Linux Customization

Basic Linux Customization

One of the great things about Linux is how there are almost infinite customization options. Personally, I like to make things my own and this extends to my Kali VM. I have been asked a lot to go over the steps that I went through to get my machine to look the way it does. Here is a screenshot of what my current desktop layout looks like: Screenshot_27

There are many different things tools that I used to be able to get it to look like this and this barely even scratches the surface of the possibilities for customizing Linux.

Overview of tools used

i3: i3 is a tiling window manager. What this essentially means is that as you open a new instance of a program it will auto-resize the pane to fit in the screen. It is very based around using the keyboard rather than the mouse and a cheat sheet for the commands can be found here. Installing is simple by using sudo apt install i3

i3blocks: This is an addon to i3 that adds much more customizability to the information bar on i3. sudo apt install i3blocks

i3gaps: This simply just adds the ability to add gaps in between windows in i3.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:regolith-linux/release
sudo apt update
sudo apt install i3-gaps

compton: Compton is a window compositor, which acts to make the transition between windows in i3 a lot smoother and offers the chance to have windows be transparent. Installing is simple by using sudo apt install compton

tmux: Tmux is a terminal multiplexer that allows for higher productivity. A cheat sheet for it can be found here. I have a personalized .tmux.conf file that uses plugins to get the theme that I do. sudo apt install tmux

lolcat: lolcat is what I use to get the colored ascii art of my name. All lolcat does is do normal ‘cat’ing of a file, but adds the colors. pip install lolcat

terminal colorization: Just a site where you can browse different color schemes for your terminal

oh-my-zsh: This is a framework for zsh that allows plugins and themes to be installed. There are many themes that come default but there are a lot of good ones that you simply just have to look for. sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"


There is a lot that can be done with customizing Linux and this post is to just be an introduction to tools that are common. Below I am going to leave resources that I used to get mine to look how it does. I hope that whatever you choose to do with your install of Linux looks exactly how you want it to, but I know I am always looking for new stuff to add to my install.


What my customization is based off of (just the config files, I installed and customized from here but this is a good start):

Good video to start i3 cusomization: