At this stage, we'll talk about some basic things you can do to customize your Linux installation. This includes desktop customization and installation of extra applications in few easy steps.
The desktop you are using is a KDE desktop. We will show examples of how to add widgets to your desktop, select a wallpaper and how to customize the appearance of windows and general desktop theme. The slideshow below is just an example of huge amount of possibilities of desktop designs. So don't hesitate to experiment with creating your own perfect Linux desktop.
Step 1 - Add Widgets
Start by right clicking on a blank spot on the desktop. After this, a menu appears, which allows you, for instance, to add and remove widgets from the desktop. Click on Add Widgets ...
Step 2 - Choose your Widgets
By clicking on Add Widgets ... a large number of available widgets is displayed. You can select the widgets you like and locate them on your desktop.
Step 3 - Take first steps in organizing your desktop
Fill in your desktop with widgets of your choice. As an example, we placed an analog clock, calendar and a weather forecast on our desktop.
Step 4 - Access Desktop Settings
By right clicking on your desktop you can access Desktop Settings, which allow you, for instance, to select a wallpaper for your desktop. As a wallpaper we selected Picture of the Day with an astronomical theme.
Step 5 - General impression
The general impression of the desktop is a very neatly organized workspace with a nice wallpaper, which will update daily.
Step 6 - Explore System Settings
Another tool to experiment with is System Settings. This is the KDE's control center interface. To get to System Settings go to Applications->Settings->System Settings. From this place you can further customize your workspace appearance and behavior.
Step 7 - Window Decoration
Click on Workspace Appearance in the System Settings. This will give you a possibility to change the appearance of, for instance, windows where the applications run.
Step 8 - Desktop Theme
You can also change the theme of your
workspace, which will be reflected on your desktop after clicking the
"Apply" button. Feel free to further customize your Linux desktops. You can, additionally, place shortcats of frequently used applications on your desktop or the bottom panel.
In Linux terminology, software is composed of one or more packages. The Debian installation gives you access to more than 30 000 packages making a large number of programs available. The slideshow below takes you step by step through the software installation process. As an example, we install a chess game.
Step 1 - Start Software Installation Manager
Software Installation on the Linux system is a fairly easy task. Click the bottom left button and navigate to System -> Software Management. Once you click on the Software Management menu a new window will pop up.
Step 2 - Search for a Package to be Installed
At this point, a "Software Management" tool will let you search the entire software database available to your Linux distribution. For instance, we would like to install a chess game. To do that enter the keyword "chess" and hit the search button.
Step 3 - Installation of Selected Packages
In Linux terms, software consists of one or multiple packages. Therefore, what the "Software Management" tool has returned from your "chess" search is a bunch of packages, which match your description. As you can see, there are multiple chess related programs available. For example, choose "dreamchess" to be installed by clicking on the button "install" in the "action" column. Once ready, click "Apply".
Step 4 - Package Dependencies
Any package you wish to install may have zero or more dependencies. In short, in order to install our "dreamchess" package we need to install some other packages in parallel. This job will be done by a "Software Management" tool itself so you do not have to worry about this. You can even tick "Do not confirm" radio button if you do not wish to be notified about this event anymore. Click "Continue".
Step 5 - Access Control
A regular user does not have software installation privileges by default. This is a security feature and, therefore, "Software management" tool will ask for an administrator ( root ) password. After you enter this password click "OK".
Step 6 - Package Download and Installation
At this stage, the "Software Management" tool has all necessary information to begin the package download and subsequent installation. All packages needed will be downloaded and then installed. You will be notified once the installation is completed. Your "Software Management" tool will also provide you with a launch button to start your chess program.
Step 7 - Program Start
All done! This process can be used to install more than 30 000 of packages available to your Debian Linux installation so, as you can see, there is much more to explore.