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Customizing Your Desktop Environment
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4

As an example, let's add Gimp:

Click on the desired menu's arrow, and click on the Add icon. In the Command Line: section, use the browse button to find the application. If it is not listed in /usr/X11R6/bin, it is probably in /usr/local/bin. Click on the button that has /usr/X11R6/bin, and choose /usr. In the directories screen, double-click on local, then double-click on bin. If you still can't find the file, open up an xterm and try:

whereis applicationname

Gimp is located in /usr/X11R6/bin, so locate it in the files section and double-click. Now browse for an icon. Gimp has its own; if you don't like it, try another one. Finally, type in the Label: section the text you want to appear in your menu screen. Click OK and you are done.

Gimp will now appear as a menu option. If you click on it, you should see Gimp load for the first time. Press continue as you are prompted to accept the defaults.

You may find yourself spending inordinate amounts of time building packages and adding and deleting items from your menus as you become more comfortable with customizing your desktop.

The last customization we'll discuss is wallpaper. The second menu from the right has an option labeled "Backdrop." Click Backdrop, then Browse. You'll see that XFCE comes with quite a few built-in wallpapers. If you select one that sounds interesting, you'll see a preview; if you like it, press Apply.

If you're like me, you accumulate your own collection of backgrounds. In your home directory, make a directory to store your images:

cd /usr/home/username
mkdir pictures

If you find an interesting image on the Web while using Netscape, right-click on the image, choose Save This Image As, and save it to your pictures directory. To turn it into wallpaper, open up your Backdrop menu option and browse to your pictures directory to locate the image.

These tips should get you started on personalizing XFCE.

Now that we have Internet connectivity, an XServer, and a decent looking Window Manager, let's start looking at the power of FreeBSD. The next three articles will focus on accessing local and remote filesystems.

Dru Lavigne is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux, and BSD systems. A prolific author, she pens the popular FreeBSD Basics column for O'Reilly and is author of BSD Hacks and The Best of FreeBSD Basics.

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