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Mac OS X for Gnome Ubuntu : How To

January 03, 2010

Mac OS X for Gnome Ubuntu : How To
This article show you some detail steps on how to convert your Gnome Linux - Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala desktop to looks like Mac OS X using some alternative & equivalent software [ see list ] available for Linux.

Install Applications
  • Open Terminal & use these commands to:
Add Gloobus Preview & Gnome Global Menu by adding PPA [ Karmic Koala ]:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gloobus-dev/gloobus-preview
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:abhidg/ppa
If this fail. Add PPA manually [ Click URL if not sure how to add ]:
Gnome Globalmenu:
deb karmic main
deb-src karmic main
deb karmic main
deb-src karmic main

Then install both using this command in Terminal:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gloobus-preview gnome-globalmenu

Install other apps & applet:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager deskbar-applet gnome-do screenlets
Install dock ( install best dock applications that suite your system ) :
  • Cairo-dock :
sudo apt-get install cairo-dock
  • Avant Window Navigator [AWN]
sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator

Customise Panel
  • Delete desktop bottom panel ( right click panel > Delete this panel )
  • Add gnome main menu, deskbar-applet & gnome global-menu applet by right click >Add to panel & select [image:below]
  • Delete any applet or launcher on Top Panel so it look like this [image:above] ( Remove from panel )
  • We use this settings for gnome global-menu

Install Theme
We use the same old Mac4Lin script which provide pidgin, desktop, awn icons & themes download here.
  • Extract the downloaded .zip.
  • Open the folder, right click on Properties>Permission>Allow executing file as program

  • Open & run the script in Terminal.
  • 2 Wallpaper included in this package, located @ ~/Mac4Lin_v1.0/Wallpapers ( set wallpaper manually if the script fail to change it ).
Install Cairo-Dock Theme, Dashboard Script & Icons
We've made a micro script containing dashboard script, cairo-dock & apple icons folder that will be used in this customising process.
Download from here [ mirror1 ] [ mirror2 ]
This script will
  • Copy Mac4Koala cairo-dock theme to ~/.config/cairo-dock/theme
  • Place script for dashboad launcher at ~/Mac4Lin_KK/script
  • Copy some apple icons to ~/Mac4Lin_KK/Icons 
Use the same method as to run the script.


  • Run Cairo-dock
  • Right click on dock area & select Cairo-dock>Manage themes
  • Select Mac4Koala theme ( installed earlier using Mac4Koala script ) 
  • Tick for both option  & click Apply.
Avant Window Navigator
If you using AWN theme is given in Mac4Lin script.
  • Run AWN, click on AWN manager 
  • Add & select Mac OS X theme from ~/Mac4Lin_v1.0/AWN folder [image]
  • Refresh & Close to see changes

Setting up Dashboard Launcher
Compiz Config Setting Manager
  • Open CCSM [ System>Preference>Compiz Config Setting Manager ]
  • Find & enable Widget Layer

  • Run Screenlets [ Main Menu>Accessories>Screenlets ] 
  • Go to option and tick on Widget option [image]

  • Choose any widget you want ( tick start/stop & auto start on login )
  • Press F9 to see the widget 
Cairo dock 
If you notice, there is Dashboard launcher included in Mac4Koala theme that we made. the launcher already linked to ~/Mac4Lin_KK/script/ script . This script has same function as compiz widget layer F9 key that we already set earlier.
To make sure the script running properly;
  • Go to /home/user/mac4lin_kk/script
  • Right click the script and give the file permission to execute as program [ Properties>Permission>Allow executing file as program. ]
You need to prepare the launcher manually
  • Right click on desktop
  • Create New Launcher 
  • Name the launcher Dashboard
  • in Command box, click browse & select file located at /home/user/Mac4Lin_KK/Script folder
  • Change the icon, dashboard icon located at ~/Mac4Lin_KK/Icons folder
  • Drag drop the launcher to your AWN dock.

Expose - Compiz Scale
  • Open CCSM [ System>Preference>Compiz Config Setting Manager ]
  • Find & enable Scale, assign key/button as desired.
Apple Menu Panel

to change Gnome Main Menu Icon;
  • Alt-F2 & run Config editor by typing gconf-editor
  • Go to apps/panel/objects/object_0
  • tick on use_custom_icon key
  • Enter custom_icon key with folder link location ( in this case Apple icon located at ~/Mac4Lin_KK/Icons/apple_logo_128.png  ) [image]
custom_icon /home/user/Mac4Lin_KK/Icons/apple_logo_128.png
  • the user is your Ubuntu account user name. 

    Go to System>Preference>Appearance>Fonts
    Manually change the desktop fonts following this setting
    Change Terminal colour profile [see image]
    Run Terminal
    Go to Edit>Profile Preferences
    Go to Colors tab.
    Extra Compiz effect
    If you like to add some window effect settings are available in CompizConfig Setting Manager by enabling Animation Add-on & Animations [image]. Detail options of every window actions are inside Animations menu.

    For final touch you might want to use Mac OS X theme for your Firefox theme. Download here

    You can uninstall the theme by running the uninstall script located at Mac4Lin installation folder [ ].

    After all these steps, you should get the same desktop appearance & functionality as shown on our video
    Feel free to suggest any other stuff that we missed.
    Good artist create, Greate artist steal.

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