This is my (almost) non-chromatic monochrome KDE desktop. It is the culmination of a series of improvements over the past year or two.
(I should note that this is just a screenshot and some colour schemes - if you want to recreate it you’ll have to do all the leg work yourself!)
Some time ago, I noticed that I could never settle on a particular colour scheme for my desktop; my preferred colour changes with my mood. Eventually, I came across the solution; greyscale. It also has the advantage of removing any bias in colour perception when working with photos or graphics.
The text is grey rather than white; I find lower contrast easier to read.
I cannot abide desktop icons: 90% of the time, my desktop is hidden under a window. All the launching is done from the top panel or by using Alt+F2 or Katapult.
Having the menu bar on top panel saves screen space - it doesn’t fill the entire width of the screen, so I can put icons and applets next to it. If it was in a maximized window, the space alongside it would be wasted.
I’ve tried to make full use of Fitts’s law with regard to placing things in screen corners and on the edges. One example of this is the close button on the top panel. This is a best-of-both-worlds solution to allow an easy to click close button and panels on top and bottom. To avoid accidental closing, it is at the opposite end from the other window management buttons. By having two thin panels rather than one thick one, I can put more items against the screen edge.
The custom buttons run the following scripts/commands:
Close Window – wmctrl -c :ACTIVE:
Save Session (I haven’t figured out whether this actually works or not.) – dcop ksmserver ksmserver saveCurrentSession
Toggle Blank Screensaver – ssforceblank.sh
Background image: My own. Disposable tissue under a microscope.
Icons: Monochrome:http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php/Monochrome?content=18317 (comes with Kubuntu)
Window decorations: Plastik
I also have a light version, which is more compatible with websites that only specify either the background or foreground colour, OpenOffice (with the whole auto-high-contrast bug) and software that doesn’t use KDE icons. Sorry, no screenshots for that.
Hopefully it’s not too weird, and someone can take some inspiration from it!