A new challenge!

Chameleon-OS is a new challenge in creating a light-weight, but skinnable Linux operating system. By skinnable, I mean a desktop that can be instantly altered to dramatically change the appearance – like a chameleon!

Chameleon-OS is based on Unity Linux, which is in turn a fork of Mandriva. Unity is specifically designed as a base for respins or branches as they like to call it.

The base system is Openbox with mainly lxpanel and fbpanel in various guises. It is a GTK based operating system. There will be a range of suitable applications to cover most common tasks, though the emphasis will be on web use.

What I want to do is to create a series of desktop skins (themes if you like) using a range of available softwares to show that light-weight can still mean innovative in appearance and usage. So I will be working with fbpanel, lxpanel, tint2 and others to create a respin with desktop themes based on existing GUIs, plus hopefully come up with a few ideas eg a gnome-look, Mac OSX look, Windows 7, mobile phone-like interfaces, iPhone/iPad…

The idea is that the user will log into an Openbox session which will provide a default desktop layout which is easy and intuitive to use. There will be a script that can change the skin/theme at the press of a button to transform the entire desktop eg panels, icon theme, mouse theme, gtk theme, openbox theme. So today I might want a gnome style desktop, tomorrow an uncluttered openbox desktop, the next something Mac-ish.

This probably doesn’t sound all that innovative, but I don’t know any distro which already has this level of one-click functionality, particularly the ligher desktops based on Openbox, LXDE etc…

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