Brief: OCS Store allows you to search and install various Linux software, themes, icons etc that you might not even find in your distribution’s software center.
One of the biggest selling points of desktop Linux, for me, is the centralized software distribution system. Ubuntu has Apt, Arch Linux has Pacman and Fedora’s got RPM. This centralized distribution means an increased stability, a superior integration between the apps and the operating system, and an enhanced security factor.
But the Linux world has been moving in a different direction lately. Snaps, Flatpak, and AppImage are the next big things. These ‘unified’ packaging methods release the developers from going through distro specific software packaging and support related tasks. A huge burden mind you. These newer packaging methods also provide a uniform experience throughout all the distros. openDesktop.org store is a great place to get Flatpaks, AppImages and more.
openDesktop.org is an open source market, an unofficial app store of sorts. It has a huge collection of apps, desktop themes, icon packs, free games, wallpapers and desktop extensions. The applications here are packed into distro independent formats such as the AppImage and the Flatpak. openDesktop.org is a part of a family of such content sharing websites.
The content that you upload on one site gets shared on all the other sites such as GNOME-Look.org, XFCE-Look.org, KDE-Look.org, and many other Linux related sites.
OCS Store is an application that allows you to download, install and manage the content that is available on openDesktop.org, all through one application. OCS Store desktop application is basically a container which opens the openDesktop.org site but provides additional features such as installing themes directly from the application.
How good is it?
Any application that is packaged into Flatpak or AppImage is downright available on OCS Store. So whenever you need an application, you can open OCS Store, use the search box or browse categories and download the software right from OCS Store. It’s convenient.
But, yes there’s a but. AppImages and Flatpaks are not mainstream yet. I honestly feel that they do not gracefully integrate with the operating system, yet. I said ‘gracefully’. And I know most of you prefer the Apt or the Pacman over AppImage anyway. So what good is OCS Store you ask? Desktop customization I say.
Themes and Icons
Many users often asked where can they find themes and icons for Linux desktop. OCS Store is an answer to that question.
OCS Store has a plethora of desktop themes and icon sets. I mean it’ll have you window shopping for hours. Apt is great, RPM is awesome, but you can’t browse themes and icon packs on them. On OCS store you can and you will. The quality is great. Since there’s a voting system on OCS store, high-quality content moves to the top.
The themes are what you’ll absolutely love about OCS Store. There are a ton of amazing themes here. Most of them are not even available outside of OCS Store. Existing themes are modded and customized and put in OCS Store. Open source enthusiasts put out their proverbial art for others to appreciate here. I mean, just look at this Gnome Shell theme and tell me it’s not stunning.
Coming to the icons department, OCS Store is an icon pack heaven. While browsing OCS Store to write this article, I ended up installing tens of icon packs and honestly, I’m confused which one to use now. It’ll have you hooked, I’m telling you.
And after you’ve finally decided on which icon pack to use, there are more than 70,000 wallpapers to add the final touch to your desktop. Again these can be browsed categorically.
A good number of fonts, desktop extensions, launchers and docs, system sounds, and lot of other stuff are available on OCS Store. You gotta browse and take what you want. And if you create any of the above content or mod themes or extensions, OCS Store is the perfect place for you to share your creations. The community is appreciative and supportive.
OCS Store provides the ‘Install’ button. Which of course, is supposed to install the themes or icons directly from the Store. But in my experience, this didn’t work out as advertised consistently. I had to manually place the themes in the .themes folder for them to be applied from the tweak tool. Same with the icon packs. Still not a deal breaker.
Install OCS Store
Use the link below to download the appropriate installer file for your distro. The installers are stored under the ‘Files’ tab.
The installers for OpenSUSE, Fedora, Arch Linux, Ubuntu are provided. There’s also an AppImage. Use it to test drive the OCS Store app without installing it. After downloading the appropriate file, open a terminal in the download location and run the command specific to your distro as given below. For other distros, use AppImage.
Install on Ubuntu:
sudo apt install ocsstore_2.2.1-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb
Install on Fedora:
rpm -U ocsstore-2.2.1-1.fc20.x86_64.rpm
Try out using AppImage:
sudo chmod +x ocsstore-2.2.1-1-x86_64.AppImage
Then click on the file in file manager to launch OCS Store.
OCS Store is a pretty good tool to find the elements to customize your desktop. It’s convenient too. However, I would still prefer to visit Open Desktop website rather than installing the desktop version of the website.
Do give it a try. Got any questions or opinions? Use the comments section below. We’d be glad to hear from you. Cheers.