Friday, May 31, 2013

Mint Olivia backgrounds on Ubuntu 12.04

It's always been an issue: I wanted a fully functional, tweaked, stable system with minimal reinstalls and a desktop environment that got work done quickly. After a bit of distrohopping, I decided to settle on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS since it provides 5 years of support. To be honest, Unity has really grown on me and I find the Dash to be an easy way of getting around. Plus, I've tweaked the settings so that Unity hides and it takes just the right amount of mouse hovering to reveal. Keyboard shortcuts also ensure I could shift through windows without having the Unity bar show up. So, a non-traditional desktop that works alright for me. Plus, using Tomasz Makarewicz's PPA online, I got AMD Catalyst Legacy to work on my old Dell Studio 15. Otherwise the thing heats up like a volcano! 102 degrees Celsius, I kid not. So, yes: an LTS release, graphic drivers installed (after downgrading Xserver version and applying a patched version of the ATI drivers- thank you Arch developers..), I have a great stable (alright, it's no Debian :D ) system.

However, the wallpapers make me want to scream. A couple of them are alright, but overall the Ubuntu default wallpapers leave a LOT to be desired. Linux Mint on the other hand has beautiful, lush wallpapers that are really, really good. HD wallpapers that just make you want to lose yourself in them. The problem however is that while it's easy for you to set any old picture as a Ubuntu wallpaper, you cannot make that custom wallpaper as your Lightdm wallpaper when you log-in. Sort of kills the feeling of integration: one wallpaper on log-in and a different one on your desktop.

To try and remedy this, I visited the Packages page of Linux Mint and navigated to the Olivia release. There, I downloaded the .deb file for backgrounds-olivia. Then I used Gdebi to install the entire .deb file. To my surprise (I'm a relative noob), I was now able to visit Appearance on Ubuntu Desktop and choose from the beautiful default background wallpapers of Linux Mint 15 Olivia. And the best part is that when I log out and log in again, the log in screen also has the exact same wallpaper! Huzzah! 

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