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I am trying to find the actual package name for the appearance app in ubuntu 11.10, went through synaptic and cant

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You mean the part that we change background image? I think it is a part of gnome-control-center right now. – heartsmagic Nov 13 '11 at 19:00
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Appearance is one of the the control panels in the GNOME Control Center. In Ubuntu 11.10, the specific command to bring up Appearance is gnome-control-center background. (This is what gets run when you search for Appearance in the Unity dash and click on the result.) The package that provides GNOME Control Center executable has the same name as that executable: gnome-control-center

In earlier versions of Ubuntu, there was a specific executable that got run to bring up the Appearance control panel: gnome-appearance-properties (But this was still provided by the gnome-control-center package.)

In case you're interested, to find out this information, I opened a Terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T) and created a file called 1 containing information about all the running processes on my system:

ps ax > 1

Then I opened the Unity dash and searched for Appearance, and clicked on the one search result. The Appearance control panel came up. I returned to the open Terminal window and created a new file called 2 containing information about the running processes on the system now:

ps ax > 2

Then I compared their contents:

diff 1 2

That gave me this text, in which there were only a few unpaired entries, of which the one that was most obviously correct was gnome-control-center background. (Then, if you're not sure that's the right one, you can check your answer by running that command to see if it brings up the Appearance window.)

Then I went to the online Ubuntu package information database, and under "Search the contents of packages", made sure "Oneiric" was selected as the release and searched for gnome-control-center. That revealed that this executable is provided by the package of the same name.

That's somewhat technical (and there's other ways to do it, like by looking in .desktop files to find the command), so please feel free to continue posting questions about this sort of thing. But if you feel up to it, you might be able to figure out the answers to these kinds of questions when you have them in the future...and when other users ask them.

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I don't know if this is what he meant, but is there a way to get the old Appearance app back? the one that was in 10.10 and use it in 11.10? I hate how I can't change the specific colors of windows, input boxes, and other things :-( – Daniel Clem Nov 13 '11 at 19:35
@DanielClem I recommend asking that as a separate question. – Eliah Kagan Nov 13 '11 at 19:41
Thank you Jorge, I was pulling my hair out, you are a legend, and thanks for the tip to find out about future apps package names, bookmarked :) – Jayo Nov 13 '11 at 19:42
My apologies THANKS ELIAH :) – Jayo Nov 13 '11 at 19:50
No problem--I'm glad my answer helped! (And I agree that Jorge is a legend :) – Eliah Kagan Nov 13 '11 at 20:11

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