Using Linux is anything but boring, especially when it comes to personalizing your OS. That extends way beyond just the ability to install multiple Desktop Environments like Budgie, Pantheon and KDE Plasma. Sure I’ve tinkered with them, tweaked the appearance a bit, installed some cool desktop widgets. But nothing prepared me for my first trip to /r/unixporn.
I repeatedly insist that Linux makes your PC feel personal again, but the level of customization and pure creative beauty on display below left my jaw on the floor, and me with a desire to learn how to accomplish what’s been done here.
Join me in a brief but drool-worthy tour of some truly unique Linux desktops.
1: Pixel Perfect
Original Post | Video demo
I must have watched Catvert’s accompanying video about 5 times, and you should too. The GIF I made doesn’t do it justice, and neither does the above screenshot.
Live wallpapers are nothing new, but seeing moody pixel-based animation with optional blur affects really makes a desktop pop. Especially when that desktop is complimented the transparency of the dock and the Papirus icon theme. Best of all this looks fairly easy to install on KDE Plasma. For all the components and links, visit this post.
Btw, Catvert uses Arch. . .
2: Mechanical Love
Original Post | Full Gallery
This user’s vision for a desktop full of dynamic color and useful information is obvious. The designer wanted to display the system’s resources (drive space, CPU usage, RAM) without the display looking busy. So they created a custom sidebar that can be toggled on or off, clickable widgets, a redesigned logout screen, a personalized homepage, and much more. If you want details about each element such as Terminal, wallpapers, icons and window manager, check out the original post.
Original Post | Secondary Post
Deepin may have some competition soon. Noah_the_Blob is taking desktop customization to new heights by designing a completely new Linux desktop environment called Flurry. It uses a custom wallpaper engine, custom window manager, a custom dock, custom icons. . . You get the picture.
If things go according to plan, he’ll have all the code uploaded to Github within the next week. It seems like an enormous undertaking for one guy, but I sure hope things go according to plan because this is downright stunning. And if he follows through and does release it as a full-fledged desktop environment, I’ll report the details here.
4: Dear Diary
Original Post | Video Demo
There’s something timeless about paper. It’s tangible. It’s personal. This simple theme — inspired by Mocca’s My Diary album — really captures that. It uses the FVWM window manager, and you can download the complete theme including wallpaper from here.
5: Modern Yellow
Original Post | Album with wallpaper
I’m not normally a fan of anything yellow (except Bumblebee obviously), but for this I’ll happily make an exception. From the angled elements and buttons in the system bar to the unique yellow or blue window padding (see it on the left?), it’s a bold splash of perfect color but done in a minimal, almost retro way.
If you’re new to the Linux world or just haven’t gone into deep customization with your desktop, I encourage you to visit /r/unixporn for inspiration. We may not be capable of designing anything like these works of art, but we’re certainly capable of installing them! It’s probably time to leave the confines of my default window managers and desktop environments and see what else is out there, eh?
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