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By lassekongo83
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Explaining myself for dummies, pros, kittens, and anyone who wants to know some more stuff about my themes etc. Covers plenty of questions. :p

GENERAL STUFF

Q: What is a GTK theme?
A: A GTK theme is mainly a theme made for the Gnome Desktop Environment which usually is the default desktop environment in many GNU/Linux distributions. A GTK theme styles the buttons, rulers, panel, progressbars etc.

Q: What is an Emerald theme?
A: It's a WM (Window Manager) which styles the border around the "windows" on your desktop. By default Gnome uses a WM called metacity. I personally prefer Emerald because it can do some stuff that metacity can't.

Q: Ok, I'm lost. What is GNU/Linux and what is a Desktop Environment?
A: I'll just let wikipedia answer that for you...
GNU/Linux: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
DE: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_…

Q: Can I try this GNU/Linux in any way?
A: Yes. If you have a powerful enough computer (and some knowledge about software and hardware) you should try installing a distribution in a virtual machine so you don't have to worry about losing any data.

My recommended setup for the best experience in a virtual machine is the following hardware: Nvidia graphics. 2GB of RAM or more. Dual-core or quad-core processor. 20GB of free hdd space.

1. Download and install VirtualBox.
2. Download a GNU/Linux distribution. I can recommend Ubuntu.
3. Open VirtualBox and create a new machine. I recommend that you at least use 768MB of RAM and 128MB of video RAM for the virtual machine if you want to try desktop effects and emerald themes.
4. Install Ubuntu on the virtual machine. Use Google to find guides and tips and tricks.
5. Boot up the new OS. Install the VirtualBox Guest Additions to enable more advanced graphical features.
6. Have an open mind to learn something new. GNU/Linux is not Windows, so in some cases you'll need to find alternative programs. The good thing is that the majority of the programs for GNU/Linux are free.
7. As mentioned - Use Google when things go wrong or if you want to learn more.

An alternate way to try it is to use Wubi. Or you can go the full way and just dual-boot it with Windows (or remove Windows completely if you like it enough.)

ABOUT ME AND MY DESIGNS

Q: You used to create so many styles for Windows XP, what happened?
A: I got bored with Windows XP plain and simple.

Q: Why don't you create themes for Windows 7?
A: I once tried it and only managed to port one of my old XP themes. It's extremely time consuming. Windows have some annoying design limitations. (All OS:es have that though, but they're really annoying in 7.) Not saying that I'm not going to create any themes for Windows 7 in the future, I may or I may not depending on what I try and do. I have to admit though that I find the default look in Windows 7 hideous. :p

Q: Can I port, mod and create derivative works out of your designs?
A: Yes. Unless I state otherwise all my themes (and in some cases wallpapers) are open source GPL/CC by-nc-sa. All I ask is a link back to the original and that you also have an open mind about sharing the art in a similar manner. ;) My opinion is that creativity feeds creativity.

You can see what license my work has here on deviantART by moving your eyes to the info boxes at the right/bottom right of the deviation. (Unfortunately I can't select GPL here on dA, so I just set CC by-nc-sa on my GPL:ed works too.)

Q: What about commercial usage?
A: That's something I'm not usually allowing. You are not allowed to sell anything or claim anything that I've designed as your own. My GPL:ed works (not the CC by-nc-sa) can however be included on CDs for Linux distributions or a CD that comes with Magazines. If you do any of that I would like to know, and I request a link back to my deviantART page.

Q: What about commercial usage for a derivative work based on one or several of your designs?
A: I request that you respect the license I use. Read it properly. If your derivative work is distinctively different it may be allowed, but that's not up to you to decide if it is.

Q: You're not answering my question, why?
A: Because one of the following reasons:
1. I think Google can answer your question better.
2. I'm lazy.
3. Your question makes no sense.
4. I forgot about it.
5. All of the above or some other reason.
6. I have a FAQ now. :D

Q: Well isn't that rude, not answering when someone asks something?
A: It's my personality. :p (I'm still grateful for all the comments and feedback I get even if I'm not often is showing it. Without feedback I can't improve what I'm doing.)

Q: You're not answering my bug report, why?
A: Because one of the following reasons:
1. It's not a bug, it's designed that way.
2. I can't reproduce the result. If more people report the same issue I will usually fix the bug if I can find a way to fix it.
3. It's a known issue except there aren't any known fixes for it.
4. It's an issue caused by a badly designed program that doesn't have anything to do with my theme. Some apps doesn't follow the GTK design guidelines.
5. It's a theme that I don't care about any longer because it's too old. Anything older than 5 months in my gallery doesn't get much love from me usually. :p

INSTALLATION

Q: How do I use one of your GTK and Emerald themes?
A: You usually need some programs and a few GTK engines for my themes. You only need to do this once.

1. In Ubuntu. Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Now type sudo apt-get install unrar p7zip and press enter, it will ask for your password, just type that too. (Password won't be visible.) Or you can go to the software center in the menu and install the packages in a GUI if you prefer that.
2. I usually use the latest versions of the GTK engines Murrine, Equionox and Pixbuf. To install these engines do the following:
- In Ubuntu. Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Type sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf to install the pixbuf-engine. (It may already be installed by default, I'm not sure.)
- In Ubuntu's Terminal. Type sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tiheum/equinox and press enter. Then type sudo apt-get update and press enter. After that type sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-equinox.
3. Install emerald. In Ubuntu's Terminal. Type sudo apt-get install emerald and press enter.
4. That's the required engines and apps you need to use my themes in Ubuntu. In other GNU/Linux distributions it will be somewhat different and you may need to install the same packages in different ways. Use Google to learn more about your distribution.

Q: How do I install one of your GTK and Emerald themes?
A: Follow the steps below.

GTK
1. Double-click on the *.7z file to open it in file-roller. (Sometimes I may use a different file format like tar or zip.)
2. Extract the included folder to /home/your username/.themes or if you have root access and want all users to be able to use the theme: /usr/share/themes
3. The folder structure should now look something like this: /home/your username/.themes/theme name/gtk-2.0
4. Go to System > Preferences > Appearance and click on the Customize button to select your preferred controls, window border, icon and cursor theme.

EMERALD
1. Press ALT+F2 and type emerald --replace
2. Go to System->Preferences->Emerald theme manager.
3. Click on the import button to import the *.emerald file.
4. Select a theme from the list.

Q: Can I set Emerald as my default window manager?
A: Yes. Go to System > Preferences > Startup Programs and type in the following.
Name: Emerald
Command: emerald --replace
Comment: Emerald window manager.

Q: In some of your screenshots I see that you use a different panel/taskbar. How do you do that?
A: It's an advanced work-around that may not be easy to follow for a beginner that have never used an image editing program before. It's actually an image integrated on the wallpaper.
I have a small guide in the description here: lassekongo83.deviantart.com/ar…

Q: I find this hard. Can it be easier?
A: It's neither easier or harder than installing a theme on Windows 7 for example, just different if you're not used to it. I may also make it a lot easier by creating an installation script in the future. But I think I would be too lazy to update my older themes with an installation script. :p

DESIGNING

Q: How can I create my own theme?
A: Depends on what you want to create. Let's say a GTK theme for example. You need a good text-editor, an image editing program, a creative mind, and patience.
The best way to learn is to edit an existing theme with trial and error. It is in my opinion the best way to learn how to create a GTK theme. As always, Google is your friend when things go wrong.

Q: Which applications do you use when you design?
A: Photoshop CS (in Windows, Windows XP in a virtual machine, or wine,) The GIMP, Notepad++ (Windows), and gedit are my main apps.

Q: What's the best way to learn how to design wallpapers and other images?
A: Researching, tutorials, inspiration, patience, creativity. That's all you need to be able to create your own stuff. :p

MISC

Q: What specific hardware do you use for VirtualBox?
A: I'm running it on a 3GHz Intel dual-core CPU from 2007, 2GB of Corsair RAM, Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS 640MB, and a 320GB Western Digital Caviar Blue HDD. Works fine for me. ;)

Q: One of your themes borked my computer! What did you do?
A: Absolutely nothing. If something went wrong it's probably just a software error or some bad application not playing along nicely with it. You try everything at your own risk, I take no responsibility.

Q: Which applications do you like to show on your desktop screenshots? Which fonts and icons do you like to use?
A: docky or awn, xfce4-terminal, nautilus, dockbarx, conky, covergloobus, opera, feh... are some of the applications that looks nice in a screenshot. ;)
My current favorite fonts are Trebuchet MS and Futura. As for icons I like to use a set with monochrome panel icons and a nice overall consistent look.

Q: Why aren't you sharing that wall/theme I saw in one of your screenshots?
A: 1. It's not ready. 2. It's a mod, and I haven't asked for permission.

Q: Halp! I'm as clueless as a Moogle.
A: Don't be, use Google! :D
Published:
© 2010 - 2021 lassekongo83
Comments12
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JerichoKru's avatar
Regarding your XP themes, how did you get by the issue of distorted taskbar/system tray icons?

I'm guessing this is happening because the taskbar in a few of your themes I have is smaller than normal...thus squishing the icons.
m4ra's avatar
good one :) thnx ...
confessions1988's avatar
Nice journal entry. Gave me some info on the linux way of theming which I really didn't knew that much about.

I was mostly happy with the standard skins, I did try to install some themes once but got frustrated because of the missing dependencies apparently xD
GrzegorzJZD's avatar
Good to know You better ;)
Escasmu's avatar
which taskbar skin you use on linux ?
0rAX0's avatar
Nice,

About Emerald, why don't change it from CCSM instead of creating a startup command?
Alexander-GG's avatar
Purpler's avatar
what a boring stuff, man..
mx-steel's avatar
Nice know Linux stuff .... i try when i install it.
kkrazy92's avatar
I hope you do start making some themes for Windows 7. I moved from XP to 7 right when you stopped making themes for XP and I miss using you themes. And finding ports is a tedious task.

I'M CLUESLESS AS A MOOGLE!
richwise's avatar
Agree, now that I'm on Windows 7 I miss your themes. One saving grace is we still use XP at work and I get to use your themes for part of the day, at least.
DaCone's avatar
same here!!! please come back to windows lassekongo
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