Adding themes to KDE

Just as with GNOME, many themes are available for the KDE desktop. Most of the distributions covered in this book are using KDE version 3.3, so I am going to focus on this version. If you are a Xandros 2.5 or Linspire 4.5 user, you are using KDE 3.1. Mandrake 10.1 folks are using KDE 3.2. However, Xandros will be updated to version 3 by the time this book is released, and Linspire will update as well soon thereafter. Plus, Linspire offers lots of themes through its Click and Run Warehouse, so see Chapter 12 for how to add them. If you have updated your Mandrake system as discussed in Chapter 12, you are also probably using KDE 3.3.

To find and add themes for KDE 3.3:

1. Point your Web browser to

2. Under Themes/Styles, click KDE>3.2.

3. Among the tabs on the top, click the choice that will sort the themes in the method you prefer.

For example, you might click Highest Rated in order to see the themes people like the most.

4. Browse and click the name of the theme you want to try.

This action takes you to the theme's page. Here, you find information about the theme, perhaps instructions on how to install it (unfortunately. there doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency here), and more. If you are nervous or have been having trouble getting themes to install, make sure to look for a theme that lists KDE 3.3 specifically. Folks feeling more adventurous might choose one for the 3.2 series. Reading the user comments can also be helpful in telling you if the theme is easy or difficult to install.

5. Scroll down to the Download link and click it.

This link is usually at the base of the initial description information. When you click, a file browser dialog box appears.

6. Browse to where you want to save the file and click Save.

The file is saved into the location you chose.

7. If the file ends in .gz, .zip, .tar.gzip, or .tar.bz2, uncompress the file.

(If you're not sure how to uncompress the file, see Chapter 12.)

The file may instead end in .kth or .ktheme. In this case, you don't need to open it up, so skip to Step 11.

8. If you had to uncompress the file, open a command line terminal.

If you don't know how to open a command line terminal, see Chapter 14.

9. Use the cd command to change into the directory containing the files you extracted.

10. Put the theme files in their proper places:

• If installation instructions appear on the item's page, follow them now.

• If no installation instructions appear and the files you created aren't .kth or .ktheme files, you should see an INSTALL or README file explaining what to do. Follow those instructions.

• If you created a .kth or .ktheme file, continue to the next step.

11. Open your KDE Control Center.

• Fedora: From the main menu, choose Control CenterO Appearances & ThemesOTheme Manager.

• Linspire: From the main menu, choose SettingsOControl PanelO Look & FeelOTheme Manager.

• Mandrake: From the main menu, choose SystemOConfigurationO Configure Your DesktopOLook & FeelOTheme Manager

• SuSE: From the main menu, choose Control CenterO Appearances & ThemesOTheme Manager.

• Xandros: From the main menu, choose Control CenterODisplayO Background.

12. If you see the theme you downloaded already there, select it and you're done! Otherwise, open your file browser (see Chapters 10 and 12) and browse to the directory you saved the theme into.

13. Drag the theme file onto the Control Center dialog box.

Your theme should now appear. Select it, and have fun trying it out!

You may find that you have to look in the various sections (Background, Colors, Window Decorations, Icons, and so on) to find all the pieces of the theme. If your Theme Manager has a theme customization section on the bottom with buttons (like Fedora's), you may have to click in each of those to find your new theme's information.

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