my own eyes out.

Lastly, I just want to medigate the fact that no I am not a designer, and I don't want to tell people how to do things. But after looking at all the ways in wich people like to work, and set up things, I don't think that one way of doing something should be the end-all be-all of an Open Desktop Enviroment.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Samsung Q330, Fedora 13 & thoughts on Optimus

So my old computer finally gave in about a week before i was too go to Japan, so i had to get a new one for my daily needs. I have run it for about 3 weeks now, and i got to say, except for a few minor details, i'm quite happy with it. It sports a Intel i3 processor, 4gig of ram, 320 gig of hd space and should last 7 hours on a battery. I have yet to confirm the batterylife thou, but it seems optimistic.

But if it works with linux, is more important IMO. So I will just say, most things worked out of the box. So for anyone that wants a highend computer that runs linux pretty good out of the box, this is a good choice.

That beeing said, here are the things that does not work: The graphic card is a Nvidia Optimus card. This is the Nvidia variant of the new laptop craze of having two graphicscards, one for powersaving, and one for preformace. It sounds good, but right now it feels like everyone is all over the place, and nothing is really good supported. Nvidia themself sais they are not going to support this in linux atm, wich is kind of a drag since i had a minor hope that it would be supported exactly because it was NVIDIA technology and not some random vendor variant. Guess i have to rethink my nvidia loyalty.

The word on the street is that nouveau is working on drivers for this, but currently you can only turn of the powerhungry nvidia card. I havent been able to test this thou, since I need a .35 kernel for it, and i havent bothered since it will work well even with the nvidia card on. It does thou, reduce batterylife. But as we probably will see this technology in more and more laptops, i still have faith in that there will be a solution in the end.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Japanese fonts in OpenJDK - Fedora 13

Even though java is supposed to have good cross-platform support and super awesome in every way, OpenJDK in Fedora 13 does not support Japanese fonts out of the box. It was pretty easy to fix. All you have to do is install the sazanami fonts and save this file as /usr/lib/jvm/jre/lib/ Below is a screenshot of CGoBan3 with kanji working.

This seems to just be a case of an old config not updated, nothing more. So hopefully this will be fixed soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tomorrows Firefox for the Linux user?

So i decided i should test the new Firefox with the infamous tag candy extension. I got a test version from Aza Raskins site, and booted it up. In the start it looks like the ordinary Firefox, until you press ctrl + space. Then you enter something like Expo for Compiz in Firefox. And with a few tabs, you can get it to look something like this:

What can i say? It looks pretty sweet, but it's just a new way of arranging tabs. For the windows user or perhaps the mac user witch, lets face it, doesn't really have good window managers for heavy multitasking, this might be a good turn of events. But for the rest of us, opening 2 or more browser windows would do just about the same trick, and would probably save us a click. Also, 30 tabs? Who can honestly say they need that? IMO Bookmarks will do just as good, and save space.

There are other big ideas for this platform, but i feel a lot of them are to big to be implemented on top of Firefox. And a lot of these ideas requires a lot of other functionality (like coop mode needs chat of some sort) to really make it worth while. Perhaps we are looking at a new WM for Linux? Or perhaps gnome-shell will take up on some of the ideas. But overall, i think this idea is for the windows/mac user who can't organize his or her own workspace.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gnome-blog update & some rpms

And we return to Meta-Blogging.

Today i submitted the changes i have made to gnome-blog, and hopefully we will see it added upstream. Also new is that the Picasa uploader will select the biggest thumbnail (up to 600px currently, changeable if preferred), and link to the original.

Here is a test:

The next thing to solve would be that it also has to scale inside the window.

To the one who asked for it, Sorry for late reply. Here are the rpms: i386, x86_64, src. Please give feedback as fit =)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blogger clients - Uploading Images to Blogspot?

So after i considered moving to because they had gtk-clients and could upload pictures, i decided to do something about it.

First i found a new client, gnome-blog, witch is exactly the type of client i want. Small, and to the point. It supports all the big protocols, and wysiwyg editing with picture drag-and-drop. But once again the picture support was missing. So i wrote the function myself, and as you (soon) can see, it works just fine. =)

The function does exactly the same as the official web-ui client does. It uploads the pictures to a private folder on picasa, and links from there.

I will try and push the changes upstream, but the overall changes was more than just one function, due to the need of more information than the current code gave. Also its not very well documented, so i had to make my own interpretation of it.

If anyone is interested in testing this, i have made rpms, and you can give me feedback on it. Hopefully someone will add the program to wish list, and it will be packaged by someone better at this than me =)