Chapter 8. Customize Your Desktop

Visit any car dealership and you’ll see rows upon rows of cars that all look the same except for the color. But looks can be deceiving—many of those cars are actually very different inside, in the way they’re configured and the options they come with. Some cars have leather seats; others have cloth. Some have six-cylinder engines; others have four-cylinder. Some come with the mega-bass six-CD-changer stereo system; others only have FM radio. Buyers can decide what options they want based upon their practical needs, their aesthetic preferences, and their budget.

Linux and KDE have a lot of options as well. For example, you can configure your interface to look like Windows or the Macintosh. There are a hundred different icon sets you can use. Even the look and location of the buttons that control program windows can be changed. This customization is all built-in, it’s all free (unlike the pricey options on cars!), and it’s part of what makes using Linux such a fun experience.

However, having all these options can also be confusing. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of things that you can tweak on a Linux desktop. This chapter explores some of the most popular customizations that users like to make to KDE.

Basic Customization

Perhaps the first and most basic thing you’ll want to do is change the desktop background picture. I discussed how to do this at the end of Chapter 1, but let’s revisit the configuration window where you make the change. ...

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