Customizing The Appearance of Your Distro – Themes

So you’ve finally picked and installed the distro that’s right for you! However, are you looking at your desktop thinking that it looks a little bland? With Linux, that’s easy to fix. Just install a theme of your choice! And while you’re at it, if you prefer the Mac look, just install a dock for yourself! So here we go.


There are many themes available out there for Linux, with many of them here. If you are using KDE, then these themes will not work for you. In that case, simply use this site instead. Both sites are setup the same, so the same instructions from here on out will apply to both KDE and the other Desktop Environments.

On the sidebar you can see various categories of themes. Out of all of them, you only need to worry about the Gnome Shell themes, the GTK3 themes, the cursor, and the icons categories. The Gnome Shell themes determine how your plain desktop looks (such as the taskbar and menu). The GTK3 themes determine how your applications and programs look. The cursor themes, well, define how your cursors appear, and you icon themes determine how your icons look. Just browse the themes until you find some you like. When you do, simply scroll down and click on Files.


Now. just find the one closest to the top that ends with .deb. (Unless you are using Arch Linux, OpenSuse, or some other distro not based on Debian. If you chose a distro from the article BEST LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS FOR NEW USERS, then you need only worry about choosing something other than a .deb file if you are using OpenSuse). Once you click it, you should be prompted to download it. After you do this, simply create a folder in HOME called “.themes“.


Now just drag and drop your downloaded theme into there. Lastly, search for theme on your Linux distro. Open it up and you should be presented with options to change your theme. Inside, your downloaded theme will be available to set as your new theme.

If Your Theme is not There:

If your theme is not there, don’t panic. Just re-open your .themes folder you recently made and go inside your downloaded theme.


From there, you should see a few more folders. just copy any folders with the word “Shell” in them and any that are named the same as the downloaded theme. Then, paste them in your .themes folder.


Lastly, attempt to choose your theme once again. It should now show up along with the other default themes.

Good luck!

How to Install Your Distro

The installation method is extremely easy actually. All you need to do is find the website that features your distro of choice. From there, there should be a place to download it. It will begin to download as an .iso file. Once this is done, you just need to write it to a disk or flash drive. There are many free programs out there to help you do just that, but the simplest one by far is Etcher. Once you download it, just open it up.

From here on, it is pretty self explanatory. Just click on Select Image to select your .iso file you downloaded.
Now, click Select Drive to select your flash drive or CD to store the .iso on.
Lastly, click Flash! to write the .iso to your selected drive or CD.

And now you are done! Almost.

Windows 10 has a built in feature that inadvertently prohibits you from booting your computer into the distro you have chosen. However, it is simple to disable. Just reboot your computer with your install media still connected, and press one of the following keys as it begins to boot back up. (If nothing happens the first time you press the key, don’t worry. Just keep pressing it until something does happen).

Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, and Acer – F2

Asus – F10

HP – either F1 or F10. It just depends on the model.

This should have brought you into your BIOS. No matter what computer you have, there should be an option to Disable Secure Boot somewhere in there. All secure boot does is keep Windows secure from the threat of something other than it booting along with you when you start your computer. Since we actually want this to happen, we must disable it. Now that that is done, simply exit your BIOS. There should be a button labeled something like “Save and Exit”. Click that. Your computer should begin to restart itself. As it restarts, will need to perform one more trick since we want to place your USB or disk to be the device used to boot up your computer. Thus, in the same manner you entered the BIOS earlier, you must press one of the following keys to select your boot options.

Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, and Acer – F12

Asus – ESC

HP – F9

This should bring up a simple list, or menu, of things your computer can boot from. You will want to use the Up and Down arrows to move from one option to another. What you are looking for is your USB or CD that you stored your distro on.  Once you find it, simply press Enter to boot from it. Now the hard part is done!

An installer should automatically start after you finish booting into your distro. Just follow the instructions within and you will be all ready to enjoy Linux!