KDE customisation

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KDE customisation

Postby heiowge » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:02 pm

Any chance of an article on creating a custom theme for KDE?

I know there are guides on how to add a theme that someone else has made, but I want to be able to customise the colours, wallpaper, icons etc and package the whole thing up as a theme if possible.

Any help?
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I'd like to see this, too, please.

Postby Bruno » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:00 pm

I'd like such an article as well. I'm getting a bit annoyed with some of the choices made for the default settings in recent releases of KDE, such font sizes, title bar layout, window decoration etc...

I've been looking around on the KDE documentation website, but information on where the master configuration files (that are copied into ~/.kde4/ upon creation of a new user) are located, the attributes each file controls and the structure of each file seems hard to find. Am I looking in the right place? I did find a tutorial on modifying the KDE software defaults http://userbase.kde.org/Tutorials/Modify_KDE_Software_Defaults, which says that the master configuration files are kept in /etc/skel/. However, openSUSE seems to want to be different and put them in /etc/kde4/. I also found more configuration files in /usr/share/kde4/ on my system. Heiowge, your mileage with Kubuntu may vary, but I'd imagine you'd strike gold in /etc/skel/. I also found something for system administrators who are managing KDE deployments at http://techbase.kde.org/SysAdmin but it seems a bit heavy going.

From my preliminary investigations, I've found the following config files pertinent, but more may be of interest:
    .kderc in ~/ which seems to contain the default fonts
    dolphinrc in ~/.kde4/share/config/ which seems to control the layout of the Dolphin window
    kwinrc in the same place that controls the title bar buttons and some window decoration settings
    oxygenrc in the same place that controls more window decoration settings and title alignment

Here are some of the changes I make after an installation:

Increase the bottom panel height to 40 pixels.
Change the desktop layout from "Desktop" to "Folder View", remove the "Desktop Folder", rearrange the icons that are now on the desktop and align them to a grid.

Set "Main Toolbar Text" to "Text Below Icons" under "Application Appearance"/"Style"
Install the set of icons from "oxygen-old.tar.bz2" under "Application Appearance"/"Icons". This tarball contains sharp rather than fuzzy artwork on the icons.
Increase just about every font size under "Application Appearance"/"Fonts"
Set "Use Style" to "Oxygen-Molecule" and "Use My KDE Fonts In GTK Apps" to "Radio Button On" under "Application Appearance"/"GTK Styles And Fonts"
Copy the three "Ozone" window decoration files from KDE 4.3 onto the new system and set "Window Decoration" to "Ozone" under "Workspace Appearance"/"Windows".
Set "Title Alignment" to "Left", set "Blend Title Bar Colors With Window Contents" to "Tick" and set "Show Stripes Next To Title" to "Tick" under "Workspace Appearance"/"Windows"/"Configure Decorations".
Set "Use Custom Titlebar Button Positions" to "Tick" and reduce the number of spacers between the "Maximise" and "Close" buttons to "1" under "Workspace Appearance"/"Windows"/"Configure Buttons".
Set "Web Browser" to "firefox" and "Email Client" to "thunderbird" under "Default Applications"

I also remove Firefox from the quick launch area on the left of the bottom panel, as it is already on the desktop, and replace it with Konsole and YaST. Also, I add the "Information" panel from "View" menu to the layout of the Dolphin Window.

Apologies for the wordiness and detail of this post, but I used to find the KDE defaults were really good choices and thus the argument about new users encountering a bewildering choice of configuration didn't really hold with me as why would they need to change a setting that was well set in the first place. Now I think that argument holds some water. Take the OSD on Amarok. Previously no fiddling was requred, now it looks bad out of the box.

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