Ubuntu has pretty good theming system, visual effects, and eye-candy stuff, but you may love the elegance of Windows 7 Aero class, transparency, or the Start Menu. Today we’ll show you how to transform Ubuntu to look like Windows 7.
Of course, it won’t be an exact match, but it’s close enough that at first glance a lot of people would think it’s Windows 7. Keep reading to see how to do this.
Installing the Win7 Theme
Let’s start by entering some commands—just open up a terminal window and enter this:
sudo wget http://web.lib.sun.ac.za/ubuntu/files/help/theme/gnome/win7-setup.sh
sudo chmod 0755 ~/win7-setup.sh
This will download a script file that will be used later to tell your computer what files to download to complete the Win7 theme packages install. Once finished, a window will tell you that the installation will start now so just press OK.
Another window will pop up asking if you want to continue, answer yes for that window too. Now the terminal will begin downloading and installing the theme. It may take some time depending on your Internet speed. After that, a window like this will appear:
Press OK, then back in the terminal enter:
This command will setup Win7 theme and your computer will start transforming into windows style immediately. Wait for a few seconds and you will see a window asking you to logout so logout and log in again and this is what you will see:
Now your Ubuntu looks almost exactly like Windows. Congratulations! Now you have WinBuntu! You can even right-click the start button and choose “properties” to customize the start menu.
If you want, you can install Internet Explorer-like themes for Firefox. You can also use Windows 7 wallpaper for you desktop to give it a complete feel of Windows 7. The download links are down at the end of the article.
Uninstalling the Win7 Theme
During the setup of Win7 theme script, a backup of the previous Gnome settings got saved in your home folder, so if you ever get bored of this theme, you can uninstall it and rollback to previous Gnome state. The only downside though, is that there is no automatic uninstallation.
It’s not hard to do the uninstallation. Open your home folder there should be a file named “win7-uninstall.tar.gz”, open it with your archive manager and you’ll find your home folder, double-click it and you’ll see your username, double-click it too. There should be a “.gconf” file, extract that file to your home folder.
Logout and log back in, that’s it. Your theme is back to normal gnome as if nothing has happened. Cool, isn’t it?
In some cases when you try uninstalling the theme it won’t uninstall completely, leaving some Windows 7 icons or desktop wallpaper. In cases like this, you’ll have to remove the theme by deleting it’s files manually but don’t worry, it is easier than you think. Just open up a terminal window and type the following command followed by the enter key.
rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity
NOTE: This will restore your gnome appearance setting back to the default like when you first installed Ubuntu.
Omar Hafiz is a geeky Linux user who loves customizing Ubuntu to fit his personal style. Whether it's the login screen or his Gnome panels, he's got them tweaked to perfection.
- Published 03/22/11