The DistRogue

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How to pimp out your Ubuntu desktop

Yeah, another of *those* tutorials. If you use Ubuntu 7.10, and you want those wobbly windows and Avant, read on and get a shiny, bling-filled desktop with convenient controls to turn everything on and off.
The first step is to edit your sources. As of version 7.10, Ubuntu's repositories come with Compiz Fusion, so just add the avant repo. First, launch a terminal and use this command:
gksudo 'gedit /etc/apt/sources.list'

Then, add this line to the end:
deb feisty avant-window-navigator

Close GEdit and run these commands:
wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -
rm 8434D43A.gpg
sudo apt-get update

Next, you'll need to install some packages. You can do this in one of two ways. You could open a terminal and run this command:
sudo apt-get install compiz emerald avant-window-navigator-bzr subversion

Or, if you're afraid of the command line, launch Synaptic and install compiz, emerald, subversion, and avant-window-navigator-bzr. Finally, run another command:
svn ls
When it asks, accept the certificate permanently.
Now, you have Compiz and Avant on your system. Next, go to System > Preferences > Emerald Theme Manager. Under the "Repositories" tab, click "Fetch GPL'd Themes". This gives you a ton of themes for the window border. Choose the one that looks the coolest under the "Themes" tab, and remember that you can come back here later.
Now, on to the controls. Make two files on your desktop called "" and "". They should have the following contents:
compiz --replace
killall avant-window-navigator
metacity --replace

Double-click Nothing happens. To fix that, launch a terminal and use these commands to make the files executable.
cd ~/Desktop
chmod 755 ./bling-*.sh

Now try it.
Next, it's time to add some programs to Avant. Go to Applications and find a program you want to put in Avant's launcher. Instead of launching it, though, drag it to Avant and drop it there. Do this for all the programs you want on there.
Use the file to turn on Compiz, then Avant. Compiz has to be running, or Avant will look all ugly. turns them off and runs Metacity (GNOME's default window manager) in Compiz's place. Running either of them will keep all your windows intact.
The last step should be pretty easy: Annoy the hell out of anyone who uses Windows Vista. ;-)

From Ubuntu 7.10,
The DistRogue.

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