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How do I change Ubuntu Desktop to XYZ's Desktop.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

You would likely need to build the unity or unity-2d source. Currently in unity-5.12 would be found in /plugins/unityshell/src/PanelMenuView.cpp, line 78

 _desktop_name(_("Ubuntu Desktop"))

In unity-2d, unity-2d 5.12, /panel/applets/appname/appnameapplet.cpp line 369

d->m_label->setText(u2dTr("Ubuntu Desktop"));
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Thank you for your response i am currently using 5.12 and will try compiling it from src.. – tanmay.01 May 22 '12 at 16:39

There's a much quicker way, by abusing the gettext translation system. Assuming you are using an English locale:

#Make a temporary text file using vim/gedit/cat/whatever
cat > /tmp/foo.po
msgid "Ubuntu Desktop"
msgstr "A Badger With A Gun"

cd /usr/share/locale/en/LC_MESSAGES
sudo msgfmt -o /tmp/foo.po

And either log out and back in or just do:

unity --replace
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This is a great tip. Thanks Tim – lazyPower Dec 3 '12 at 16:32
I do not advise using unity --replace, it made my interface unusable. Logging out and back in worked fine though. Also, using an empty string for msgstr doesn't work. You have to use whitespace as your string (e.g. " ") to remove the message. – Dennis Oct 5 '13 at 20:53
This is awesome. – Parto Feb 23 '14 at 20:55
setsid unity will restart unity in 13.10 – mchid Apr 9 '14 at 22:04

This is a bit unusual and may be reverted if you update Unity, but this should be possible.

  1. Open GEdit (or any other text editor) and insert the following:

    msgid "Ubuntu Desktop"
    msgstr "Mac OS X"
  2. Save the file wherever you'd like with the .po extension. I'll refer to it as ~/desktop.po.

  3. Open up the terminal and execute the following commands:

    cd /usr/share/locale/en/LC_MESSAGES
    sudo msgfmt -o ~/desktop.po
  4. Log out and log back in and the text should have changed.

This is taking advantage of the translation system in Ubuntu to make it consider the English translation of "Ubuntu Desktop" to be "Mac OS X".

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Thanks Andrew. I've got to the point where i need to enter sudo msgfmt,but i get this: "(ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo msgfmt -o /home/ubuntu/documents/desktop.po) (sudo: msgfmt: command not found). Any ideas what might be happening? Hope you can help once again as i would love to get this done, it will all make sense once you see what i am doing as i know it looks a little odd at the moment. – UbuntuRob1 Dec 10 '12 at 12:21
I'm confused as to why this thread has been shut down because i already said that i didn't understand the previous topic, but a link has been posted anyway and the thread closed regardless of my comments. It's impossible for me to learn from reading something i simply don't understand. Is there any chance i could have it reopened please? I don't mean to sound rude but i don't get why threads have to be closed the minute an answer appears. Thanks. – UbuntuRob1 Dec 10 '12 at 12:26
You can install msgfmt with sudo apt-get install gettext – Andrew Johnson Dec 11 '12 at 1:16

To expand on what has been suggested above, and if you want to entirely remove the "Ubuntu Desktop" label, you can use:

msgid "Ubuntu Desktop"
msgstr " "

Where the whitespace is created, in gedit, for instance, by holding Ctrl+Shift keys and typing U00A0, this will generate an ascii non breaking space.


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