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Community spotlight: Padster - GNOME Theme Connoisseur

Roland Taylor's Gravatar

Roland Taylor
published Dec. 8, 2011, 11 p.m.


Here at 2buntu, one of our main focuses is on enabling and showcasing the community. One of the members of the Linux community who makes a big splash and a big difference, is the famous (drum roll please) Padster, of GNOME-Look and DeviantArt fame. Through networking with him over Google+, we've managed to glean his views on a number of things, including themes, the Desktop wars, F/OSS politics, and more.

So, without much further ado - here's what went down:

The Real Deal


2buntu: Introduce yourself.

Padster: I'm Padster (theRealPadster on deviantART, since "Padster" was taken. I've been making themes for a few years, and find it pretty fun. Now, to rip off what I use on public profiles:

I love Linux, art and gaming.
I make themes for Linux, and occasionally wallpapers.
I enjoy gaming, especially on Linux, but I use Windows for games that don't run on Linux.
I'm a geek, and enjoy reading fantasy and sci-fi.

2buntu: Have a better half (wife/gf)? Need one? (We're just kidding!!!). Who inspires you the most?

Padster: I mostly get my inspiration from other artists. If I see something cool, and it gives me an idea, that kind of thing.

2buntu: Are you an Ubuntu user?

Padster: I used to be an Ubuntu-user, but I actually dropped it a year or two ago. Now I use mainly Arch and Linux Mint.

2buntu: What is your Desktop Environment of choice?

Padster: My DE of choice is GNOME-Shell.

2buntu: Have you tried others? (XFCE, LXDE, Pantheon, Enlightenment (E17))

Padster: I have tried others, yes. I started out with KDE 3.5 or so, and switched to GNOME 2.x when KDE 4 came out. I've briefly used a little XFCE and LXDE, and even Awesome (tiling WM) for a few days. I tried eOS Luna (Pantheon) a while ago, too, but it just got so buggy I dropped it. I'll give it anther try when they make the official release.

2buntu: What's your favourite theme site?

Padster: My favourite theme site is probably deviantART, then

Your themes:

2buntu: Do you take contracts?

Padster: If by contracts, you mean people ask me to make a theme or port a theme, then, yes.

2buntu: Do you make themes for others (for pay/for free)?

Padster: I've gotten ideas from others for themes to make, but mostly I do them myself. If I get a good suggestion I usually go for that, though.

2buntu: Any plans to sell professional themes?

Padster: I hadn't really thought of selling themes, mostly I think things like that should be free. That's one of the great things about Linux and the F/OSS community. :)

2buntu: How many themes have you created so far?

Padster: How many themes have I created so far? /me looks it up... Woah, it seems like I have made ~40 themes, I had no idea ^^

2buntu: What drew you to GNOME Shell?

Padster: I'm not really sure what actually drew me to GNOME-Shell, I think I just tried it, since it was the new version of GNOME, which I use. It has some problems, but so far it's not bad, in my opinion.

2buntu: Apart from theming GNOME, do you try your hand at XFCE/LXDE friendly themes? (That would be window manager mostly).

Padster: I've done a bunch of Emerald themes, and a good number of Metacity themes. Also, some GTK-2.0 themes (which are usable with XFCE and probably LXDE, too). Then I did a few cursor themes and Xsplash themes. (Xsplash was the boot screen for Ubuntu 9.10, I think.)

Opinions on F/OSS, Linux, the community/Randomness:

2buntu: Are you into F/OSS politics?

Padster: Yes, I'd say I'm interested in F/OSS politics, like things going on between different distros/DEs/userbases. I like to know all the stuff that's happening in the F/OSS world, and usually form an opinion on it, too.

2buntu: Did you try Unity before you decided not to buy?

Padster: From what I'd seen on the internet, mostly I thought Unity would be a real pain to use, and doesn't look all that great. I did have an experience with it, though, from in the live disc installer, when I installed eOS Luna (they recommended using Ubuntu 11.04, and adding the elementary PPAs).

2buntu: What's your take on the "split" that has recently begun to sweep the community?

Padster: I think "the split" was bound to happen with so many new and vastly different UIs coming around all at once. I think it makes sense, too, since people can get very particular about the software, especially, UI, that they run.

2buntu: I see you recently have been using Arch a lot. What led to this?

Padster: I tried Arch, since I'd heard it was pretty good, and I wanted to advance my Linux skills. I actually really like it, it's just such a pain to set up ^^

2buntu: Do you prefer Qt to GTK+?

Padster: I prefer GTK to QT, I have this thing against KDE now. :P

2buntu: On that note, are you a Meego/Harmattan fan? If it had succeeded would you have branched into theming it?

Padster: I don't really use mobile devices much, so I haven't really had any experience with Meego/Harmattan, sorry.


2buntu: Are you a fan boy of anything (tech-wise specifically)?

Padster: I wouldn't say I'm much of a fanboy, but if anything I guess I'd be a Linux fanboy :)

Final Questions + Misc:

2buntu: Do you ever rant/get frustrated with F/OSS or the community around it?

Padster: I get somewhat annoyed when things don't work right. cough ATI drivers cough

2buntu: Any big plans for the future (that you choose to share, completely up to you) that the world should look out for?

Padster: Not many big plans for the future, I'd say, but as for themes, I'm currently working on a glassy GNOME-Shell theme, and a Grooveshark-inspired GTK3 theme, as well as a GTK-3.2 port of my London Smoke GTK-2.0/GNOME-Shell theme.

Fun questions:

2buntu: This is a deep, burning question on our minds... do you like trains?

Padster: I haven't rode many trains, but they're alright.

2buntu: Planning on world domination with us?

Padster: You're inviting me to dominate the world with you? Sure, why not!


2buntu: Where (what sites) can users/disciples/loyal subjects/fanboys/fangirls/fanaliens (like me O.o!) find you?





Final words:

We (especially me :P) are honoured to have the opportunity to touch bases with someone as awesome (and famous!) as Padster! Personally, his themes almost make me want to use GNOME Shell :)!

*Reference to the asdf movie series :)

NB: Updated to remove some of the questions. My apologies for any mistakes in that regard.

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