Easy desktop theming with the OCS-Store

OCS-Store is an electron application to download and install Icons, themes, wallpapers. By browsing and clicking to install, it provides users of a variety of desktop environments a way to easily customise your Linux PC. Heres how to do easy desktop theming with the OCS-store.

Searching the Internet for themes and icons

Manually finding themes, icons and other similar bits can be a real pain. Searching through Google, GitHub and other sources like DeviantArt. Wallpapers are easy as there are countless websites and apps to help you change the desktop background. Contrarily themes and icons, however, are scattered all over the web. Distributions sometimes package a few default choices but don’t always give options to easily install. Gnome, for example, requires the tweak tool, which doesn’t give the option to install icons and themes just change them. Manual installation usually requires extracting a zip file into the correct place or running a bash installer script.

Step in openDesktop.org

openDesktop.org is a collection of sites such as gnome-look.org, kde-look.org, cinnamon-look.org and more. coming together under opendesktop.org. Using the OCS API to deliver Digital content in a client-server fashion. The opendesktop.org platform provides many categories such as:

  • App Add-ons
  • Apps
  • Boot and splash screen themes
  • Cursors
  • Desktop extensions
  • Desktop Themes
  • Fonts
  • Icons
  • Login Manager Themes
  • Screensavers

Keeping it together

Equally important the majority of theme and icon developers showcase their work on openDesktop.org. Having a one-stop-shop for everything you need keeps it simple when looking for new assets to make your desktop looking swish. All works are rated by other users. Developers also provide manual installation files and instructions. Many however are installable thus providing easy desktop theming with the OCS-Store app.

Installing the OCS-Store App.

The app is available in portable AppImage format. AppImage is a distro-agnostic file format, providing the program and all dependencies in one file.

Download OCS-Store

To manually install download the package and select it with a right-click in your file manager. Then select properties in the centre, click on permissions in the new window and select the “Allow executing file as program” checkbox. Now double click on the file to launch the store.

Alternatively, If you have app image launcher installed double click the downloaded file and app image launcher will integrate it into your system and set up an application menu icon for it.

Desktop Themeing with the OCS-Store

With the OCS Store open select your desktop from the store listings at the top.

OCS Store

Select a category on the left-hand column, in this case, we’re going to choose gtk3 themes, Then select a theme from the list that appears. Here I’ve chosen Aurora Nuevo, Then click the install button on the right and select the version you wish.

OCS-Store

Next click on the install button that pops up in a new window.

Now let’s apply the theme by clicking the folder icon on the top, and selecting a category from the installed list. find the theme or icon you want to install and click apply. Changes should be automatically applied.

OCS-Store

Desktop themes with the OCS-Store – Filling a gap, but not a perfect solution

Finally, the OCS-Store fills a gap much needed for Linux desktop users to install desktop themes, but it doesn’t quite cover the lack of native tools that some distributions and desktop environments should be providing.

Pro’s

  • Provides a central repository for all desktop customisation things.
  • Used by many developers
  • Distribution-independent app.
  • Everything rated by users, providing quality control.

Con’s

  • Manually installing the application doesn’t always integrate well into desktop environments.
  • Not everything is installable through the application.
  • Installed assets are not updateable, as opposed to installing through PPA’s for example.

Where do you look for themes, icons etc? Do you think a better solution is needed for finding and installing them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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