LXSkins is now nearly ready to hit the big time and be rolled into the first alpha release of ChameleonOS. LXSkins is the script that is the basis of the ChameleonOS project – a skin switcher. Embedded into the Openbox menu are links to 5 pre-built skins: the default-green skin, a KDE3-lite skin, a Redmond-7 skin, a Gnome-ish skin and an Apple-bite skin (see screenshots).
The user simply has to click on the menu item to entirely change the desktop – panels, wallpaper, icon theme, GTK theme, desktop icons… The change takes a couple of seconds for the screen to refresh and you are ready to start working in your new GUI! The skin sticks even after logout.
I have just added an extra component – a skins saver. This will allow you to make alterations to an existing skin and then save the results as a new skin ‘file’. The resulting skin is currently only saved locally for that user at ~/.lxskins. You can then switch to your new skin at any time you want by running the skin script in your new skin directory.
Although Unity Linux (the base system) did not officially release RC2, I am going to build the first alpha ISO of ChameleonOS starting fromRC2 and then future releases should come from Unity Final. The first release should be out in a couple of weeks. It will a ‘technology preview’ if you like – a ‘proof of concept’ to see the skins switcher in action and get a feel for each skin.
LXSkins is sure to develop as ChameleonOS develops. I have ideas already for new skins and ideas on how to expand the current script, in particular to include some GUI elements.
Watch this space…