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ubuntu natty narwhalThere are a lot of advantages and disadvantages that each operating system has. One has the most compatibility with current software, one has the most polish, and one has both but isn’t as supported. OK, maybe Linux doesn’t always have both, but recently it does carry its own class of design and polish. This is especially true for systems like Ubuntu where the developers are going out of their way to create the “next desktop”.

Let’s say that you are a Windows user because all of your programs work with it, but you like how the new release of Ubuntu, 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux It's here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Canonical decided... Read More looks. What can you do about that?

The Solution To Your Problem

May I introduce to you the Ubuntu Skin Pack. This handy program will install (and even download other necessary components) in order to make your desktop look and operate more like Ubuntu. Although it is not perfect (show me some kind of transformation pack that is!), it does do a great job of recreating the experience and theme. The best way for you to enjoy it is to install the pack! Please note that this works only in Windows 7.

Installation

First off, you should download the setup file to a place where you can easily find it. Once the download completes, head on over to that folder and double-click the setup file to launch it. The setup itself is easy and doesn’t really have any hidden items with it. Just click through it, making sure that everything is selected in order to get the full experience. While the setup is doing its thing, it’ll eventually poke you about installing a component that it needs for smooth operation. Go ahead and click yes so that it’ll automatically install and download that component for you as well. When the entire setup completes, go ahead and restart your machine.

Features

make windows 7 look like ubuntu

In case you use a password on your account, or have multiple accounts on your machine, you may notice some changes. At the bottom, “Windows 7” is now replaced with “Ubuntu 11.04”. The background should have also changed, but in my installation that did not happen. Not sure what went wrong, but there’s enough hacks out on the Internet to be able to change the login background How To Change Windows 7 Logon Screen How To Change Windows 7 Logon Screen Read More if you want to.

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windows 7 ubuntu theme

Once you get to your desktop, you’ll see that it looks very similar to the Ubuntu desktop. The Ubuntu icon is in the top-left corner, which is now your new place to launch the re-themed start menu. The dock on the left side (created by a program called Rainmeter Geeking-Out Your Windows Desktop The Non-Geeky Way With Rainmeter Geeking-Out Your Windows Desktop The Non-Geeky Way With Rainmeter Read More ) also recreates a nice visual theme of the actual Unity dock. Don’t try to do a lot of things with it that are featured in Unity Unity - A Modern Lightweight Desktop For Ubuntu [Linux] Unity - A Modern Lightweight Desktop For Ubuntu [Linux] Read More , because there isn’t very much you can do to mess around with it, aside from poking around in the configuration file. Speaking of which, Rainmeter may bug you about a misplaced configuration file. Just follow its instructions and it should go away.

windows 7 ubuntu theme

There’s not a whole lot else to it. You can have virtual desktops thanks to VirtualWin 2 Cool Virtual Desktop Managers for Windows 2 Cool Virtual Desktop Managers for Windows Read More . Many windows should fit right in with the theme, as long as they’re not those notoriously famous programs that decide to create their own complete theme that stick out from the rest. For everything else, I’ll let the screenshots do the talking.

ubuntu natty narwhal

Even Firefox plays nice!

Conclusion

Overall, the Ubuntu Skin Pack is a great way to get that Ubuntu feel when using Windows. Although it’s not completely free of kinks, I hope that the developer can continue working on it so that it’ll feel like an A+ solid product. That being said, it’s already a great product as it is. Most themes or transformation packs rarely come close to this.

What do you think about the idea of the Ubuntu Skin Pack? If you’re an Ubuntu-loving Windows user, will you be installing this on your machine? What other packs could you suggest?

Let us know in the comments below!

  1. pseudoscion
    May 26, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Is it possible to get just the windows theme and not the whole pack?

    • Danny Stieben
      May 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      I don't believe you can extract the theme as it's packaged into a single .exe file. However, you could try asking the author of the pack if he would supply the theme.

  2. the mainliner
    May 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I agree with Ankur, just not 11.04...Unity? I'd rather poke myself up the arse with a sharp stick.

  3. Ankur
    May 20, 2011 at 6:02 am

     good effort be developer but I would still recommend using an actual ubuntu OS 

  4. jasray
    May 19, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    "Overall, the Ubuntu Skin Pack is a great way to get that Ubuntu feel
    when using Windows. Although it’s not completely free of kinks . . . " It never ceases to amaze me how many computer users spend sooooooo much time on the "look" of their desktop when they should rarely even get to see it because they are using programs and being productive, creative, beings.  Warning enough for me:  "Although it’s not completely free of kinks" = stay away from it for a really long time and get back to using your computer for something worthwhile.

    • Danny Stieben
      May 22, 2011 at 4:13 am

      The "kinks" are mainly inconveniences from things that aren't configured out-of-the-box. It just takes a little time until it's set up like it should be. 

  5. Shawn Rogers
    May 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    It will make the few times a year I use Windows a little less painful :-)

  6. el tio ska
    May 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    While I can appreciate the challenge the developer of such an application, what's the use? :o) No hard feelings here, but I'm just wondering why would anyone want to make an OS look like another!?

    • Guest
      May 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      Yeah. Kinda like making Linux look lilke Window$ 

    • Thameera
      May 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Power users may not be much concerned about how their OSs look, but some people do.

    • Tina
      May 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      To be cool?
      Just for the fun of it?To confuse other people?
      Because they're embarrassed they're running the underlying OS?

    • Danny Stieben
      May 22, 2011 at 4:12 am

      I think I mentioned this in the article, but some people would rather have the inner workings of one OS, while the aesthetics of another. Having such possibilities is a great convenience for some. 

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