How to Make Your GNOME Desktop Even Cooler




This is my first Instructable so please be kind.
GNOME is already very cool and has great features but it is possible to add a few more cool more or less usefull features. I want to show you how you can:
1. Use Nautilus Actions to add actions like "Open as Root" to your context menu (The menu that appears at right click.
2. How to configure whether to show or to hide the Icons for "Computer", "Trash", "Network" and "Home"
3. Show several things when you start a Terminal
4. Get an alternative menu
5. Get another menu

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Step 1: Nautilus Actions

To use Nautilus Actions you must install it first. The package is called "nautilus-actions" install it with Synaptic or by typing "sudo apt-get install nautilus-actions" in your terminal. Go to "System/Preferences/Nautilus Actions Configuration" and something like Image 2 will appear. Now you can add Actions. You can either write your own actions or download some. Here is a tutorial how to write actions: > click <. To download actions go to: > click <.
For example we will create an action to open a terminal with the current directory as working directory.
Fill in the values as shown in picture 3 and 4. Now it should look like image 5. To import simply download an action like "config_4899e396-b50a-42c0-a6d7-976a2bb1c59b.schemas". Now click "Import/Export", click the button "..." and browse to your *.scheme file. Now it should look like the last image.

Step 2: GCONF: Show or Hide Icons for Home, Computer, Network, Trash

Type "gconf-editor" to start the GConf Editor. Click "apps" then "nautilus" then "desktop" . Now it should look like the second pic.

Now you can check:

computer_icon_visible which shows the menu "Computer" where you can manage your different storages.
home_icon_visible which is a link to /home/user
network_icon_visible which opens network:./// in Nautilus
trash_icon_visible which shows trash
volumes_visible shows the external storage devices on your desktop

The Icons should immediately appear on your Desktop.

Step 3: .bashrc: Execute Commands When You Start a Terminal

To show something up in your Terminal when you start it you have to write it in your .bashrc. The commands in .bashrc will be executed every time you start your Terminal. I recommend you to leave the standard things in your .bashrc unless you know what you are doing. However if you delete something in bashrc your "ls" command would show no coloured entries or something but it wouldn´t damage your system. To print something just append " echo "something" ". Here are a few examples what you can do:

1. Print "Hello daniel" (or your username mine is daniel):
echo "Hello $USER"
results in:
Hello daniel
2. Let Tux say something:
cowthink -f tux "something"
3. Print a quote
4. Let tux say a qoute:
fortune | cowthink -f tux

Step 4: Gimmie a New Menu !

"gimmie" is in the ubuntu universe sources. ou can either install it via synaptic or from your terminal by typing "sudo apt-get install gimmie". Now right-click on a panel and select "Add to Panel". Then select gimmie and click ok. Now you have a new Menu looking like picture 2. Picture 3 is a screenshot of the openend panel "Linux".

Step 5: Circular Apps Menu

To use Circular Apps Menu you must enable compiz.
You can download a deb package from here Install it by double-clicking on the downloaded deb. Now yo can start CAM by typing "circular-main-menu" in your Terminal. You can also create a starter on your panel like you have added gimmie to your panel. but this time you don´t click gimmie but "Custom Application Starter". Fill out as shown in Image 2.

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    12 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 4

    tried what you said - "sudo apt-get install gimmie" does not exist in synaptic or apt-get, any ides?

    Great Tutorial, the cowthink was fun to play with.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4


    unfortunately this tutorial is pretty obsolete now. Gimmie doesn't seem to be maintained or developed any more. I hope you can enjoy the other things which still work.

    What do you need in Vista ? English is not my native language but I guess:
    My ubaunto looks so pimp. = My Ubuntu looks bad ?
    The cool thing about Ubuntu (Or Linux) is that you can change nearly everything. If you tell me your problem more exactly I could probably find a solution.
    greetz Daniel

    homunkolossx z i t

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    If you could specify your problem(s) I would be able to help you. What are you trying to do ? Where do you run into trouble ? If doesnt fit to this instructable please send you problem to me via PM.

    mfg Daniel


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    hate to revive an old post but pimp usually means cool or awsome. and for his second thing you cant game in ubuntu =(


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hey! I started a Ubuntu Group, and I would love if you joined. Thanks! -Ken