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5 Gorgeous Examples Of Truly Customized Linux Desktops

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.

This is just gorgeous

/u/EmpressNoodle

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

Retro-tastic pixel animation!

Catvert

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

Talk about color that pops!

/u/EmpressNoodle

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.

3: Flurry

Original Post | Secondary Post

A screenshot from the upcoming Flurry Desktop Environment

Noah_the-Blob

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.

At first glance you’d have no idea this was running on top of Ubuntu 18.04. Oh, and if you’re a fan of tiled window managers jump immediately to this post which showcases what his CSS/Javascript plugin can pull off. Pay attention to how crisp the fonts look. Also, check out where the minimize/maximize buttons are. I never knew I needed them running down the side of a window until now. Look at this. Look at it!

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

Dear Diary, a beautiful paper theme

addy-fe

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

Modern Yellow theme

mojo-mastur

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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