Orange and Black

April 20, 2008

To my surprise I have been using the same desktop setup (wallpaper, themes, icons, fonts, panels, etc.) for nearly two months now. Though I have occasionally gone for very different colours or a different window manager, I generally returned quickly to Pekwm and the following setup:

This environment turned out to be nearly perfect for my needs. It is aesthetically pleasing but not distracting. There are no icons at the bottom (or top) of the screen attracting my attention, and all the colours go well together, even with OpenOffice, the application I rely on most for my work.

The wallpaper is Golden, by Miemo. The Pekwm theme is a slight modification of Mire v2-orange by Lyrae/Thrynk. The Gtk theme is my own creation, though it is heavily based on MurrinaSunshine. The fonts are Arial Rounded MT 9.

The icons are my own modification of the Area O (areo) icon set, originally created by the great Heylove. They were ported, (without heylove’s consent, I believe) to Gtk, but are no longer visible on I think they are still included in some theme archive over there, but can’t remember which.

I changed the colour of the theme to match my Gtk and Pekwm theme, and made a few other modifications. The original icons set used a single icon for all file types — very impractical! — so I’ve added icons for each mimetype, indicating what file extension they have. Since the icon set is also incomplete, I’ve added a few icons to have a more uniform style. I don’t own the rights to these icons, and have only modified them for personal use, so unfortunately I can’t pass them on (I am one of those strange people that take copyrights seriously :-))

The panel at the bottom of the screen is pypanel with netwmpager on the right. The applications running in the second screenshot are (clockwise, starting from the upper left corner): the wonderful file manager Thunar, Orage, Gmpc (my favourite mpd client, which is surprisingly light), and Xfce4-terminal. At the top of the screen you can see dmenu in action.

There are a few minor disadvantages to this setup. (1) I don’t have a system tray. I don’t want to use pypanel’s tray, as the icons don’t go well with the rest of the style. If I really want/need a system tray I generally load docker in the harbour, though I have learned to work without a system tray most of the time. (If there were a text-based system tray (ttm-style), I might try to integrate it into my desktop, but I don’t believe something like that exists). (2) I still haven’t figured out how to launch OpenOffice with the Gtk widgets in Pekwm (apart from ooffice –widgets-set gtk), so I still have to launch it from the terminal. “export OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome” works in .bashrc, but not in Pekwm’s start file.

I’ve heard the Ubuntu developers want to create an orange and black Gtk theme for the next Ubuntu release (8.10). If it looks like this, I won’t complain.


8 Responses to “Orange and Black”

  1. eithansmith said

    I really like your layout. Would you mind sharing your .pypanelrc? Thanks so much!

  2. urukrama said

    Thanks eithan. You can find my .pypanelrc here:

  3. […] May 21, 2008 As is probably clear to the reader of this blog, I mainly use two window managers: Pekwm and Openbox. Both look very differently on this computer, though. My Openbox session is dark blue and purple; my Pekwm session, on the other hand, looks orange and black. […]

  4. ent said

    I can’t get Orage working with Pekwmn 😦

    It start but I see only a 2×6 px “window” I can’t do anything with..

  5. […] Pekwm 0.1.6 with a slight modification of Mire v2-orange, and a heavily modified MurrinaSunshine Gtk theme. The icons are my own modification of the Area O (areo) icon set, originally created by the great Heylove. The fonts are Arial Rounded MT 9, and the wallpaper is Golden, by Miemo. More info on this desktop in this post. […]

  6. vicio said

    hi folks, nice blog urukrama :]
    i finally found a way to launch OpenOffice with GTK+ widgets from PekWM menu, just add a line like this on your ~./pekwm/menu file:

    Entry = “OpenOffice” { Actions = “Exec OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome soffice &” }

    “ooffice –widgets-set gtk” doesn’t works for me 😦

    tested on Sidux with Pekwm v0.1.10
    hope it helps.


  7. Gopi said

    Another solution: writing “export OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome” in .profile instead of .bashrc or .pekwm/start (I use OpenSolaris; pekwm – 0.1.11).

  8. Gopi said

    If the .profile solution doesn’t not work, you can simply add “export OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome” to /etc/openoffice/ (tested with Debian)

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