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How to make ubuntu look more like windows

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

It’s now even easier to make Ubuntu look like Windows 10.

Ubuntu 17.04 has the UKUI desktop environment, which was specifically designed to feel familiar to Windows users, available in the package archives.

We’ve written about the UKUI desktop before. It’s a MATE-based desktop environment that ships with a custom layout, icon, theme and window style. It features a Windows Explorer style file manager (called ‘Peony’), and a Windows style Start Menu‘.

UKUI is developed by the Chinese community flavor Ubuntu Kylin. For 17.04 Kylin made a last minute switch from Unity to its own MATE-based UKUI desktop, spurred on by Canonical’s announcement that it is to ditch the Unity desktop and switch back to a ‘vanilla’ GNOME experience.

The core UKUI is composed of a single MATE panel with a custom set of applets and indicators, including a Windows-style date/time applet, simple volume slider, and start menu.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

The desktop also has its own settings app that is designed to resemble the Windows Control Centre, and its own file manager called Peony.

Peony is a fork of Nautilus that is (yup, you guessed it) designed to resemble Windows Explorer, the Windows file manager.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Thanks to collaborative effort with the MATE desktop team, UKUI is available in the Ubuntu Zesty repos. You can install it alongside Unity, GNOME and other desktop environments, though this isn’t without some caveats (see end of post).

This means you don’t need to download and apply themes, manually create panel layouts, add PPAs or replace core system apps with alternatives.

Caveats

If you install the UKUI desktop environment you will also install the Kylin Greeter (login and lock screen) and Ubuntu Kylin desktop settings. This latter package will affect the default Unity desktop layout by overwriting it with Ubuntu Kylin defaults (e.g, launcher on bottom, Chinese language, etc).

The default UKUI GTK theme lacks proper GTK3 support.

Because the desktop is based on the MATE desktop you will experience issues running them both side by side. For me, installing UKUI after MATE, the latter ended up affected by Kylin defaults, and the former affected by MATE defaults.

All of these “changes” could be manually corrected/reverted if the UKUI is something you really want to play with, and and you won’t miss Unity or the traditional MATE experience too much, the trade off may be worth it.

Install UKUI on Ubuntu 17.04

UKUI is free, open-source software. It is available to install from Ubuntu Software on Ubuntu 17.04:

Removal

To uninstall UKUI — desktop, apps and associated settings — just run this command in a new Terminal window:

You’ll also need to open Software & Updates > Other Software and remove the Ubuntu Kylin repository.

Thanks D. W.

Home » How To » It’s Now Super Easy to Make Ubuntu Look like Windows

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

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The screenshot you see above looks like it’s of Windows 7 but it’s actually just a Windows 7 theme for Linux Mint.

Pretty impressive, huh?

We’ve shown you how to make Linux Mint look like a Mac before so aping the appearance of a rival operating system while not to everyone’s tastes is something you already know is possible.

But we’ve never really touched on how to make this distro look like Windows. And Linux Mint is the ideal starting point if you want to do that because it looks and behaves more like Windows than regular Ubuntu does.

So with Windows 7 support at an end, and lots of users debating a switch to Linux Mint, it feels like a good time to share this (surprisingly simple) how to.

Windows 7 Linux Mint Theme

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

For an accurate looking Linux Mint Windows 7 theme we can turn to the fab design team at the B00merang Project.

They’ve crafted a competent copy of the Windows 7 UI for the Cinnamon desktop (the theme will also work on other desktops too, with varying results).

Download Windows 7 GTK Theme

Assuming you’re running a recent-ish version of Linux Mint (or a different distro with the Cinnamon desktop installed) your first step is to download the following Windows 7 theme pack:

Let the archive fully download and then, using your file manager, locate the .zip file you just got and extract it in to a new folder.

Next, in another file manager window, open the .themes directory in your Home folder. Remember: to see (or hide) hidden “dot files” you need to press ctrl + h .

Copy the extracted folder in to here to install the Windows 7 theme pack.

Linux Mint makes it very super easy to change theme: open the Mint Menu to search for and open “Themes”. Set the Windows 7 GTK theme for Window borders, Controls, and Desktop.

Download Windows 7 Icon Set

That’s the theme done, but we can go further. To help round out the Windows 7 look you should use an Windows 7 icon set — which, hurrah, the B00merang project also provide:

Download and extract the .zip file above and move the extracted directory (not the zip file) to the hidden .icons folder in Home.

Once done, pop open the “Themes” tool again set ‘icons’ to the Windows 7 pack you just added.

Finishing touches

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

By now your desktop will look a lot like the ‘real deal’ you see above — but there are a few other tweaks you can make to round off the experience.

First is adding a Start Menu clone. Now, I personally prefer the default Mint Menu over anything else but I accept that it doesn’t “look the part”.

So, to replace the Mint Menu with a Windows 7 Start Menu clone:

  • Right-click on the panel and select “Add Applets”
  • Select the “Download” tab
  • Search for and install “Start Menu”
  • Click the install icon for “CinnVIIStarkMenu”
  • Switch back to the Manage section and add the applet

Use “Panel Edit” mode to reposition the Start Menu clone where you want it (i.e. on the far left) — just remember to turn panel edit mode off after as it’s not automatic. If you don’t, you’ll be frustrated that nothing on the panel seems to respond!

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Finally, to seal the deal, you’ll want to download a nice high quality version of the Windows 7 wallpaper to set as your desktop background (shortcut: right-click on the image file in the file manager and select ‘Set as Background’).

There you have it; a safe and secure Linux Mint system that looks a lot like Windows 7 but, mercifully, isn’t Windows 7!

Home » Download » How to Make Linux Mint Look Like Windows 7

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

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

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:

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

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:

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

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.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Logout and log back in, that’s it. Your theme is back to normal gnome as if nothing has happened. Cool, isn’t it?

Forcefully uninstalling

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.

Dec 29, 2017
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If you’ve just moved to Linux from a Windows 10 machine, it will take some time getting used to how everything works. A great way to get used to the Linux platform is to make Linux look like Windows 10. Customizing a Linux desktop environment takes a lot of work especially if you want one that closely resembles Microsoft’s Windows 10. The single most important part of this is the GTK theme which is responsible for how programs, user interfaces, window manager titlebars and etc look on your Linux desktop. A good theme goes a long way, and changing themes can make your operating system look radically different.

SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

Windows 10 GTK Themes

There are many different Windows 10 themes for the Linux platform, as a lot of people tend to switch away from Windows to Linux and want to keep a familiar look. The single best, most complete Windows 10 themes for Linux is developed by the Boomerang Project.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Boomerang doesn’t just have one Windows 10 theme, it has three. Installing these themes require installing the “git” package. Find the “git” package by opening the Gnome Software app/Software center, search for “git” and install it. Alternatively, open up a terminal, and search for git using your Linux distribution’s package manager. Then, choose one of the three themes below, and grab the theme with git.

Windows 10 Light

After downloading the theme, install it to the system directory with:

Alternatively, install it for a single user.

Windows 10 Dark

Windows 10 Universal

Setting these themes on your Linux desktop will be different depending on the desktop environment. Currently, all three Windows 10 Linux themes from Boomerang have official desktop environment support for Xfce4, Cinnamon, Gnome Shell, Openbox, Fluxbox, LXDE, MATE and the Qt-based KDE Plasma 5.

Setting The Icons

After grabbing one of the three Windows 10 themes for Linux, the next step is to install the icon theme on the system. Much like the GTK themes, the Windows 10 icon theme is on Github, and you’ll need a terminal window open to download it.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

First, grab the latest version of the icon theme directly from the developer’s page with:

Unlike the other themes, there is no “git clone” option, so wget is used. After grabbing the icons, the next step is to unpack everything. This is done with the unzip command. If your Linux distribution doesn’t support unzip, or you have issues using the command, use the file manager to extract it.

When everything finishes extracting, install the theme. Like the GTK theme, the Windows Icon theme can be install to the system level, or on a per user basis. For a system wide installation, move the extracted icon folder from its download location to /usr/share/icons/. For individual users, move them to

Note: you may need to create

Set The Wallpaper

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

A Windows 10-like Linux desktop isn’t complete without the famous Windows 10 Hero wallpaper. Luckily, the Windows 10 GTK theme comes with that exact Windows 10 wallpaper. To apply it, you’ll first need to move it from the theme directory in /usr/share/themes/, to the

/Pictures directory in /home/.

First, use the CD command to enter the theme directory.

Once there, use the LS command to reveal all of the files inside of the theme directory.

Find the wallpaper filename, and use the CP command to copy it to pictures.

Alternatively, move the wallpaper from the theme directory entirely with the mv command.

When the wallpaper is in the correct place, feel free to set it with your desktop environment. Not sure how to change the wallpaper? Refer to our list of “how to customize” guides for each of the Linux desktop environments that support the Windows 10 theme.

  • Cinnamon
  • Gnome Shell
  • LXDE
  • Mate
  • Budgie
  • XFCE4

Other Windows 10 Modifications

After installing the theme and icons everything should mostly look like Windows 10 (if you can overlook the obvious differences between Linux and Windows). Consider also installing a search tool like Synapse, Catfish or Albert to mimic the powerful search offered up in Windows 10.

Do keep in mind that there isn’t currently a way to directly integrate any of these apps into any Linux desktop environment’s taskbar. This can be solved by adding a shortcut to the app on your panel.

Conversion Pack

The themes used in this guide were taken from a total Windows 10 conversion pack. If you’d like to make your Linux desktop look even more Windows like, go to this page here, scroll down and read the instructions on the page. It goes over how to get the most out of the themes.

Jan 16, 2018
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Windows Vista was Microsoft’s first attempt to modernize Windows. Things looked much more polished and glossy, rather than the look that Windows XP had going for it. Vista has long been retired, and Microsoft discourages users from using it. If you liked the look of Vista though, you can make Linux look like Windows Vista with just a little work. You’ll be able to keep that familiar look, while using something a bit more modern.

Choosing A Desktop Environment

One of the key features of Windows Vista was the search functionality. Before this release of Windows, users had to sort through the start menu and look through categories to find anything. When it comes to replicating this look on Linux, it’s important to find a desktop environment with a similar search feature.

By far, the best candidate for this is Cinnamon, as the menu works very similar to how Vista did. Additionally, it has a modern theme engine, snappy window effects, and overall can closely match windows in a lot of ways.

Don’t have a powerful graphics card? Consider using XFCE4 with this menu plugin, or the Mate desktop environment coupled with the Brisk menu plugin. Both of these desktop environments have the potential to closely resemble Vista when these menus are added to them.

If you care more about the overall look of Windows Vista rather than making a nearly identical desktop that copies most (if not all) of its features, feel free to use any desktop environment for this process. Just keep in mind that some are less ideal than others.

Installing The GTK Theme

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Overhauling a Linux desktop environment requires a few things, but by far the most important is changing the overall theme of everything. This is because the essence of any Linux desktop is its theme. To get started, open up a terminal. Using the terminal, search for and install “git”. This tool will help you interact with Github, and download the latest version of the Vista theme easily.

Not sure where to find Git? Check your Linux distribution’s software manager, package manager or software store for “git”, and click the install button.

This will download every theme inside of the B00merang Redmond collection. Once downloaded, use the CD command to enter the Redmond-Themes folder.

From here, install the Windows Vista theme directly to the theme directory on the system.

Want to make the theme only accessible for one user, rather than the entire system? Do this instead:

After the theme is installed, go up one directory using “..”.

Then, delete the Redmond-Themes folder from the system, using rm -rf.

Lastly, apply the theme within your desktop environment’s theme settings. However, please keep in mind that every desktop environment is a little different, and applying themes requires following different steps. If you’re unsure as to how to enable the GTK theme, check out our list below. We go over how to customize each individual desktop environment, change themes, icons and more!

  • Cinnamon
  • Gnome Shell
  • LXDE
  • Mate
  • Budgie
  • XFCE4

Installing The Icon Theme

Unfortunately, there aren’t many popular Windows Vista icon themes out there for Linux. As a result the only icon theme available is one that is largely under-developed. Downloading this icon theme requires the unzip tool to be installed. To install it, open up a terminal and search your operating system’s package manager for “unzip”. Alternatively, search the software store or however you install programs for it. When it is installed and running on your Linux PC, open up a terminal and download the theme.

Extracting the archives gives a Vista folder in the same directory. This is the icon theme. To install it, you’ll just need to move it from where it currently is, to the /usr/share/icons/ directory. Placing the theme here makes this icon theme available for every user that has access to this Linux PC.

If you don’t want this icon theme available for every user to access, consider installing it in your home directory instead. To do this, first create the

Then, move the icon theme from where it was extracted to, to the

After installing the Vista icon theme, everything needed to make Linux look like Windows Vista is on the system.

The next step is to enable these themes on the Desktop Environment itself. Not sure how to do this? Refer to our list above about customizing Linux desktop environments to find out how.

If you have recently switched from Windows to Linux, you might be missing the catchy themes and the customizable taskbars of your desktop. The orange Ubuntu theme might be too plain for you and you may wish to work on a more user-friendly and colorful environment. In this article, we will tell you how to give your Ubuntu 18.04 almost the same look and feel as that of your Windows operating system, basically by customizing the taskbars and incorporating a Windows-styled theme.

Step 1: Switch to a Windows-like Taskbar

If you are missing the Windows taskbar that is located at the bottom and want to get rid of the Linux taskbar that is usually found vertically on the left side of the desktop, you can make use of Gnome Extensions. The Extensions utility on Ubuntu lets you customize your desktop layout to a great extent. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that you can customize your Ubuntu much much more than Windows. You need to download Gnome Shell Extensions and Gnome Tweaks in order to switch to a Windows-like taskbar.

1. Open the Terminal application by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T

2. Enter the following command as root:

You will be asked to provide a password for sudo. Enter the password after which the installation process will begin. You will also be prompted with a y/n option to continue installation. Enter y to continue.

3. After the installation is complete, log out of your system and login so that your system fully recognizes the newly installed tools.

4. After logging back, enter tweaks in your Ubuntu Dash to access the Tweaks tool as follows:

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

The following Tweaks utility will open:

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

5. Please click the Extensions option from the left panel and then switch on the Dash to panel button. You will see that your Ubuntu taskbar will now be dashed to the bottom of the desktop as follows:

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When you hover over an icon in the taskbar, you will get the same kind of thumbnails that you get on the Windows taskbars. You can also right-click any icon simply while hovering over it and access the common options that otherwise needed clicking the icon and then right-clicking it.

6. You can customize many more features of the Dash to Panel extension. Right-click the Applications button and click the Dash to Panel Settings option as follows:

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Through the following window, you can change the position of the clock, the position of the panel, the size of the panel and the icon margins, among many other things:

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

If you want to switch back to the old look, simply access the Tweaks tool, move to the Extensions panel and switch off the Extensions button.

Step 2: You New Application Menu

In Windows, you have a pop-up application menu( the Start menu) rather than the applications list you have on Ubuntu. In the Start menu, your application menu can be accessed based on their categories.

If you want the same kind of menu incorporated on your Ubuntu System, you can do so through the Tweaks tool. Move to the Extensions panel and then switch on the Applications menu button as follows:

Here is how your new application menu looks like. You can now launch your applications easily based on the categories assigned to each. For example, all the graphics applications such as LibreOffice Draw, Shotwell and Simple Scan are categorized on my system under Graphics.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Step 3: Get a Windows-like theme

The Ambiance theme that Ubuntu uses by default is greyish and orangish contrary to Windows that mostly uses Blue and Grey theme. In order to change the default theme to a more catchy one, follow these steps:

1. Open the Tweaks utility and click the Appearance category to open the respective panel.

2. Change the following theme options in the Appearance panel:

Applications: Adwaita

Cursor: DMZ-White

Icons: Adwaita

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Your desktop will now use the default Adwaita theme with blue and grey colors.

3. The next step is to change the background to a more friendly one. Right-click your desktop and click Change Background. Select a new Background that gives you the feel of Windows.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

4. If you also want to change the grey and orange panel theme, open the Tweaks utility and switch on User Themes from the Extensions panel.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

3. Now let us download a lighter theme that we can use from the following location as a .zip file:

4. In the Tweaks utility, Appearance panel, change to the theme you just downloaded by clicking None adjacent to Shell.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

We have downloaded and used the Transparent shell theme as our new system, that no doubt gives a Windows feel.

Now even the icons and pop-ups will be more in line with your overall Blue and White theme. You can see how the above image gives the feel of a Windows desktop more than an Ubuntu one.

So we have seen how the Gnome Extensions can help us get the same kind of taskbars, themes and application menu that you have on Windows. As a user who has recently switched to Ubuntu, the new environment will not be as strange for your as before.

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Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I can confidently say that an Ubuntu-based Linux OS called “LinuxFx” really admires the appearance of Microsoft’s Windows 10. In fact, this distribution goes to such painstakingly detailed lengths to emulate the look and feel of Windows 10, I’m surprised Microsoft hasn’t called in the army of lawyers to shut it down. But is LinuxFx a comfortable gateway into Linux for Windows users, or merely an Ubuntu clone with a clever Windows skin?

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

LInuxFx, an Ubuntu-based Linux OS that uses the Cinnamon desktop to perfectly emulate Windows 10.

LinuxFx Build 2004 (codenamed “WindowsFx”) is a Brazilian-created Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 20.04. It uses the flexible Cinnamon Desktop, but novice Linux users would be hard-pressed to identify it; on the surface it’s truly a dead ringer for Windows 10.

From the panel layout to the desktop’s appearance, from the Start Menu icon to the File Explorer, and even the exact same default Windows 10 wallpaper, LinuxFx makes a concerted effort for Windows users to feel right at home by employing this theme called b00merang (available under a GPL license).

There’s even a stripped-down assistant called “Helloa” that uses roughly the same logo and basic animations as Cortana. On your first boot, the Helloa assistant will help set up your graphics drivers, display and resolution, and a couple other basics before you dive in.

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Lead developer Rafael Rachid tells me that Helloa is in the early development stages, and that the team is “still integrating with Google to add artificial intelligence and voice commands.” Rachid believes they will have a more polished product soon, so I’m eager to see where they take this component, as virtual assistants are a feature sorely missing from desktop Linux.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

“Helloa” which is totally NOT Cortana, walks users through the initial setup of their new Linux OS

Speaking of shamelessly lifting brand imagery, Linux email client Evolution uses the Outlook logo, a “Games” system setting makes use of the Xbox logo, and the LibreOffice launcher swaps in the Microsoft Office logo.

Props to the designers who clearly know how to nail their theming, but perhaps that’s taking the imitation game a bit too far?

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

“Coverflow” style Alt-Tab app switching

At any rate, LinuxFx does offer several valuable additions that Windows users migrating to Linux will appreciate. For starters, the ability to install .exe and .msi packages (using Wine) works out of the box. I tested it with WinRar, PuTTY and a couple other Windows apps and it worked surprisingly well. In addition to that functionality, a Control Panel setting lets you auto-install a suite of additional files to increase compatibility with Windows-exclusive software.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Out-of-box Windows compatibility is surprisingly good.

LinuxFx also bundles in a healthy assortment of productivity and communication software that Windows users are likely accustomed to such as Skype, Telegram, Microsoft Teams, TeamViewer and Zoom.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Familiar names and functionality, but the apps behind the menu are obviously Linux ones.

For the most part, it honestly feels like using Windows 10 until you start digging deep into customization menus or the bundled software store (which uses the Windows Store icon because of course it does). Or adding applets, desklets or a huge selection of themes to your installation.

Unlike Windows, however, system updates are seamless and don’t require a restart. . .

LinuxFx is also actively being developed for ARM platforms. It currently works on the Raspberry Pi and is being ported to the Asus Tinker.

It’s both compelling and concerning just how shockingly similar this all looks to Windows 10. Concerning because one has to wonder if the existence of a distribution like this is threatened by the copious amounts of asset borrowing. But it’s also compelling because a new Linux user can quite easily just switch up the theme and behavior using Cinnamon’s wealth of customization options once the novelty of a Windows 10 desktop has worn off.

At that point, they’re basically using a stable version of Ubuntu 20.04 with the Cinnamon desktop. That being said, Rachid tells me their longterm plan is to rewrite all the functions and systematically replace the components of Cinnamon, and eventually employ their own custom window manager.

So my initial impressions of LinuxFx are mixed. I encountered several app crashes within just a few hours, and they seem to be tied into the theming. On the other hand, you have to admire the lengths these developers went to in order to recreate that look and behavior of Windows 10 and to make migrating users feel comfortable.

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Note the Office and Outlook icons used in the menu

You could probably install this on a friend’s PC and briefly trick them into thinking they’re still using Windows 10. The more interesting experiment would be handing this to a jaded Windows 10 user and seeing how they adapt to using what’s really Ubuntu Linux with some very clever theming.

In a way, LinuxFx proves just how easy using Linux has become.

Any volunteers? You can download LinuxFx here, and yep, it can also be used directly from the image on a Live USB.

Jan 16, 2018
Comment

Windows Vista was Microsoft’s first attempt to modernize Windows. Things looked much more polished and glossy, rather than the look that Windows XP had going for it. Vista has long been retired, and Microsoft discourages users from using it. If you liked the look of Vista though, you can make Linux look like Windows Vista with just a little work. You’ll be able to keep that familiar look, while using something a bit more modern.

Choosing A Desktop Environment

One of the key features of Windows Vista was the search functionality. Before this release of Windows, users had to sort through the start menu and look through categories to find anything. When it comes to replicating this look on Linux, it’s important to find a desktop environment with a similar search feature.

By far, the best candidate for this is Cinnamon, as the menu works very similar to how Vista did. Additionally, it has a modern theme engine, snappy window effects, and overall can closely match windows in a lot of ways.

Don’t have a powerful graphics card? Consider using XFCE4 with this menu plugin, or the Mate desktop environment coupled with the Brisk menu plugin. Both of these desktop environments have the potential to closely resemble Vista when these menus are added to them.

If you care more about the overall look of Windows Vista rather than making a nearly identical desktop that copies most (if not all) of its features, feel free to use any desktop environment for this process. Just keep in mind that some are less ideal than others.

Installing The GTK Theme

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Overhauling a Linux desktop environment requires a few things, but by far the most important is changing the overall theme of everything. This is because the essence of any Linux desktop is its theme. To get started, open up a terminal. Using the terminal, search for and install “git”. This tool will help you interact with Github, and download the latest version of the Vista theme easily.

Not sure where to find Git? Check your Linux distribution’s software manager, package manager or software store for “git”, and click the install button.

This will download every theme inside of the B00merang Redmond collection. Once downloaded, use the CD command to enter the Redmond-Themes folder.

From here, install the Windows Vista theme directly to the theme directory on the system.

Want to make the theme only accessible for one user, rather than the entire system? Do this instead:

After the theme is installed, go up one directory using “..”.

Then, delete the Redmond-Themes folder from the system, using rm -rf.

Lastly, apply the theme within your desktop environment’s theme settings. However, please keep in mind that every desktop environment is a little different, and applying themes requires following different steps. If you’re unsure as to how to enable the GTK theme, check out our list below. We go over how to customize each individual desktop environment, change themes, icons and more!

  • Cinnamon
  • Gnome Shell
  • LXDE
  • Mate
  • Budgie
  • XFCE4

Installing The Icon Theme

Unfortunately, there aren’t many popular Windows Vista icon themes out there for Linux. As a result the only icon theme available is one that is largely under-developed. Downloading this icon theme requires the unzip tool to be installed. To install it, open up a terminal and search your operating system’s package manager for “unzip”. Alternatively, search the software store or however you install programs for it. When it is installed and running on your Linux PC, open up a terminal and download the theme.

Extracting the archives gives a Vista folder in the same directory. This is the icon theme. To install it, you’ll just need to move it from where it currently is, to the /usr/share/icons/ directory. Placing the theme here makes this icon theme available for every user that has access to this Linux PC.

If you don’t want this icon theme available for every user to access, consider installing it in your home directory instead. To do this, first create the

Then, move the icon theme from where it was extracted to, to the

After installing the Vista icon theme, everything needed to make Linux look like Windows Vista is on the system.

The next step is to enable these themes on the Desktop Environment itself. Not sure how to do this? Refer to our list above about customizing Linux desktop environments to find out how.

Sponsored Link

Start with the visual style, if you haven’t already install Uxtheme Multipatcher, this will remove the limitations on your system, in order to install new themes. Then download the Human Visual Style

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Go to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes and safe your download theme in there.

Now right click on your Desktop and click on Properties. Go to Appearance and select Human as the theme.

Now change the icons, first install Icontweaker,after that install Ubuntu Icontweaker theme

Next, change the wallpaper on your desktop, get the Ubuntu wallpaper Here or here .

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

To replace the icons for Windows Explorer, first install Styler toolbar (free),get the Ubuntu Human Theme for Styler.

Now get the famous ubuntu Cursor

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Now, what everybody wants. The alternative to Beryl on Linux.GET IT HERE , and get that “3D CUBE” effect.

To change the boot screen download BootSkin (it’s free): Get it Here .
And download the Ubuntu Bootskin

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

To get Ubuntu Logon screen go here.

For Mozilla Firefox Web Browser, you can install the Ubuntu Theme, Dapper Retouched for Opera

Theme for WinRAR from here

How to make ubuntu look more like windows

Article Credit goes here

Simply download this and install in your windows machine

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29 Comments to “How To Make Windows look like Ubuntu”

A much simpler solution would be to install Ubuntu and use that instead.

Thanks for this. It’s fun for my windows box @ work. 🙂

LOL.
This is a real nice reply to the millions of “How to make your Linux Desktop look like Windows” threads ! Looking forward to the “How to install KDE on Windows” thread in a few months, so that I can finally have some decent UI on my office PC :))

Why the hell would you want to waste you time doing this? Is there any functional purpose?

I could see using this to convert your family/friends to Ubuntu. First make all the changes in this article. Then, after your family is used to the computer this way, switch them over to Ubuntu without telling them. It’s like teaching a kid to ride a two-wheel bike: you let go of the bike when they aren’t looking, and they do just fine.

Agreed this is a great response on how to make your X look like Y. I say the best way to get something that looks like Y is to INSTALL Y!

@Andrew: I fully agree. It’s a nice approach for step by step migration to ubuntu in company environments, too.

Thanks so much for your quick reply to my query. The tutorial works just great; except………….my Linux friends still think I’m lame. Do you think they know it’s not really Ubuntu? Or something else!

Huh… Or just install Ubuntu, by deleting Windows. You would also get the benefit of havening a fully functional computer.

Am I the only one who thinks that Ubuntu out of box is the ugliest thing ever? The default themes, that horrible flesh color, the brown and orange color scheme are all repugnant to me. And I turn the eye-candy off because compiz is crash prone.

Why would you wanna do that Oo? An operating system should be used because of its qualities and not its looks. As in RL, the inside is what matters, don’t be shallow :D. For eg: The sole purpose of Beryl is show off when confronting Windows or Mac users, that have the stereotypic believe that Linux DE are old fashioned and look like crap. The only feature that might actually enhance your productivity is the window grouping and tabbing feature, the rest is just damn annoying.

Red Oscar: If your “Linux friends” are Ubuntu users, I wouldn’t worry too much about their opinion on other operating systems *duck*. The point is that there is always someone that will criticise you for your choice OS choice (like I just did in my last sentence). I know windows users that know a hell of a lot more about their operating system and their computers entrails for that matter, then some Linux users. What I am trying to say is that you shouldn’t use an operating system because it’s “teh l337 fash1zzl” but because it suits your needs and capabilities.

I should also mention that this post is opinionated and subjective and might not reflect the opinion of others or the factual truth.

No need for holywars. It’s like Christianity and Islam. Different ways? Same things in deep. No matter which one you choose. You’ll die at last. No matter which OS you choose – it’s only the way to do your work.

Thanks, nice guide!

Why do I want to do that?
I’m a developer and I have to use Windows in VirtualBox for testing purposes.
I use VirtualBox in seamless mode and I’m happy that I have the Windows windows look just the same with the ones from gnome. That’s why.

Nice, Like to add for AWN -> Rocket Dock (Freeware Download.com has it) it is a nice OSX-esque dock for MSW (might be XP only – not sure don’t quote me on that) only problem is that MSW is horrible about windows management if it isn’t going to the panel.

hey I just look at it like having the best of both worlds no matter which machine I am using I have the bits of shiny I like and find it entertaining. I am a girl … and I like my shiny. my dad (who is doesn’t even understand why someone needs a GUI… I’m serious) can’t understand that necessity. I’m a geek, and I love the principal of Linux, GNU, and GPL but I do have some machines that hardware-wise just don’t run as smooth on Linux as MSW, and until hardware and software companies recognize Linux as an actual real life OS not just some toy in the hands of a bunch of old time computer geeks MSW will still have a strangle hold on the OS market, so why not have fun if you need to use MSW and why not rip off anything new and creative that they do do into Linux (they do have some nice bits of shiny). If you don’t get why – fine maybe its just not for you. but I for one like my pretty things so :P.

Interesting indeed, I will try and see how much I can make it to work.

I can’t get the logon page to do anything with LogonStudio…any suggestions?