Lxde (Lightweight X11 desktop environment) is a linux desktop system that is a lightweight alternative to gnome and kde desktops. I prefer it over gnome because of its simplicity and ease of use. Gnome as of version 3 has a strange user interface that is not liked by all. So if you too want to get rid of it, then give lxde a try.
Lxde is also the right choice for low end hardware that is low on resources like RAM and cpu. It is designed to use lesser resources and yet give the features of a complete desktop environment.
Lxde also supports themes (through the gnome/gtk themes). The default lxde theme is not very impressive. Can install other themes to get a better look. We shall be installing the greybird and bluebird themes which are very clean and professional looking themes.
To install the lxde desktop on opensuse run the following command at the terminal.
$ sudo zypper in -t pattern LXDE
It would request to install lots of packages and the total download size might be above 250MB.
Here is an alternative command that is shorter and installs lesser packages but brings in the lxde desktop
$ sudo zypper install lxappearance lxappearance-lang lxappearance-obconf lxcc lxde-common lxde-common-branding-openSUSE lxdm lxinput lxmenu-data lxmusic lxmusic-lang lxpanel lxpanel-lang lxrandr lxsession lxsession-edit lxshortcut lxtask lxterminal lxterminal-lang menu-cache mtpaint NetworkManager-gnome nuoveXT2-icon-theme obconf openal-soft openbox pcmanfm pcmanfm-lang
It will download and install lesser packages but get the complete functional lxde desktop.
Overall download size: 30.7 MiB. After the operation, additional 73.9 MiB will be used.
Install greybird theme
After installing the lxde desktop you might want to install a better theme that supports both gtk 2 and 3 apps. Its called greybird and is available in the opensuse repository.
$ sudo zypper install *greybird*
It would install 3 packages, namely
gtk2-metatheme-greybird | A Clean Minimalistic Theme for GNOME gtk3-metatheme-greybird | A Clean Minimalistic Theme for GNOME metatheme-greybird-common | A Clean Minimalistic Theme for GNOME
Now change the theme from
Menu > System > Preferences > Customize Look and feel
and njoye the clean and professional looks of your new lxde desktop on opensuse.