Ubuntu Tweak: Mac-Look

Mar 16, 2011 by

Ever wanted a computer that combined the prettiness of a Mac with the open-ecosystem of Linux? Well now you can, and here’s a step by step guide on how to get there.

Step 1: Icons

One of the most important things to any user-interface is a nice set of icons, so first off, let’s swap those boring gnome defaults for something a little more shiny, the Faenza icon set should be perfect. Just click the image below to download them. Then install them by dragging the tar.gz file onto the “appearance” menu under preferences in the system tab, or by running a script to install it (although this is more tedious and easier to screw up).

Step 2: Window Borders

They say sometimes the frame is just as important as the picture, so why don’t we play it safe and install the Lucidity window theme? Just click the image below to download it. Then install it, click the customise button within the “appearance” menu, and choose Faenza as your icon set, then save the theme under a new name, for example; Lucidity – Faenza (if, like me, you’re feeling a tad unimaginative).

Step 3: A Dock

One of the most prominent features of any OS X desktop is the dock, and Ubuntu doesn’t miss a trick here. Simply download AWN (Avant Window Manager) from the Ubuntu software centre and configure it, checking the boxes for panel mode, setting the animations to “Classic”, and using the “3D” dock style.

Step 4: Effects

The software centre comes back into play here, but this time around you’ll need a more specialist tool called CompizConfig, so just do a search for “Compiz” and you should find it easily. Once installed, this tool will allow you to tweak the animations that Ubuntu uses. To get it to look and behave most like a Mac, disable “wobbly windows”, and change all animations to the “fade” style. (Before adjusting Compiz, open up the “Appearance” menu under preferences in the system tab, click on the “Visual Effects” tab and select “normal”)

Step 5: Wallpaper

This is by far the easiest step, simply download a nice wallpaper to match the Mac style, personally I recommend something by Pro9Studio, as these are rather excellent.

Step 6: The Finished Product

If you followed all my instructions correctly, your Desktop should now look something like this;



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