Eye Candy for Ubuntu
Everyone likes eye candy for their computer. Most people think of Apple’s OSX being the king of eye candy, but Vista (and from the looks of Windows 7) does a good job at eye candy as well. If you casually look at the Linux market place it is easy to be underwhelmed with the lack of eye candy and sometimes outright ugly guis. Lets just get it out in the open Linux, traditionally, was quite ugly.
Here is the thing with Linux you are free change the look, in its entirety, at anytime. This is a huge bonus of Linux. I have to admit that the Ubuntu brown is hardly inspiring, but all of it (even the Ubuntu startup screen) can be change to anything, and yes I mean anything, you like. One look through Gnome’s website provides a list of artwork and themes for all the aspects of the desktop manager. This is starkly different from the other OS. Mac allows you change a few collars and that is about it, and Windows often charges for different themes installing requires changing a bunch of convoluted .dll files that often can’t be undone (I just remember the old days getting messages saying this could ruin your machine if you’re not careful). Windows/Mac do this so that you are more likely to upgrade to future versions. Eventually you get tired of looking at the same style screen all day and they know that. So each new version comes with a pretty new face. In fact, sometimes it seems that is the only reason for the upgrade. With Linux it is totally different. You can change the bootup screen to a picture of your dog or change the theme to look like OSX and than Vista. Or even better yet change it to something that looks even better than the other two. Everything is reversible and no hacks are required.
So what started this? Well Ars ran an article about turning your Ubuntu install into the HP mini mi. Fortunately it is a pretty easy task. First they point to the Ubuntu Forums where user Wildcard is hosting the binary files. You can find the files here. You need to download three files: glassy-bleu-browser-skin_0.5_all.deb , glassy-bleu-theme_21_all.deb , and gnome-backgrounds-hp_0.4_all.deb. Install each one by double clicking. Ubuntu can install the deb files by default you will just need to input your password. After that you just need to set the theme. Go to System>Preferences>Appearance and choose the glassy-bleu theme. I say it is a pretty slick theme and a welcome relief to the tired OSX. I am not sure if I am going to keep it as my theme though. If you don’t like this one you can browse through hundreds on Gnome’s website. Almost all of them are as simple to install and change to. I see this as a great advantage of Linux, customization. Hope you enjoy.