Updated: September 12, 2016
You all know my not so secret fetish for using CentOS as a home distro. Yes, it's never meant to be consumed in that fashion, but with the help of some extra software repos and some additional pimping, it makes for an elegant, fast and stable operating system for daily use. Plus, it's pretty.
But can it be prettier? I set about searching for the ultimate combo of icons, fonts, window decorations, and themes that would transform the KDE4 package into a supremely tasteful product, the last missing piece, with a very poetic Clancyesque title, in my larger CentOS equation. If you have no other purpose or need in life than to read articles like this, please do proceed onwards.
I decided to start with monochrome icons. I don't know why, but I find the concept rather appealing. Using the system settings menu to perform organic searches based on their rating and popularity, I found a bunch of interesting themes.
This did not work out perfectly, as the menu icons were all gone, probably because the monochrome set does not work well with white backgrounds, and one should use a dark theme. But I don't want to be using a dark theme!
I them tried glassy themes, of which there's like a million, including Glass and Diamond as the most popular options out there, in the wild world. This worked alright, but then I wasn't sure which icons to choose. Finally, I realized there was also a Faenza set for KDE, and I figured, this must be a winner. And it was, with its square look, it fits the angular nature of KDE extremely well.
Windows decorations come in all sorts of shapes and forms, and really, you have a lot of freedom here. In the end, the old Plastik is probably the best bet, as it blends flat simplicity with style, and has done so long before flat was popular.
Droid Sans are excellent fonts, and I think my first encounter was in Moblin. They were also available in Fedora for a while, but I have not seen them around that much lately. You can still find some online, but not through the system font management utility.
For those who think I haven't done too much of a shoddy work here, the ingredients for this little cocktail are as follows: Droid Sans fonts, F-Dark-KDE icons based on Faenza, Plastik decorations, and the lovely openSUSE theme, which we have used before in all sorts of KDE distributions, including Fedora. Yup.
Yes, you can use the CentOS icon for the menu.
Are you craving for more? Perhaps these will be of help:
The second guide into making CentOS 7 a perfect desktop system
But wait, how about checking out the Xfce version, too?
Samba printing on CentOS 7
Here we are, at the end of this article. It serve no purpose really. But it shows that CentOS can be as relevant, stylish, slick, and modern as any other distro. Which is even more amazing when you take into account its age, its relative conservatism, the fact it will be supported for another bunch of years, and that it still competes well and true with all the latest and greatest home distros, with infinitely more stability.
Just remember this is a server distribution, and its purpose in life is to run code and make money and whatnot. It's not there to entertain your laptop, and yet it can do that pretty well. Everything you need Linux wise is there. Including some fireworks. Maybe this article serves no higher goal, but perhaps you are ever so slightly delighted and entertained. If you have any suggestions on how CentOS can be made even more elegant, please drop me a nice and friendly line. Meanwhile, I'm off to do some more CentOS testing, maybe even on the G50 box. Stay tuned.
Oh, one more thing. We have only just begun. If you think this is the sum of all pretty, then I have a few surprises up my sleeve - wizard's sleeve, Borat style. You will need to exercise patience for a few more days or weeks, and then I shall reveal unto you. But it will be good. I guarantee that. Now, for real, stay tuned.