One of the things I really love about using Linux is that I can customize every part of its appearance and interface functionality. One of the disappointing things about Windows 10 is that it’s ugly as hell, yet Microsoft didn’t even bother to add in the looks of previous Windows versions in the customization options. In Windows 10, people need to either buy third party UI themes or “hack” Windows to allow for homemade themes. By contrast, in Linux people can just download thousands of themes or make their own whenever they’d like.
I am using the Mate Desktop Environment, which is based on Gnome 2 and quite similar to XFCE when it comes to visual themes. There are many other Desktop Environments and Window Managers for Linux, such as KDE, Gnome 3, Unity, Fluxbox, and Enlightenment.
My personal preference of navigation is to have a full toolbar on the top of the screen. I don’t really use the desktop icons and I am not into the Mac OS style bottom toolbar, though something functionally identical is available for Linux. Here is a list of what I am using:
Things on my toolbar, from left to right:
- Menu Bar – Three menus of links to programs, files/folders, and “control panel” stuff.
- Quick Icons – File Explorer, Terminal, Firefox.
- Window List – Open windows, similar to the Taskbar in Windows.
- System Tray – Notifications, volume, etc.
- Window Pager – Choose desktops and drag/drop windows between desktops (I LOVE THIS TOOL!).
- Clock – Complete with calendar when you click it.
- Show Desktop – Quick toggle to close or open all windows on a desktop.
This is just a quick look at one of the many ways one can personalize their computer when using a GNU/Linux based operating system. Enjoy!