I am a KDE fan. Besides the eye-candy, I love the KDE apps. They are much better at functionality than their Gnome counterparts, e.g-> Brasero in Gnome has caused a lot of burn failures, whereas K3b is just perfect. Gnome just gets in your way of doing things. Anyway, this article is about what I did with my default Slackware install to make it more beautiful. Before I proceed let me tell you, I will be using Slackware 13.0 with vbatts KDE4.3.1 packages, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you if you are using any other KDE version!

What changes are we going to make?

1. Change the kicker menu background to slack logo.

2. Change KDM to a beautiful Slackware KDM. [Gloxyslack]

3. Change Kwin to support Aurorae theme Engine.

4. Compile a few nice plasmoids.

5. Change the default lilo.

6. Speed up boot process. [Already covered!]

7. Custom kernel boot logo.

All these steps are really not that difficult for a slacker to do him/herself. I just wanted to put down what I did so that it helps someone in need of a quick tutorial, plus it’s always good to have everything around together for quick reference. Right, let’s get down to business.

Step 1: Changing kicker background

Please note, I couldn’t edit the kicker background by this method i KDE4.2.4, so you may have to hand edit some file. Either you Google and find out what, or wait for me to look into it. For KDE4.3.1+ users: right click on the Kmenu icon->Unlock widgets->Right click again->Application Launcher Settings->Click on the KDE icon and browse to select a new picture.

I’d suggest this: Slackware SVG Logo

Step 2: Changing the KDM

A few days ago when I had done my first slack 13.0 install I came accross this awesome cool Slackware KDM theme in KDE-Looks, unfortunately the links are dead now. I didn’t have the file with me and I had to fresh install slack. Thanks to a fellow Slacker “sahko”, who mailed me the KDM theme. So here it is: Gloxyslack.

Download it, no need to extract. Open System settings->Advanced tab->Login Manager [give your root password]->Theme tab->Install new theme->Browse and select the Gloxyslack theme.

Step 3: Aurorae KWin Engine

This replaces the boring old white oxygen window decoration into a total eye-candy! First download the Aurorae Theme Engine Source Code.

Now follow this:

tar xvf source-code-file-name.tar.gz
cd aurorae/
mkdir build
cd build/
cmake ../ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`kde4-config --prefix`
su -c "make install"
su -c "kbuildsycoca4"

Now goto System settings->Appearance->Windows->From Window Decorations drop down List select Aurorae Decoration Theme Engine->Get new themes and have fun! I suggest try out “Ghost” and “KDust” themes!

Step 4: Compile plasmoids

First is daisy plasmoid , a cool circular media controller / application launcher. Get it from here and compile it the same way you had compiled Aurorae Engine. You can also check out YasP and YaWP.

You know how to add them, just use “add widgets” by right clicking on desktop!

Step 5: Cool lilo theme

Well the default Slackware Lilo is so classy that I didn’t want to change it for a long time, but then I came across a few good ones and thought of changing the default theme. So get the two Lilo themes I uploaded from here. Extract the zip file. Go to the Lilo3 folder and:

# cp lilo.bmp /boot

# nano /etc/lilo.conf

Now change the values of the following lines with these values:

bitmap = /boot/lilo.bmp
bmp-colors = 0,255,127,255,0,0
bmp-table = 120p,170p,1,15,17
bmp-timer = 255p,431p,255,0,0

Save and exit nano and run “lilo”.

Step 6: Speed up booting

Follow this guide.

Step 7: Custom kernel boot logo.

Follow this guide.

If you have some other ideas, please do share!

Have fun! 🙂