Changing GNOME preferences

There are many ways to change the behavior, look, and feel of your GNOME desktop. Most GNOME preferences can be modified from windows you can launch from the System menu (click Preferences to see features to change).

Unlike earlier versions of GNOME for Fedora and Red Hat Linux, boundaries between preferences relating to the window manager (Metacity), file manager (Nautilus), and the GNOME desktop itself have been blurred. Preferences for all of these features are available from the Preferences menu.

The following items highlight some of the preferences you might want to change:

• Accessibility — If you have difficulty operating a mouse or keyboard, the Keyboard Preferences window lets you adapt mouse and keyboard settings to make those devices more accessible. From the Preferences menu select Personal ^ Assistive Technologies.

Then select Preferred Applications, Keyboard Accessibility, or Mouse Accessibility to improve accessibility for those features. Figure 3-12 shows the Assistive Technologies Preferences window.

Figure 3-12: Set keyboard responses from the Assistive Technologies Preferences window.

Desktop Background — Choose System ^ Preferences ^ Look and Feel ^ Appearance. From the Background tab you can choose a solid color or an image to use as wallpaper. If you choose to use a solid color (by selecting the blank wallpaper in the upper left corner of the Wallpaper box), click the Color box, choose a color from the palette, and select OK.

To use wallpaper for your background, open a folder containing the image you want to use. Then drag the image into the Wallpaper pane on the Background tab. You can choose from a variety of images in the /usr/share/nautilus/patterns and /usr/share/backgrounds/tiles directories. Then, choose to have the image as wallpaper that is tiled (repeated pattern), centered, scaled (in proportion), or stretched (using any proportion to fill the screen).

Screensaver — You can choose from dozens of screensavers from the Screensaver window. Select Random Screensaver to have your screensaver chosen randomly from those you mark with a check, or select one that you like from the list to use all the time. Next, choose how long your screen must be idle before the screensaver starts (default is 10 minutes). (If you only see a few screensavers, you might want to install the xscreensaver-extras and xscreensaver-gl-extras packages.)

NOTE: The gnome-screensaver replaced xscreensaver as the default screensaver application as of Fedora 5. While gnome-screensaver seems more stable, xscreensaver includes more flexibility in configuring your screensavers. To use xscreensaver, disable gnome-screensaver, install xscreensaver-base package, and type xscreensaver-demo (to configure your screensaver).

• Theme — You can choose to have an entire theme of elements be used on your desktop. A desktop theme affects not only the background, but also the way that many buttons and menu selections appear. There are only a few themes available for the window manager (Metacity) in the Fedora and RHEL distributions. You can get a bunch of other Metacity themes from http://themes.freshmeat.net (click Metacity).

Choose System ^ Preferences ^ Look and Feel ^ Appearance, and then select the Theme tab. From there you can select from a handful of themes, or click Customize to modify the current theme. The screen appearance changes immediately as you click the new theme. If you download a new theme, click Install to browse to the theme in your file system and select to install it.

Continue reading here: Managing removable media

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