Wibbly Stuff

Get some Plasma goodness in Gnome shell

Gnome Shell is not mature, but I'm starting to love it :) The main thing I miss while using any Gnome based desktop environment is desktop widgets. Sure, there are many alternatives from screenlets to conky etc. But none of them come as close to the variety of widgets the Plasma Desktop in KDE provides. But thanks to the versatility of Plasma Desktop, you can use it anywhere you want, even on Gnome Shell (yes Unity fans, Unity too).

So what do you have to do? Not much, just install Plasma Desktop and you are ready to go! if you use Ubuntu, click here to install Plasma Desktop or run the following commands in a terminal.

sudo apt-get install plasma-desktop

Now just open up the run command dialog by pressing Alt+F2, enter plasma-desktop and press enter! Now you can add widgets as you would do on KDE. Right click the desktop and select "Add Widgets", search for your desired widgets and add. Pretty neat :)

Installing new widgets is as easy as it is in KDE.

You might want to add plasma-desktop to the startup applications to have it start automatically when you login.

To fix the font smoothing in GTK apps, create a file ".fonts.conf" in your home folder, open it with gedit and paste the following in it,

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<match target="font">
<edit name="autohint" mode="assign">

Also, configure the KDE apps to use the GTK style, so you have a more uniform look. Go to "System Settings > Application Appearance > Widget Style > GTK+"

You might want to move the activities button to bottom. You might also want to remove the KDE Panel as it won't match with your desktop. When in overview mode, you will notice the wallpaper in the workspace thumbnails is not the current wallpaper of Plasma, but the previous one, so setting the same wallpaper for both Gnome and Plasma will fix this behaviour.

You can quit Plasma Desktop and return to your regular desktop by pressing Alt+F2 and running pkill plasma-desktop.