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Tweaking Gnome Classic on LinuxMint or Ubuntu Linux

Here's how to change the look of your Ubuntu or Mint desktop that's running in Gnome Classic mode.  What happened?  In previous versions of Linux, Gnome 2.x was ultra-customizable.  It was easy to select different themes by launching the appearance applet, and then you could click the customize button and tweak it just the way you liked.  Suddenly with Gnome 3.x and the Gnome Classic fallback mode, the appearance applet is gone.  So how do you select another theme?

In LinuxMint 12 (just released), there's an applet called the Gnome tweak tool that you can find in the menu by selecting Applications - Other - Advanced Settings.  Once launched, select Theme, and you can select the themes you want to use for the Window, the GTK controls, icons, etc.  Select Fonts to change various default system fonts.

To install Gnome Classic on Ubuntu, have a look at this article:

In Ubuntu 11.10, the Gnome tweak tool is not installed by default, but you can install it easily by opening a terminal and using these commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Then you will find the Advanced Settings applet (again under Applications - Other).

Besides the Gnome Tweak Tool, you can also use the gconf editor to change the look and feel of your Gnome Classic desktop.  To install it, enter the following commands in your terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gconf-editor

Then you will find the editor under Applications - System Tools - Configuration Editor.  Once launched, you can dig around or search for various settings.  For example, you will find font and gtk control settings under desktop - gnome - interface.

One final note, to customize the menu bar (gnome-panel), hold down the ALT key, and right-click the panel.  This will bring up the panel menu, allowing you to add icons to the panel, change its background, etc.

Hope that helps!

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