Thursday, 19 July 2007

Installing the new Oxygen icons under KDE 3

KDE 4 is coming, and it is bringing a truckload of improvements and goodies. Among these, there is the brand-new Oxygen icon theme. Oxygen will be the default icon theme of KDE 4 and it is going to be damn good. Look at the preview to have an idea by yourself.

With a strange move for an open source project, KDE 4 is quite secretive about the new icon theme. The plan is to present the whole suite together, keeping Oxygen as a "novelty", so, even if Oxygen is being currently developed and most icons are already done, there are no official downloads provided for Oxygen. Moreover, the KDE 4 developers somehow "discourage" using Oxygen on a KDE 3 system.

However, Oxygen is open content (Creative Commons Attributions-Share Alike and LGPLv3 dual-licensed) and it is online in the KDE 4 SVN repository. So nothing legally prevents you to download and try the current Oxygen development version on your system.

It is not straightforward to obtain a KDE 3 -installable theme from the KDE 4 SVN repository, however someone (as often happens in the OSS world) has done the dirty work for you. After a bit of googling I found a handy script that automatically downloads the latest revision of Oxygen icons, converts them (using Inkscape for that purpose, so check you have it installed) and packages it as a theme (that is a single .tar.bz2 file) in your home directory.

The script is a bit slow, but works: basically just download the file from the webpage above, unzip it, open a shell, enter in the directory, run ./ as a normal user and wait. When it has finished, just look for the Control Center in your KDE menu and go through Appearance and Themes --> Icons --> Install new theme and open the oxygen-icon-theme.tar.bz2 file in your home directory created by the script. VoilĂ , theme installed.

How does it looks? Really professional and cool. I must admit however that it can look somehow out-of-place on a common KDE 3 system, so probably KDE 4 developers are right -to fully experience Oxygen, better wait KDE 4 at the end of the year. However, here is some screenshot for your pleasure: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4


lefty crupps said...

I am so torn!! I have been avoiding all KDE4 images and betas and the rest, waiting for a very exciting release in a few months. But this seems like such a fun idea, only to ruin my wait...

what to do, what to do?? WHY did you have to write this article? ;)

m. s. said...

Well, why not? :D

I don't believe so much in the "value of surprise". Something I like of open source is the gradual, "release early/release often" pace it has.

I am a KDE fan, and I can't see why I should wait until KDE 4 comes out to try the icons and the artwork that is coming out of their svn. I frankly don't understand the attitude of the Oxygen team about that.It's free artwork, it's good, give it to the people!