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Allow derivatives of Ubuntu that use the GNOME desktop to set up custom sound themes.


There are currently a few Ubuntu derivatives, such as Edubuntu, UbuntuStudio, and ichthux that use the GNOME desktop, however there is currently no way for these derivatives to set their own sound theme, without having to resort to using hacks. This spec outlines a simple way to allow derivatives set their own sound theme for a default install.

Use Cases

  • UbuntuStudio wants to use their own sounds for the GNOME desktop. Currently they have to use hacks and diversions to set up their own default sound scheme configuration files. With a mechanism in place for derivatives to set up custom sound themes however, alternative configuration files can be installed, just like any other custom configuration.


This spec only covers how alternative configurations for sound themes in GNOME will be implemented.


Since the default sound configuration files live in /etc/sound/events, it would be easy to set up these configuration files using the alternatives system, much like what is used for GDM and alternate login screen themes now. The files in question, gnome-2.soundlist and gtk-events-2.soundlist, are currently owned by the libgnome2-common package, (source package is libgnome), and are marked as configuration files. These files could be placed somewhere else, such as /usr/share/gnome-sound-themes/default for example, and be linked into place via the alternatives system. If a derivative distribution wishes to change this, they simply place their sound theme configuration in /usr/share/gnome-sound-themes/theme-name, and again use the alternatives system to point GNOME to their configuration.


  • The location of gnome-2.soundlist and gtk-events-2.soundlist would need to be changed in libgnome, to /usr/share/gnome-sound-themes, and then alternatives would be used to place symbolic links to these files in /etc/sound/events.
  • Other distributions that wish to offer a custom sound theme then place their configuration into /usr/share/gnome-sound-themes/distroname, and again use alternatives to update the symbolic links.

Outstanding Issues

  • Since the configuration files contain language translations, a way to keep all custom configurations up to date with the latest translations needs to be worked out. Very likely a small script can be written to generate the config files from a template.

BoF agenda and discussion


DerivCustomSoundThemes (last edited 2008-08-06 16:31:42 by localhost)