Monday, December 13, 2010

Make Ubuntu look like Windows 7 (Windows 7 theme for Ubuntu)

Most of my time on my laptop is going to be on Ubuntu-10.10 from now on. But I am a hard core fan of Microsoft and its Windows OS. The best ever OS you can ever have on your personal laptop at this point of time in my opinion for 100s of reasons, but whatever is the case when you want to get into learning mode, things are in favor of Linux, as its open source and you can download, modify, configure and compile your own kernel. and write your own drivers etc. 

So while I am inside Linux, I don't want to miss the familiar look of Windows 7, So I spent some time to set my Ubuntu look like Windows 7, and there is lot more you can do, but I want to keep it to the minimum and internally it should have the Linux touch to it. So here is the list of things I did, and if I add any more I will update in the Updates section.
  1. Install emerald theme manager, and download Windows 7 theme for it.
    goto synaptic theme manager, and search for emerald and install it and all dependencies. Download the theme for windows 7 from here. Open emerald theme manager and import the downloaded theme. Alt+f2 -> type in command emerald --replace
  2. Move the task bar down, and delete the other bar, which is having minimum buttons, (don't worry, you are not going to loose it forever, its configurable)
  3. Add emerald to start up when Ubuntu starts, same command as above.
  4. Goto Themes, customize, change Icons to Windows 7 set of icons, which are already present by now in the Appearance settings.
  5. Set a bright windows 7 wall paper.
  6. Press Alt + F2 -> type in gconf-editor, goto apps->nautilus->Desktop, and look for the trash_icon_visible and check the box beside, you can also add other icons to desktop like computer etc, I don't like My computer icon on my desktop !
  7. Download the task bar background image from here, and change the task bar settings to put this image as the background image.
  8. Download the Show Desktop background image, and add code for it. The code looks something like this,  You may have to install wmctl package for this.
  9. #!/bin/sh
    if wmctrl -m | grep "mode: ON"; then
    exec wmctrl -k off
    exec wmctrl -k on
  10. You can change the three menu task bar with single icon start button type task bar, but removing that panel (right click - remove) then add to panel Main Menu. 
  11. You download the Windows 7 icons set from this link, and apply it by drag and dropping on the change themes dialog box.

You are done !, now your desktop should look something like this, its more of windows 7,  with a touch of Linux for the menus. I have referred to these two sites for this make over, and some more from Google! Other things explained on these blogs, I found unnecessary for me at least.

Comments are welcome !


  1. Hi Pal, Thanks a lot for this! I am a complete Noob and managed to follow the instructions. However, i have one little problem at the moment. Just a niggle really.

    The top part of my menu seems to be to thick. The part where the Min, Maximise and close buttons are. It is about twice the size it should be. can i change this?

    Look at the image in step 10, yours looks right but mine is about twice the size it should be :(

  2. @ Mark, You need to tweak that in emarald theme manager, using emarald you can edit all these details such as windows colour, size, top bar width etc, please check that, you will find it.