Customizing your desktop with ini.env

Added by Alexander Tratsevskiy 5 months ago

A couple of months ago, we in Calculate discussed how the ini.env should be processed more efficiently. On the figure below, a real-life implementation of our new approach, adapted from the original Live USB Calculate Linux Desktop MATE 17, is shown:


Any Calculate Linux Desktop user account is configured with templates at first boot. Constants such as panel position, input devices settings, fonts, etc. will be progressively stored together in the ini.env file (full path is /var/lib/layman/calculate/profiles/ini.env) provided by the Calculate overlay. In the same way as for calculate.env variables, in Calculate Utilities 3.5 the ini() function accepts values from several sources, one of them being /etc/calculate/ini.env. This is the file you can modify as you wish. In CL17, /etc/calculate is an empty directory, so that to avoid conflicts with the system configuration, giving custom settings priority.

If you want to test this feature, you can amuse yourself to get what is shown on the screenshot above.

  1. Burn a CLDM 17 Live USB with the cl-install-flash tool (or from the GUI client) and boot from it.
  2. Create the /etc/calculate/ini.env file with the following contents:
    mouse-clickpolicy = double
    wm-panel-main-position = bottom
    wm-panel-menu-position = left
    wm-panel-menu-size = 64
  3. Remove the effective user account, then restart the session: hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 and type in your terminal:
    /etc/init.d/xdm stop
    rm -r /home/guest
    /etc/init.d/xdm start

Once your session has restarted, you will see some results. The main panel will move to the bottom of the screen, the application launching panel will be wider and left-positioned, double-click launching will be activated.

Now (or after the second step is completed), if you use this USB drive to install Calculate on your hard disk, all new settings will be applied!

If you have 4 or, better, 8G on your USB drive, you can save the resulting custom system image on it. To do so, please run:

cl-builder-prepare -f
cp /etc/calculate/ini.env /run/calculate/mount/distros_CLDM_amd64/etc/calculate
cl-builder-image -f
cl-builder-break -f

After the cl-builder-image task has been completed, a system image including your custom ini.env desktop settings will be created in /linux. In the boot menu, choice will be suggested between the original and the custom images.

  1. Note that all modifiable parameters can be seen in /var/lib/layman/calculate/profiles/ini.env.
  2. Any modifications you have made will only take effect in a new session.

Feel free to share your suggestions to fuel our thinking!


Thank you!