This simple tutorial is going to show you how to install a Windows 7 theme and tweak your Ubuntu desktop to make it look more like Windows 7.

First take a look at the result:

Windows 7-Like-Ubuntu13.04

It’s not easy to configure the default Unity desktop’s left Launcher, so I used the xfce desktop.

To get started, follow the steps below:

1. Install Xfce Desktop Environment:

Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal window, copy and paste following command and hit run to install Xfce:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

Once installed, log out and select “Xubuntu session” to log in again.

select-xfce-session

2. Customize Xubuntu session

The Xubuntu session has a top-panel and dock like panel at bottom.

1. First get rid of the top-panel by right-click on it -> Panel -> Panel Preferences.

remove-xfce-panel

Then click the Red minus button to remove it:

remove-xfce-panel1

2. In previous window, use the drop-down box in the panel configuration window to select the other panel. Uncheck the ‘Automatically show and hide the panel’ option and check the ‘Automatically increase the length’ option.

Now you should have a single panel across that bottom of your screen. Under Items tab, remove items you don’t want and add items you do want, and reorder them as you see fit. For a Windows 7-style taskbar, try using these items in the following order:

Applications Menu, Separator, Launcher, Window Buttons, Separator (check “Expand” in its Properties), Notification Area, Indicator Plugin, Show Desktop.

add-panel-items

3. Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal, copy and paste following 4 commands and run to download and install Windows 7 theme:

wget https://launchpad.net/~upubuntu-com/+archive/gtk3/+files/win2-7_0.1_all.deb

sudo dpkg -i win2-7_0.1_all.deb

sudo apt-get -f install

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme 'Win2-7-theme'

4. Apply the theme by going to Applications -> Settings Manager -> Appearance -> Select “Win2-7-theme” in both Style and Icons tab.

apply-win2-7-theme

5. You can also change the applications menu’s icon and make it use a Windows 7-style start orb. First, find a Windows 7 start orb image on Google Images, but make sure you get a transparent PNG image. Once you’ve found a good image, right-click the Applications menu button, select Properties, and use the Icon button to select your start orb.

6. To make your panel look more like Windows 7’s panel, right-click it, point to Panel, and select Panel Preferences. On the Appearance tab, select Background image and browse to the \usr\share\themes\Win2-7-theme\gtk-2.0\Panel\ directory on your computer. Select a background image like Panel_Win2-7Basic800.png. The theme pack we installed includes a variety of panel backgrounds, so feel free to experiment.

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