Linux Desktop – Not looking so bad…

linuxdesktop.pngOne of the reasons I have always shied away from Linux is that the desktop has always felt unpolished to me. No matter what theme I used or what font settings I used, it just didn’t feel finished.

This time around, I’ve found that much seems to have changed — at least using the Gnome desktop environment. Fonts aren’t bad at all. They aren’t near perfect yet, but not bad. I imported all my fonts from windows (oddly enough the one I found to work the best is Microsoft Sans). I then created a hybrid theme from a Linux port of Milk 2.0 and theme called Orbital. I used the Milk 2.0 port for the window border and Orbital for the controls.

I then found a nice, similar theme for Mozilla Firefox (not pictured) called Smoke. With all that in place, fonts are looking decent (not great) and my theme is looking really nice. I also found a nice desktop calendar called gdeskcal.

Wow. Linux isn’t looking bad. On top of that, there are other features I really like — multiple desktops (see bottom right), Ksnapshot (a great screenshot program), cool image previews in Nautilus (Gnome’s “finder” or “file explorer”). And with my custom wall paper featuring the logo of a site I need to revive, I’m feeling pretty good about things. Sodi Podi is the pictured illustration program that is under development for Linux. It really isn’t bad. I mocked up that small gdeskcal design in a couple minutes without too much struggle. It was a pleasant departure from the Gimp–a Photoshop clone (sorry but it is) that I just cannot get used to.

So… am I switching to Linux from OS X and Win XP. Nah… I’ve used it every day for the past few days whenever I can, but the fact still remains that it can’t run Photoshop or Illustrator CS or Flash MX 2004 and I can’t work without those programs. It still fun to play with Linux (and even get some work done) on the desktop.