xfce panel preferences

Configure the XFCE Panel

If you prefer the beautiful Mac OS X look, then I recommend that you move the panel from it’s default position to the top. Before we can move it, we have to unlock it.

How to unlock the XFCE panel

Right-click on the panel and then select Panel > Panel Preferences
This will open a new windows where we can make our adjustments. To get started, uncheck the Lock panel option. Once unchecked, you can move your mouse cursor to the bottom of the panel and drat it to the top. Once there, let go and it will snap to the top edge of your monitor.

HELP! Why can’t I move the panel?
Moving the panel can be a bit finicky so be patient and try again. Move your cursor to the very bottom edge of the panel which will make grabbing it easier. Keep trying a bit. It might take a few tries.

Lock the panel once you moved it. Ignore if you didn’t.

Installing new items

Still inside the Panel Preferences, move to the Items tab. Click on the + sign (right side of the window) which will open the “Add New Items” window. From there, you can scroll the available plugins or search for and entry called “CPU Graph”. Once highlighted, click Add and close the applet selection window.

New items get added to the end of the panel. To move the CPU Graph up, ether drag it to just below the Workspace Switcher or use the up and down arrows to do the same. Once the applet is in place, double click it to bring up the CPU Graph Properties.

CPU Graph Properties

The CPU Graph Properties windows has two tabs. Appearance and Advanced. While in the Appearance tab, click on the Background color selector and chose and almost black color from the popup. I suggest that you go to the second-last column and pick the third row grey field.
Click the select button to exit out of that window.

Advanced tab
Change the update interval to ~750ms and the with number to 100. If your processor has a lot of cores, then pick a higher number such as 120. If you have 8 virtual cores, then pick something in between of 80 – 100. My computer is a six-core Intel processor with 12 virtual cores. I picked 100.
Furthermore, uncheck “Show frame” and leave everything else as is.

If you do any graphics-heavy tasks, then you will see the applet in action. If you render with Blender, then it will display a solid green until the render is done. The blue stripes just show you which of your cores are crunching numbers.

With the right wallpaper in place and the dock filled up with your favorite software programs, your desktop should begin to look good. The next article will move you one step closer to the trendy OS X look

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