Skip to content

GNOME

GNOME is a desktop environment that aims to be simple and easy to use.

In Athena OS, GNOME has been configured in order to decrease the usage complexity and to improve the user desktop experience.

GNOME Environment

The environment consists of several applications that will shown in this chapter.

Desktop

The desktop is pretty simple in terms of elements.

GNOME top bar is composed of Logo Menu extension that provides a menu to access to several resources as settings, software center and application list.

GNOME Logo Menu

As example, by clicking on Software Center… you can access to its application for getting the applications you need. Note that the shown applications are managed by flatpak and they are retrieved from Flathub, not from Nix repository..

GNOME Software Center

One of main menus in GNOME is Arc Menu that allows you to quickly access to Blue and Red Team tools, as well as usual application and system instruments

GNOME Arc Menu

Next to Arc Menu, a calendar is placed along with an incoming notifications view

GNOME Calendar

On the right side of the top bar, you can find some metrics about the system resource consumption.

GNOME Vitals

It gives you also information about physical metrics as Temperature, Voltage and Fan. Furthermore, by the buttons on the bottom side, you can access to other resources as GNOME Monitor.

GNOME Monitor

Going forward, the Pop Shell extension allows you to change some settings and mainly to switch between stacked windows and tiling windows.

GNOME Pop Shell

At the end there is the power and settings menu that could be used for using power options (shutdown, reboot, logout), accessing system settings or taking screenshots.

GNOME Power Menu

At the bottom side of the desktop, a Menu Dock has been implemented showing the pinned applications of the system and the active ones.

GNOME Menu Dock

By pressing Super key (i.e., Windows key), or by the Menu Dock on Show Apps or Logo Menu on App Grid button, you can access to the installed applications.

GNOME Application Grid

Default GNOME usually does not show desktop icons. Here, you can have them.

GNOME Desktop Icons

Customization

I you wish to change some GNOME elements in Athena OS, you can follow this guide to get the right steps and transform Athena according to your taste.

GNOME is composed of several resources and we will discuss each one of them in order to tweak it as possible.

Background

Backgrounds are stored in /run/current-system/sw/share/backgrounds/athena/ folder.

If you wish to change only the background, you can do it by different ways.

The first one is to go to the top-right power button -> gear icon -> the Settings window appears -> Appearance -> click on Add Picture… and select your favourite background.

GNOME Settings Background

Here you can change also if applying a light or dark theme.

Another method is to use GNOME Tweaks. Go to the App Grid or press Super key two times, and search for GNOME Tweaks or Tweaks, usually it is inside the Utilities group and launch it.

When the GNOME Tweaks is opened, move to Appearance tab and tweak your image and its adjustment under the Background section.

GNOME Tweaks Background

An additional method is by terminal. Run:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri-dark background.png
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-options stretched

stretched is used to adjust the image in order to fill the entire screen.

Mouse Cursor

If you wish to customize your mouse pointer, you need to setup it in a declarative manner by Nix modules.

Once set, go to the App Grid or press Super key two times, and search for GNOME Tweaks or Tweaks, usually it is inside the Utilities group and launch it.

When the GNOME Tweaks is opened, move to Appearance tab and select your cursor theme on Cursor field.

GNOME Tweaks Cursor

You can apply a cursor theme also by terminal by running:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface cursor-theme <cursor_theme_foldername>

Icons

If you wish to customize the icon theme, you need to setup it in a declarative manner by Nix modules.

Once set, go to the App Grid or press Super key two times, and search for GNOME Tweaks or Tweaks, usually it is inside the Utilities group and launch it.

When the GNOME Tweaks is opened, move to Appearance tab and select your icon theme on Icons field.

GNOME Tweaks Icons

You can apply an icon theme also by terminal by running:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface icon-theme <icon_theme_foldername>

Theme

If you wish to change the theme of top bar and the GTK windows, you need to setup it in a declarative manner by Nix modules.

Once set, go to the App Grid or press Super key two times, and search for GNOME Tweaks or Tweaks, usually it is inside the Utilities group and launch it.

When the GNOME Tweaks is opened, move to Appearance tab and select your theme on Shell (for top bar) and Legacy Applications (for GTK windows) fields.

GNOME Tweaks GTK

You can apply an theme also by terminal by running:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme <theme_foldername>
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme <theme_foldername>
gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.user-theme name <theme_foldername>

If you wish to apply one of the complete themes prebuilt for Athena OS, you can edit /etc/nixos/configuration.nix file and set theme value as desired.

Once applied the new theme, if you are on Xorg, press ALT + F2, then type r and press Enter for restarting GNOME Shell and close and reopen the terminal. If you are on Wayland, logout or reboot the system.

Fonts

Usually the customization of fonts could be application-specific (for example for a terminal). By GNOME Tweaks, you can try to set your preferred font. Open GNOME Tweaks and move to Fonts section.

GNOME Fonts

GNOME Extensions

In Athena OS, GNOME leverages on different GNOME Extensions that can be customized as you wish. Their settings can be accessed by clicking on Logo Menu on top-left in the top bar and then on Extensions or by the App Grid and search for Extensions. The Extensions window will list all the enabled and disabled GNOME extensions, and their settings can be managed by clicking on the related Settings button.

GNOME Extensions

AppIndicator

It shows tray icons on the top bar for supported running applications.

AppIndicator Settings

Arc Menu

A highly-customizable application menu.

GNOME Arc Menu

By its settings, you can set several tweaks and change menu layout to make it like KDE, GNOME, XFCE menus and others.

Desktop NG Icons

This extension shows icons on desktop. You can customize its settings as you prefer.

Desktop NG Icons Settings

Fly-Pie

It is the base of PWNage Menu, Blue Team Menu and Red Team Menu.

Red Team Menu

You can customize them or adding a new circular menu by accessing to its settings.

FlyPie Settings

Logo Menu

The top bar is characterized by a Linux logo icon on its left side.

GNOME Logo Menu

You can customize it by accessing to its settings.

GNOME Logo Menu Settings

Top Bar Organizer

It allows you to organize the position of the elements on the top bar. If you would like to change their position, just access to its settings.

Top Bar Organizer Settings

Ubuntu Dock

It is the base of Payload to Dock. You can customize it by pinning and unpinning applications or changing its style by its settings.

Ubuntu Dock Settings

Vitals

It monitors the physical parameters and resources of your system in a dynamic manner. You are free to customize it as you wish by its settings.

Vitals Settings

Keybindings

Here are reported some useful keybindings set by default in Athena OS GNOME.

KeybindDescription
CTRL + ALT + TOpen the Terminal
SuperMulti-desktop environment
Super + SuperSwitch between desktop and application grid
Super + EOpen the File Manager
Super + LLock the screen

Side Installation

To set Athena OS GNOME environment on side of an existing environment, just edit /etc/nixos/configuration and change desktop variable to gnome. Finally, run:

sudo nixos-rebuild switch

If needed, reboot. On Login Manager, select GNOME Wayland or GNOME Xorg session and login.