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5 ways to make your Linux desktop look great

1. Tweak Linux desktop utilities

Start tweaking the look of the Linux desktop by changing the main desktop utilities. There are many such applications, but I looked at only the 3 most popular: File manager, Window manager and Sidebar or Panel.


File Manager

Whether you're looking for something with a different interface, or simply something more functional than GNOME files (formerly known as Nautilus), you have a few options.  


Konqueror, Midnight Commander, or the Dolphin KDE tool are all powerful alternatives. However, if you are looking for something as simple as a GNOME file, try Thunar or PCManFM.


Window Manager

Changing the actual windows in your Linux distribution is also an option. The position and appearance can be adjusted with a new Window Manager. Choose from Compiz, Metacity, Kwin, Mutter, and more.  wuxiaworld



While a new Window Manager will allow you to tweak your panel, you can also try a macOS-style dock bar. This can be done using Plank (this comes with some dock themes), or Cairo-Dock (also known as Glx-Dock).


2. Change desktop theme


Other changes can be made to your Linux desktop. One of the built-in options is to change the desktop theme.


For example, you can easily change the desktop background image. In Ubuntu, use the Appearance setting to do this. You can change the icons and fonts (see below) after changing the background image.


Note, however, that the way you change your desktop can affect your mood and even your productivity. While a light-colored desktop theme can cheer you up, a darker theme is suitable for gaming PCs.



3. Install new icons and fonts


Various alternative icon packs are available for Linux, often themed to give a particular feel. For example, if you want to recreate the feel of Android's Material Design, you can import the 'flat' icons similar to the Luv icons theme.


Finding the right icon pack can take some time. Usually, the first icon pack you find won't match your planned desktop theme, although it looks great on its own. Choose the right package, though, and you'll have a great new look and feel for your Linux desktop.


How to add new fonts to Linux

If you're changing the look of your PC, it's a good idea to switch to a new font. But it doesn't always work. The new desktop font should be clear and subtle. Some fonts often make the desktop too cramped and ugly.


You can find new fonts online at sites like, a library of free, open-source fonts. No matter where you download the font, make sure it's stored in the /.fonts/ directory, which you created in your Home directory.


For detailed instructions, please refer to the article: How to install and remove fonts on Linux.


If you want to use fonts from a Windows computer, see this tutorial: How to Install Windows Fonts on Ubuntu.


4. Change the look of your desktop with Conky


Conky settings and changing to its default screen gave great results. Although ostensibly a system monitoring tool, Conky also supports a number of stunning themes and widgets. This allows you to change the look of your desktop, adding stunning new elements to a truly personal Linux environment.


Installation is very simple. Simply open a terminal and enter:


sudo apt update

sudo apt install conky-all

To run Conky, enter the command:



This will reveal the Conky version, which you can then tweak to make your desktop look better. By editing the ~ / .conkyrc file, you will get stunning desktop elements.


5. Replace existing desktop environment

If Conky doesn't give you the new look you need, it may be time to install a new desktop environment. A lot of environments are available, but you may have trouble with some as not all are compatible with all versions of Linux.


The solution isn't as scary as you might think. Although there was a time when switching to a new desktop environment was a daunting task, today it is much simpler. As long as there is a desktop version for your distro, then everything should be fine. Note that you will need to run a web search for specific details for each desktop environment.


Linux is extremely flexible in many ways. Make your desktop environment look the way you want it to, or tailor it to suit your aesthetic or productivity (or a combination of the two) goals. This is a simple and quick task.

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