Customization of our desktop

It is not my intention to just fix the caveats. I also want to be able to run the software I like, use the themes I like, use the icons I create and, use the mouse cursor I like and use the conky Aureola I make.

It is now up to us to customize the desktop even further.

I will be using the following assets

  1. Sardi icons from sourceforge
  2. Sardi extra icons from github
  3. Surfn icons from github
  4. Plank themes from github
  5. Aureola conky from github

and all the scripts to install any of the above and all the applications we need to work and play from this github.

Content of the tutorial

We will go to the github of ARCHLabs and download the installation scripts. Scripts or files are just a collection of terminal commands, you would type to install software, pasted in one file.

Tip : you can fork my github and change the scripts to your liking

More info about forking.

Follow and install the scripts. You will receive an explanation about the contents of the scripts.

git clone

Copy/paste this line in a terminal.


Personalisation of ARCHLabs

Some of these scripts can be useful for you. I leave it up to you to examine if you like to install them. The scripts are in the folder Personal. I want to be able to reinstall ARCHLabs and have all the major parts installed but also little configurations and improvements I have made during my customization.
One of the challenges is getting a uniform look in all terminals and to figure out where all the settings of these applications are kept.

Follow the explanations about the scripts.

  • creation of folder in order to copy/paste preferences to it
  • same bookmarks on any distro
  • keyboard shortcuts are going to be the same on any distro
  • gnome-screenshot save as jpg rather than png
  • gimp scripts and themes
  • sublime-text preferences
  • variety preferences
  • arc colora themes

But in this distro I really went digging and you will find many configuration files of different applications.

Important scripts are

  • Compton to get awesome effects on  ARCHLabs like shadow, fading in and out, transparency and dimming
  • tint2 to get the panel  the way we want  and at the bottom
  • root files should be analysed and then copied
  • xfcethunar files make up a big part in ARCHLabs
  • script 900 – copy openbox configuration to your own ~/.config/openbox folder is the MOST important (it will make a backup of the original archlabs folder)

DO NOT RUN script 999… if you are on a virtualbox!

Script 999 will remove any trace of virtualbox and you will not be able to reboot, IF you are on a virtualbox. But we do want to run this script if we installed ARCHLabs on a harddisk or SSD. You will get a message otherwise that virtualbox is not running.


ARCHLabs after reboot and installation of all personal preferences

We reboot after installing all scripts and show you how ARCHLabs looks now after a reboot.

We see that the Aureola Acros conky autostarts.

We start by editing the plank preferences to move the plank to the top. On this distro the plank looks quite nice. You can change the theme of plank (100+ themes). Change the theme with arrow up and down.

Tint2 panel has been edited and changed to my preference.

There are no caveats anymore. All typo’s have gone from the menu and all software is installed.

Pasystray is my choice to stream music to my bluetooth devices.

The content of the openbox menu has been changed and the typo’s have been fixed. Right-mouse click on the desktop to get to the openbox menu. Getting the menu of openbox is always available with Super + spacebar.

The compton file is taking care of shadow, transparency, border of windows transparent, fading in and fading out,…

Kill nemo (in the menu) is a link to shutdown Nemo. Starting Nemo will make your desktop available to work on. ONCE you have clicked on Nemo, it is taking over your desktop. You can now create folders and files on your desktop. There is also a custom keyboard shortcut to kill nemo: CTRL + ALT + N



In other articles we will go in more detail about the different elements of openbox.

Enjoy ARCHLabs.