Today we will see how to customize the appearance of your Raspberry
So what can you do to improve the look of the graphical interface of the Raspberry PI?
Like any Linux system, you can change a lot of things: the display options, the desktop wallpaper, the general theme and even the splash screen
Let’s see this step by step:
– Step 1: change the display options (resolution, icons, …)
– Step 2: Change the desktop wallpaper
– Step 3: Change the Raspbian theme
– Step 4: Change the splash screen
Change display settings
If you are lost in all these new words and abbreviations, request my free Raspberry Pi glossary here (PDF format)!
I imagine that if you read this article is that you use your raspberry on a desktop screen or a TV.
I won’t approach the specific configuration of a portable screen here
The first thing you may need to do is adjust the settings of your display
That means that if it is disproportionate or if the size of the elements does not suit you, you’ll have to change it
For that, go to:
– Start menu
– Raspberry Pi Configuration
– Click on “Set Resolution”
A window like this is displayed, allowing you to choose the resolution to use
Refer to the specifications of your screen to know what to choose
A few words on a common problem with Raspberry Pi connected to recent monitors
By default, the Raspberry Pi uses the “Overscan” setting to adjust the screen display size
On current hardware, this setting is no longer needed
So if you find yourself in a situation where your Raspberry Pi displays black on the edges of the screen and you can not make them disappear by playing with the options of your screen, follow the steps below
- Edit the /boot/config.txt file on your Raspberry Pi
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
- Uncomment disable_overscan setting (remove #)
- Comment other overscan settings (add #)
#overscan_left=16 #overscan_right=16 #overscan_top=16 #overscan_bottom=16
- Save (CTRL+O+Enter), exit (CTRL+X) and reboot
After restarting the Raspberry Pi, see if it’s better than before, or adjust these options again if necessary
Change desktop wallpaper
From graphical interface :
To change the background of the Raspberry Pi, you can either use one of the images provided or download a new one on the Internet
If you download one, save it somewhere on your Raspberry Pi to find it later
To change the wallpaper, right click on the desktop, then Desktop preferences
And now you have to change the image in the Picture field
By default, it will display the system folder where the Raspberry Pi stores all the preloaded pictures.
If you have downloaded an image elsewhere change the folder and apply it
With command line :
I don’t see the interest in using the command line in this case, but know that it is possible
First, download your wallpaper image with wget:
Then change the wallpaper with this command:
pcmanfm --set-wallpaper /home/pi/Images/wallpaper.jpg
First of all, you need to know that there are several graphical environments on Linux, and so on Raspberry Pi
A graphical environment is a package of display options, which allows you to manage most of the graphical aspects of your desktop differently
Here are some examples of graphical environments:
So first you need to know which desktop environment you are currently using, so you can look for themes for that particular environment
Install a new desktop environment
You can also try to install a new desktop environment on your Raspberry. Trying different environments will allow you to choose the one that suits you the best and then you can look for themes associated with this environment
I will now explain how to install MATE on your Raspberry Pi and how to activate it
Then it will be pretty much the same thing for other environments
- Edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
- Add the mate repository by adding this line :
deb http://archive.raspbian.org/mate stretch main
Replace “stretch” with your Raspbian version if you have a different one
- Update apt
- Install mate
sudo apt-get install mate-core mate-desktop-environment
- Add mate as default environment for your user by adding this line
sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager
In the wizard, type the number corresponding to mate
Get a new theme
Now that you have found the desktop environment of your dreams, you can move on to installing a theme
In order to do that, just search for the package manager of Raspberry Pi (via apt-cache search or through the graphical interface)
For example, I have done this search :
$ sudo apt-cache search mate | grep "\-theme" arc-theme - Flat theme with transparent elements
There is also a lot of sites that will give you a link to download more themes via .deb files or PPA repository
Feel free to do your search online to find the ideal design, and most of the time it will allow you to have a preview
If you find your happiness in apt, it will be enough to install the theme with the usual command. For example:
sudo apt-get install arc-theme
If you have downloaded a theme online, follow the instructions on the page
To enable a theme with Raspbian Mate, go to System > Control Center (you should have something similar in other environments)
Then choose Change Theme in the menu, and select the theme
So we are veiling on a new desktop environment, with a custom theme, and our favorite wallpaper, we start to feel good no?
Change splash screen
Grab your free PDF file with all the commands you need to know on Raspberry Pi!
Here is the last challenge for those who want to go after this “Pimp my Raspberry Pi” 🙂
What is a splash screen?
The splash screen is the big picture that appears when you start your Raspberry Pi, just before displaying the desktop
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Change splash screen
The splash screen is now managed by Plymouth on Raspbian and this makes everything easier
Before, it was complicated to edit this picture, now you just have to do this:
sudo cp /home/pi/Images/splash.png /usr/share/plymouth/themes/pix/splash.png sudo reboot
/home/pi/Images/splash.png must, of course, be replaced by the name and location of your original image
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And that’s it. I think you’ve learned enough for today 🙂
You now know how to:
– set the best resolution for your screen
– change the desktop wallpaper
– install a new graphical environment
– get a new theme
– change the splash screen display when starting the Raspberry Pi
Another thing you can do is to install a screensaver on Raspberry Pi OS, you can find more details on how to do this by clicking on this link.