How to customise the Acer Aspire One GUI
Get the look you want
We like the Acer Aspire One netbook's out-of-the-box UI. It's like Mac OS X's Dock writ large: a way of giving you easy access to key apps, but right in front of you, not tucked down at the bottom of the screen. However, you really should be presented with the apps you want, not what Acer believes you should have.
Customising the AA1 UI isn't the doddle it might be under Windows or Mac OS X - there are no GUI tools, for a start. But as confirmed under-the-hood tinkerers, we couldn't leave it at that. We think Register Hardware readers with a penchant for mucking about with operating systems will feel the same. And it's not hard to do.
Go from the default AA1 GUI to...
Now, because we use our netbook as an application appliance - we don't store any significant amounts of data on it - we're happy with the built-in UI. If you're not, this hands-on isn't for you. And it's not about replacing the standard UI with a full PC-style desktop.
We'll split the customisation process into four steps: changing the desktop picture, getting rid of the search box, changing the icons and altering the panels under the icons.
The first is easy. Hit Alt-F2 to open the AA1's Run Program... panel and type in
xfce-setting-show, click on the Desktop option in the Xfce Settings Manager window that appears. At the bottom of the Desktop Preferences panel you'll see an Image section in which you can enter the path of the image you want to use on your desktop, or browse for one.
Have a look in
/usr/share/pixmaps/backgrounds/ for a series of images - including the one we've used here - and it's worth nosing around
/usr/share/backgrounds/ too. Or download your own 1024 x 600 pictures.
...one of your own
If you do, run Terminal - hit Alt-F2 and type
terminal - and, assuming you've downloaded the file to your main Downloads folder type:
sudo cp /home/user/Downloads/filename.png /usr/share/pixmaps/filename.png
filename.png to the name of the file you've downloaded. This puts the new image in a handy place and makes sure it has the correct ownership to display correctly.
I would like to know:
1. How to replace Firefox 2 with Firefox 3 easily without having to partially deinstall 2, install 3, partially reinstall 2.
2. How to get Thunderbird to show the number of unread emails under the icon as the crappy inbuilt email reader does. Replacing the email client with Thunderbird was a model of simplicity, but the email icon always shows 0 unread.
Great series of articles though. I learn something new with each one.
1 Solution Install Ubuntee Eee From Pen Drive
Dont bother with this config rubbish...
Ubuntu Eee will work with Acer Aspire One. Thats what I did, it installed all drivers automatically and runs like a dream. All the info you need is here:
And can be installed from pen drive easily. Once installed you can also add any software package easily at the click of a button, VLC, Skype, Azureus etc...
Good idea - and I tried it, without success. Acer's code appears to put in a solid black titlebar and a solid grey icon panel if it's asked to place a graphic it doesn't 'know' about.