Customize Your PCLinux

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Update your system

The update is simple and straight, it updates everything installed on the system.

1. Open the Synaptic Package Manager. Login with your root password. 2. Hit the Reload button to make sure all packets are loaded, the hit the Mark all Updates. 3. Then Apply, and Apply again to confirm. It now receives the new packages and install the updates.

This will take a while the first time, depending on your Internet speed.

4. When the installation is finished you should reboot your system.

Look and feel

PCLinuxOS use the KDE Desktop as default. You can install the Gnome or xface Desktop from the synaptic package administration tool if you wish. You can customize almost everything, backgrounds, windows, icons, buttons, styles, headlines and much more. Go to the KDE Control Center (PC-menu ==> Configuration) and choose the menu Look and Feel. Here you can modify the look and feel of your desktop to your liking.

Time, language and keyboard settings

If you want have system wide settings you should do it in the PCLinuxOS Control Center (PCC), not in the KDE Control Center. In this way you will make the changes for all users. In the Control Center (PCC) choose System and you will find the menus for Time and Language settings. If you need to change the keyboard you can do this under the menu Hardware.

Change the Wallpaper/Background

In the KDE Control Center, select Appearance and Themes >> Background. There should be many more background wallpapers installed now. Cycle through them and choose one that you prefer. The dark backgrounds are easier on the eyes than light ones…especially if you are staring at the screen for hours each day.

Choosing a Cursor

In KDE Control Center, Click on Peripherals >> Mouse. Next, select the Cursor Theme tab. There you can choose from the list that suits you and select it. Click the “Apply” button and if told you have to restart KDE for changes to take place…click “Ok”. Logout and back in and take a look at your new cursors!

The Icons

Now it’s time to choose the all important Icon Set. In the KDE Control Center, select Appearance and Themes >> Icons. There are many icon sets you can choose from. Cycle through each of these hitting the apply button to see the visible changes. Remember, you can open up your Home in Konqueror to see the changes better in a window.

You’ve Got Style!

Next up we get to choose the menu style. Go to the KDE Control Center >> Appearance and Themes >> Style. Here you can choose the style you like. There are some advanced settings you can mess around with if you’d like… Don’t forget that you can tweak the effects and toolbar settings also by using the tabs inside the Style menu.

Theme Section

It’s an icon set, style, window decoration, wallpaper, and font schema rolled into one. You may choose to install something from or use one of the themes that is present in the control center.

Decorate those Windows

Next up on our customization journey is the Window Decoration. This is the top bar of each window that allows you to minimize, maximize, or close a window. You can choose from one of many different types of decorations. My favorite seemed to flow with my choosing of Comix cursor theme and the Comix menu as well as my choice of primary icon set…and that favorite is Smooth Blend. I think it compliments the various components I’ve elected to go with thus far. When you’re all done choosing we’ll finish up with the splash screen and KDM screen.

Make a Splash

To change the logon splash, go into the KDE Control Center >> Appearance and Themes >> Splash Screen. There are many splash screens you can choose from on that are pretty simple to install using the “add” button. You can also “test” each theme out using the test button.

Setting up Fonts

Open up the KDE Control Center. Click on Appearance and Themes >> Fonts. If you own a copy of Microsoft Windows and still have the license information, you can install the “webcore-fonts” package which will give you some more fonts to choose from. Experiment around…open up your Home directory in Konqueror so you can change fonts and hit the apply button which will show the changes you’ve made. Having a Home directory up will show you the changes you’ve made to titlebars, menu’s, and icon text. Once you’ve found the best combination that you like (I recommend Verdana for standard fonts and for something interesting…Babelfish) click apply and we’ll move on to the next area of customization.

KDM Theme

In the KDE Control Center select System Administration. In this section, you’ll need to switch to Administrator Mode by clicking on the corresponding button and supplying your root password. Select KDM Theme Manager and click on the “Administrator Mode” button. From there, select or install a theme of your choosing and click “Ok”. You can find many of these themes also at Experiment around and see which one you like.

The Login Manager

In the same area, system administration, inside the KDE Control Center…you’ll find the section titled “Login Manager”. Go there and once again click the administrator mode button and supply your root password. After this, tweak your fonts to match those that you chose in the fonts section above by clicking on the “font” tab and selecting them. You can check out the other tabs and adjust how you see fit and even enable autologin in this section though doing it in the PCLinuxOS Control Center is a bit easier and more central for management. when you are through, click “Ok”.

For additional info