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How to customize Pear OS Linux Panther 3

Pear OS Linux Panther 3 is the latest edition of the desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, but with a desktop appearance that is fashioned after the Mac OS X UI. It has already been reviewed on this website (see Pear OS Linux Panther 3 review). It is the only distribution released this year that actually makes GNOME 3 look really good. It is not perfect, but it is a lot better than other distributions that use the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

As good as I think it is, there are aspects of it that could have been better configured out of the box. This short tutorial provides some tips on how to tweak those areas to make the UI a bit more user-friendly than it already is.

Change The Desktop’s Look and Color: – This might seem trivial, but there has been significant search traffic to this website with those terms in the search strings. If the “leafy” desktop wallpaper does not fit in with how you want the desktop to look, you can change it in two or three mouse click. Just right-click on the desktop and select “Change Desktop Background.”
Pear OS Change Background Option

The Appearance window will open. Notice that there are only two wallpapers to choose from. You can choose the only other one available, download more from the Internet, or use an image from your computer.
Pear OS Background Wallpaper Setting

If you prefer solid colors, choose “Colors and Gradients” from the dropdown menu, then select from those available.
Pear OS Background Color Setting

Add Docklets To The Main Dock: Docklets are Docky’s equivalent of widgets. By default, there are two activated – Trash and Battery Monitor, but there are about a dozen more that you can add to make using the desktop a bit more user-friendly. To start, access the dock settings manager (Docky Settings) by right-clicking anywhere on it – preferably between the Trash docklet and the first application icon. Select “Settings.”
Pear OS 3 Dock Settings

When Docky Settings window opens, click on the Docklets tab. There are ten docklets available. Click on the one you wish to add and it will automatically appear on the dock. The three that I recommend, for their utilitarian usefulness, are Desktop, Mounter and Recent Documents. Mounter makes it possible to manage connected devices (like Flash drives) from the Dock. When one is connected to the computer, an icon will appear. It functions just like a device notifier.
Pear OS 3 Setting Docklet

Here is the dock showing the docklets. The docklet with the mouse cursor on it belongs to an external USB drive, while the one to its right is that of a USB Flash drive.
Pear OS 3 Device Notifier

Add An Extra Dock To The Desktop: Want or need an extra dock on the desktop? No problem. You can add one or more from the same Docky Settings manager that we saw above. Launch it and click the New Dock button.
Pear OS 3 Add New Dock

By default, the new dock will appear on the left side of the desktop. But it is barren! Not to worry, you can add docklets to it.
Pear OS 3 New Dock

Just start Docky Settings again. Now that there are two docks, you will need to click on the one you want to modify. Then, click on the Docklets tab and add the docklets that you need.
Pear OS 3 Panther Add Docklets

Now that the dock is populated, you may even move it around. Just drag it.
Pear OS 3 Extra Dock

For example, to the other side of the desktop. Pretty cool!
Pear OS 3 Extra Dock Desktop Right

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11 Comments

  1. flexer says:

    It looks like you’ve lost default icons of Pear OS

    If you want to set it to default pretty icons set type in terminal:

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface icon-theme FaenzaMac

    if gsettings not installed type in terminal:

    sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-bin

    have fun …always!

  2. David says:

    One thing that I don’t think many people realize in that the user interface (windows manager) that comes with any Linux distribution can be changed. There are tons of window managers available. Some do mimick the appearance of other operating systems, but there are a lot of ones that don’t (window maker, blackbox, any tiling window manager, etc…). Personally I use stumpwm, blackbox, fvwm, or enlightnment on whatever distribution of Linux I’m using.

    That’s the great thing about Linux and BSD: tons of choices. Even in Windows XP though, (not sure about anything more recent (Vista, 7, 8), haven’t tried), you can change the user interface.

  3. MADrod says:

    That’s why i love UBUNTU, they are the only distro who’s in the really task of making an original desktop.

  4. Bogdan says:

    Linux is far better than OSX. But still, it’s gnome shell with docky…

  5. Lyle says:

    When I install programs they are in French. I have removed the French laugage packs. Any other ideas?

    • PG says:

      This appears to be a continuing bug in PearOS (all versions) and is the only reason I don’t use it. I haven’t yet found a way to weed out French – but then maybe they made that way deliberately? ;-) In other words, Think Totally Different, Think in French.

  6. Merk says:

    What is the point of having a Mac OSX-like desktop? Why not buy the real deal? This is what I don’t like about Linux distros, if it does not look like Windows, it looks like Mac. We’re always copying, no originality and bashing each other (distro vs distro).

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