Category Archives: Desktop

Change Gnome themes

How to Install GNOME Themes in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS uses Unity as the default Desktop Environment, which is based on Gnome 3. So Gnome 3 themes (window themes + GTK themes) works well in Unity as well as Gnome shell environment. You can manage themes in both environment using Gnome shell (of course some options will not be useful in Unity but there is a dedicated application for Unity Desktop – MyUnity).

The tutorial explains installing WIndow/GTK themes as well as about icon themes (although some icons/themes are available via PPA).

Installing Gnome 3 Themes in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

#1. Download && Extract the theme packages you want to install.

Download Zukitwo Theme

Then extract the archive and select the theme directories. such as Zukito, Zukito-Dark etc.

installing Gnome themes

#2. Move the selected theme directories to ~/.themes directory.

#3. Then start the Gnome Tweak Tool or MyUnity Application. If you haven’t install any of theme (Learn more about the Ubuntu 12.04 Tweaking Tools) – then execute –


sudo apt-get install myunity

or install Gnome Tweak Tool or Advanced Gnome Settings (if you prefer Gnome Shell) utility –

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Change Gnome themes

Now, the select the theme – windows + GTK theme – Zukito or whatever theme you are installing – should be listed there. It will instantly update the theme.

Installing Gnome 3 Icons Themes in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

If you want to install Faenza or Faience Theme then the best way to install – is to install it from the PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tiheum/equinox
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install faenza-icon-theme

Installing Other Icon Themes (not available through PPA)

Just like Gnome 3 themes, First Download the icon theme (Faenza Cupertino Icon Theme) – Then copy the icon directory (extracted) to ~/.icons and select the icon theme from MyUnity or Gnome Tweak Tool.


Install Precise Tweak (New Ubuntu Tweak) in Ubuntu 12.04 from PPA

Precise Tweak is the new name of Ubuntu Tweak, a popular application for customizing Ubuntu Desktop. It’s a very popular tool among the desktop users because it allows them to configure/customize their desktop without any hassle (from a simple and easy to use graphical interface).

It provides a lot of options to customize a lot of things. Now, the project has moved to Launchpad (open source project hosting platform, very popular for debian and Ubuntu related projects). So a stable PPA is available for Precise Tweak app. Some of the most important features include – theme options, admin options (for managing packages/applications), Janitor (for removing unwanted packages), login page, etc.


Installing Precise Tweak (a.k.a Ubuntu Tweak) in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

Here are few more snapshots exploring various features of Precise Tweak –


Customizing Themes –


That’s All. Enjoy :)

Precise Tweak (New Ubuntu Tweak)

How to Tweak Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (precise pangolin) has released. If you’ve been using Unity desktop from the beginning then you might have noticed a lot of improvements (in Unity Interface). Gnome shell also seems better then it was before.

Anyway, after installing few basic things in Ubuntu 12.04  – now it’s time to tweak various settings/options according to your need. Many things has changed a lot in Ubuntu 12.04 e.g Customizing theme is now much harder as compare to older version of Ubuntu (e.g in 10.04, it was much simpler with GNOME 2.3).

Applications for Tweaking Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

1. Precise Tweak – The new version of  ‘Ubuntu Tweak’

Precise Tweak is the new version of Ubuntu Tweak. Ubuntu Tweak was very popular in older version of Ubuntu (with GNOME 2.* Desktop). Now, they have released the new version – suitable for newer version of Ubuntu i.e 12.04. It is a very feature rich application that allow you to customize a lot of things including – Theme, Login Settings, Common Administrative Tasks, Applications Settings (handlers), PPA etc. So using Precise Tweak, it’s very easy to customize Ubuntu 12.04, and it’s Fun :)

Precise Tweak (New Ubuntu Tweak)

In short, it’s a must have application for every one. To install Precise Tweak, simply execute the following commands –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

2. MyUnity

MyUnity is a simple application for tweaking Unity Desktop settings. It has lot of options to configure Unity such as Launcher settings, Desktop icons, Font settings, Themes, Panel etc. So it’s recommended if Unity is your primary desktop.


Installing MyUnity in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

In 12.04 LTS, MyUnity has been included in official package repository so you don’t need to add any external PPA. Open a terminal and execute –

sudo apt-get install myunity

3. Gnome Tweak Tool

Gnome Tweak Tool is recommended specially for those who use Gnome Shell Interface in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. It allows you to configure themes, fonts, gnome shell extensions, etc. So it’s required for those who want to tweak Gnome Shell Interface.

gnome tweak tool

How to install Gnome Tweak Tool in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Open a terminal and execute (or you could use your preferred way of installing new things such as from Synaptic Package Manager) –

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

4. Unsettings


Unsettings is a cool app for customizing unity settings, recommended for those who loves Unity shell in Ubuntu 12.04. You can easily change panels, dash, icons, themes, fonts, launcher, menu and other settings – without much hassle. To install Unsettings, simply execute the commands (it’s not there in system package repository, so you are recommended to install using the official PPA) –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:diesch/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unsettings

Alternative Desktop Environments for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS – Precise Pangolin uses Unity Interface as the default user interface. For any reasons you don’t like Unity (although Unity has improved a lot – so you may want to try cool keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to get the full experience of Unity) then don’t be panic – there are other desktop options are available for you – you just need to try out and choose one.

If you didn’t like the Unity from first day then you could install other flavors of Ubuntu (instead of the default one) – called as Ubuntu derivatives. But basically they are all same – the only difference is the set of applications, installed by default.

Unity Desktop in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Alternative Window Managers (Desktops)

Here are few cool alternatives – Gnome Shell and KDE are as sophisticated as Unity while XFCE, LXDE and Openbox are lightweight/simple desktop environments for the users who wants to get things done very fast (without the unnecessary clutter).

1. Gnome Shell


Gnome shell and Unity both are based on GNOME 3 core but they have totally different look. Gnome Shell is also very popular and many distribution uses it as the default UI. To install Gnome Shell on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, simply type the command –

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

You are also recommended to install gnome tweak tool, for customizing advanced options for Gnome desktop.

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

2. KDE


KDE is a qt based desktop environment that provides a simple and easy to use Desktop environment. Since KDE looks very similar to Windows (prior to 8) it suits well to the users coming from windows. Due to the recent changes in Gnome, KDE has become the default choice for many Ubuntu users.

sudo apt-get install kde-standard


Xfce Desktop

XFCE is a simple and easy to use desktop, very well suitable for those who are tired of those bloated desktops. It is fast, it uses less resources and allow you to focus totally on your computing tasks instead of eye-candy.

sudo apt-get install xfce4


Lxde Desktop

LXDE i.e Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, as the name suggest, it’s lightweight, simple, fast (and energy saving). It has been designed for optimal use of resources, so it’s well suitable for low hardware resources.

Install LXDE in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

sudo apt-get install lxde

5. Openbox


Openbox is another lightweight window manager, optimized for speed and simplicity. it’s highly configurable, you can customize the every bits of the desktop, you can even create a new way to interact(use/control) with your desktop. You can also run it inside GNOME or KDE.

Install Openbox in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

sudo apt-get install openbox

6. Gnome Classic

Gnome Classic is a GNOME 3 desktop trying to simulate the look/layout of GNOME 2 desktop.

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

CrunchBang – GNU/Linux distro for speed ‘n’ simplicity

CrunchBang Linux – is a debian based GNU/Linux distribution that is based on a very simple and efficient (and lightweight) window manager – Openbox. CrunchBang uses Debian as a package base (similar to the Ubuntu way) so if you are familiar with any debian based distro such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint then you can get started with CrunchBang  in no time. CrunchBang focuses on simplicity and speed (obviously, it uses Openbox instead of heavy desktop such as Gnome or KDE).


Why should you try CrunchBang ?

  • Speed – it chooses Openbox, thunar (file manager) and other lightweight programs that just works.
  • Simplicity – since it’s a debian compatible distro – all your debian things will also work here (e.g apt-get or aptitude utility)
  • Ease of use – it comes with all the basic stuffs that a new user would want – so it’s beginner friendly.
  • easy to customize – after all, it’s a GNU/Linux distribution so it doesn’t seem so surprising.

So CrunchBang seems to be a great distribution for the power users or programmers or those who prefer speed and simplicity over the bloated/complicated features.

Download and Install CrunchBang Linux

CrunchBang is available for both 32 bit and 64 bit architectures, and the installation process is quite similar (you can try it without installing but it would be better if you install it on your hard disk).

Download CrunchBang Linux ISO