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Revision as of 21:07, 28 December 2008 by Danielsmw (talk | contribs) (Edited the gnome-themes-extra install process, need to do KDE.)

Fedora allows you to customize the "look and feel" of your desktop environment. All of the settings that determine the appearance of your desktop are referred to collectively as a theme.

Changing the Theme

Most desktop environments, including GNOME and KDE, allow you to install new themes to tweak the appearance of the desktop. The process for installing a theme varies for each desktop. The process for installing themes under GNOME and KDE are found below, but most desktop environments include installation instructions in their own documentation.


To change the desktop theme, choose System > Preferences > Look and Feel > Appearance. The Theme Preferences window appears:

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Customizing themes.png

To change the theme, select one from the list, the theme will be applied automatically.

By default, Fedora uses the Nodoka theme in GNOME. However, Fedora's repositories include many other themes that you can install.

Additional GNOME themes can be installed from the gnome-themes-extra package.

Here is how to install gnome-themes-extra using Add/Remove Software in the Gnome Desktop Environment.

Click System > Administration > Add/Remove Software. This will open the Add/Remove Software application.

In the [Search Box] with the binoculars icon, type:


Next, click the [Find] button. The message "Querying" appears in the lower left corner.

Tick the box next to gnome-themes-extra. The message "Downloading repository information" appears in the lower left corner. The window area below the list of packages contains additional information about gnome-themes-extra.

Select any additional packages to install or remove at this time by changing tick boxes next to the package name.

Finally, click the [Apply] button. This starts the gnome-themes-extra installation process and concurrently installs or removes any additional packages where you modified the tick box. Follow any prompts to install additional packages.

gnome-themes-extra is now installed on your computer, and these additional themes can be selected for use using the Appearance program described above.

Another way to install the gnome-themes-extra application is to use the command line.

Click Applications > System Tools> Terminal to open the command line.


su -c 'yum install gnome-themes-extra'

You will be prompted for the computer's root password. Type in the root password and press 'Enter'. You will not see the password as you type. The terminal will start giving information about the application, and end with Is this ok [y/N]:.



The terminal downloads the necessary files and completes the installation of gnome-themes-extra.


By default KDE uses Plastik as its theme, with many more available from

To change the them, click KMenu > Applications > Control Center. When the Control Center window appears expand the Appearence & Themes item and click [Theme Manager] .

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Customizing kdeControlCenter.png

To change the theme, select one from the list and click the [Apply] button at the bottom of the window.

Additional icons and themes can be downloaded for KDE by searching in Pirut for kdeartwork-icons and kdeartwork or

su -c 'yum install kdeartwork-icons kdeartwork

Changing the Background


To change the background image on your desktop, right-click on an empty area of the desktop, and select the Change Desktop Background option. The Desktop Background Preferences window appears. To change your desktop background, choose a new image form the list. You can add your own images by clicking Add Wallpaper.

To set a color or gradient, select No Wallpaper. Then change the color under Desktop Colors.

Another way to change the desktop background is to choose System > Preferences > Desktop Background from the menu panel.


To change the background in KDE, right click and empty area of the desktop, and select the Configure Desktop option. When the Configure KDesktop window appears, you can select a new background image from the drop down, or use your own by clicking the Open File icon next to the drop down.

You can also change the desktop background by clicking KMenu > Applications > Control Center. When the Control Center window appears expand the Appearence & Themes item and click Background.

Customizing File Browsing Behavior

By default, Fedora uses the Nautilus file manager, which opens a new window each time you open a folder. You can change this behavior to use one window with [Forward] and [Back] buttons.

To change this, double-click on Computer on the desktop, click Edit and then Preferences. You can also select Places > Computer > Edit > Preferences from the menu panel. Click the Behavior tab and click on the box next to the text Always open in browser windows.

To install a program that modifies several aspects of using Nautilus. Install Gtweakui which enables you to modify your GNOME desktop quickly and painlessly.

Applications > Add/Remove Software then searching for gtweakui will provide the program to install. The program's location can be found under System > Preferences


The Compiz Fusion Project brings 3D desktop visual effects that improve usability of the X Window System and provide increased productivity though plugins and themes contributed by the community giving a rich desktop experience.

There may be problems with running Compiz Fusion if you do not have a 3D capable video card

The Fedora Project does not enable Compiz Fusion by default and it therefore will need to be installed.

To install Compiz Fusion you will need to load Pirut by going to the Applications > Add/Remove Software, click on the Search tab and type compiz-gnome or compiz-kde depending on which desktop you have.

When Compiz Fusion has been installed you can launch the program by selecting System > Preferences > Look and Feel > Desktop Effects


Installing GDesklets in Fedora requires you to open Pirut which is located at Applications > Add/Remove Software then going to the Search tab and searching for gdesklets.

When searching for Gdesklets in Pirut you will come across a few packages:


GDesklets is the program that needs to be installed and the other programs listed are the plugins. The example of setting up GDesklets will use the gdesklets-goodweather plugin. With that in mind you will need to install both GDesklets and the GDesklets-goodweather plugin.

You can install using the following command in the terminal.

su -c 'yum install gdesklets-calendar gdesklets'

When the software is installed you can access GDesklets by going to Applications > Accessories > Gdesklets. This will load up a program with all available plugins. Select the uncategorized category and double-click GoodWeather Display.

After a few moments the the desklet will appear on the desktop and allow you to move it to a preferred location on the desktop.

Where you initially place it is not important. The desklet can be moved at any time by right-clicking on the desklet and choosing move desklet

To configure the the weather gdesklet, right-click and select configure desklet. A dialog will appear with general settings. Modifying the location can be done by going to . At the very top of the website is a search box for local weather information. Type in the location. After searching the code for the location will be found in the url. For example, Perth, Australia weather is the following link: .

To use that information, extract the location code: ASXX0089 and enter it into the weather desklet and select [Close] button. The weather information will be available after the next update interval.

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Customizing gdesklets-weather.png

To get additional plugins rather than only three please visit
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